According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 715,000 Americans suffer a heart attack and approximately 600,000 die from heart disease each year in the U.S. alone. This February, honor American Heart Month and implement a few healthy lifestyle changes to boost your cardiovascular health and reduce your risk of developing heart disease. You can schedule a visit to your local hospital to have your blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked. Then, work with your doctor to develop a treatment plan, if necessary, to get your cholesterol and blood pressure within a healthy range.
Smoking cigarettes significantly raises your risk of heart disease. Talk to your doctor about smoking cessation methods that can help you, such as support groups, nicotine replacement products, and medications. If you consume alcoholic beverages, consider reducing or eliminating your consumption. You can also improve your heart health by maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise.
Fort Walton Beach Medical Center is a Level II Adult Cardiovascular Center that provides unparalleled emergency room services to patients suffering from adverse cardiovascular events. To learn more about our ER in Fort Walton Beach, call (850) 864-0213 today.
A heart attack requires intensive and immediate care at a hospital’s ER. Unfortunately, some of the symptoms of a heart attack may easily be missed or mistaken for other, less serious ailments. This is particularly true of women who suffer from heart attacks since they may not experience the crushing chest pain that typically occurs with heart attacks in men. In women, the symptoms of a heart attack may be as subtle as excessive, unexplained fatigue or unusual feelings of anxiety. By learning about the possible symptoms that can occur in women, you may visit the ER at your local hospital quicker.
Pain and Discomfort
Sometimes, women do indeed feel pressure, pain, or burning in the chest. The pain may spread to the shoulders, neck, and arms. It can even spread to the jaw, ears, and area above the belly button. The pain may occur suddenly or gradually, and it may vary in intensity. With a heart attack, the pain will persist longer than a few minutes, and it may resolve and then recur. Some women have also reported experiencing new or worsening headaches with a heart attack.
Often, women avoid going to the ER because they assume their symptoms are attributable to a cold or the flu, rather than to a heart attack. Along with their stomach pain, they may experience nausea and vomiting. Lightheadedness can occur. Many women experience cold chills and sweating. Shortness of breath can also indicate a heart attack.
For more helpful information on heart health, visit the website of Fort Walton Beach Medical Center or schedule an appointment with one of our cardiovascular specialists. Residents of the Destin and Fort Walton Beach areas can call our state-of-the-art hospital at (850) 864-0213. Be sure to ask us about our hospital’s Cardiac Rehabilitation program, which emphasizes better heart health through patient education, lifestyle changes, and dietary counseling.
There are different types of heart disease, the most common of which is coronary artery disease (CAD). About 13 million people in the U.S. have CAD, which is characterized by the gradual buildup of plaque in the arteries. This causes the arteries to become narrow and hardened, and may lead to a heart attack and angina, or chest pain. You are at a higher risk of CAD if you are an older adult, have a family history of CAD, or have conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, or high cholesterol.
To learn more about heart disease and its risk factors, watch this video. This doctor explains some of the symptoms to watch out for and how lifestyle choices can affect your heart health. You’ll also see a helpful animation that explains how blood moves through the arteries.
The Heart Center at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center is the only hospital in the tri-county area capable of performing open heart surgery. Residents of the Destin and Fort Walton Beach areas can learn more about our healthcare services by calling (850) 864-0213.
By making healthy food choices, you can lower your risk of developing heart disease and suffering a heart attack. If you’ve already been diagnosed with a cardiovascular condition, it’s even more important to work with your doctor to develop a healthy eating plan. Explore the resources available at your local hospital. Your hospital might offer patient support services such as wellness information and a health hotline.
Check the Serving Size
Practicing portion control is a key step in maintaining a healthy weight, which can lower your risk of heart disease. Check the nutrition label on food packages to determine what a serving size is. For measuring foods such as cooked pasta, chicken, and fish, many people like to use food scales and measuring cups to ensure they stick to the proper portion size.
Replace Saturated Fats with Monounsaturated Fats
While you’re checking food labels for portion sizes, remember to examine them for fat content. Choose foods that are higher in monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats, and lower in saturated fats, cholesterol, and trans fats. For example, instead of butter, choose a margarine product that helps lower cholesterol. It’s also a good idea to schedule a checkup at your local hospital to assess your cholesterol levels.
Switch to Low-Sodium Products
Many Americans eat more sodium than they realize because processed foods typically have a high amount of added sodium. Examples of high-sodium foods include pizza, soup, and soy sauce. Choose reduced-salt versions of condiments, soups, and other foods, and make meals from scratch more often than choosing precooked meals.
Read Menus Carefully
When dining out, evaluate the menu carefully and ask your server how certain dishes are prepared. Avoid meals that are fried, crispy, pan-fried, creamed, or served au gratin. Instead, choose meals that are grilled, broiled, roasted, and steamed.
The entire team here at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center is dedicated to improving the quality of life for our fellow community members in the Destin and Fort Walton Beach areas. Our hospital offers a Consult-A-Nurse referral line and the popular H2U program, which delivers timely and actionable information on living a healthier lifestyle. For more information about our hospital or ER services, call (850) 864-0213.