Presented by ETSU Heart
Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in the US; beating cancer, respiratory diseases, and stroke. Knowing the signs of a heart attack can save your life or the life of a loved one. If you see or have any of the listed symptoms, immediately call 9-1-1. Not all these signs occur in every heart attack. Sometimes they go away and return. If you have some of these symptoms, get help fast! Today heart attack and stroke victims can benefit from new medications and treatments unavailable to patients in years past. For example, clot-busting drugs can stop some heart attacks and strokes in progress, reducing disability and saving lives. But to be effective, these drugs must be given relatively quickly after heart attack or stroke symptoms first appear.
Minutes matter! Fast action can save lives!
A heart attack occurs when the blood flow to a part of the heart is blocked, usually by a blood clot. If this clot cuts off the blood flow completely, the part of the heart muscle supplied by that artery begins to die.
Signs of a Heart Attack
1. Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
2. Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
3. Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
4. Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
5. As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.
If you have any of these signs, don’t wait more than five minutes before calling for help. Call 9-1-1. get to a hospital right away.
Prevention Is key
The facts are clear: By getting at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week you can reduce your risk of heart disease. Without regular physical activity, the body slowly loses its strength and ability to function well. Just walking 30 minutes a day can lower your risk for heart attack and stroke.
Being active is as important as reducing calories in helping you lose weight! And it’s good for your heart, lungs, bones, muscles and mind. Regular physical activity helps lower your risk of heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure and other health problems. Ask your doctor or health professional for a physical activity plan that’s right for you.
Take care of yourself
Heart disease is preventable.
1. Schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider to learn your personal risk for heart disease.
2. Quit Smoking.
3. Start an exercise program.
4. Modify your family’s diet if needed.
Tips to help you be active
• Schedule time in your day for physical activity. Make a date to walk during your lunch time at work, or go for a walk with your friends or family in the evening.
• Substitute physical activity where possible. Choose a parking spot that allows you to get a few extra minutes of walking, or take the stairs instead of the elevator. Every little bit helps!
• Pick active outings. Instead of going to the movies, visit a zoo or museum where you can walk around while being entertained.
A healthy diet and lifestyle are some of your best weapons to fight cardiovascular disease. However, there are a lot of mixed messages and myths out there regarding healthy eating. It is important to speak to your physician to decide the best course in reaching your healthy lifestyle.
The American Heart Association recommends that you eat a wide variety of nutritious foods daily.
1. Vegetables and fruits are high in vitamins, minerals and fiber — and they’re low in calories. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables may help you control your weight and blood pressure.
2. Unrefined whole-grain foods contain fiber that can help lower your blood cholesterol and help you feel full, which may help you manage your weight.
3. Eat fish at least twice a week. Recent research shows that eating oily fish containing omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, trout and herring) may help lower your risk of death from coronary artery disease.
4. Cut back on foods containing partially hydrogenated vegetable oils to reduce trans fat in your diet. Aim to eat less than 300 milligrams of cholesterol each day. Choose and prepare foods with little or no salt. Aim to eat less than 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day.
5. Keep your intake of sugar-sweetened beverages to less than 36 oz
Tips for a healthy diet
• Eat slowly, take smaller portions and avoid “seconds.”
• Cook foods in ways that do not add fat, like baking, boiling, broiling, grilling, roasting or stewing.
• When you really crave a high-calorie food, eat a small amount and forget about it, instead of resisting until you give in and gorge. If you don’t trust yourself with just a little, don’t eat any at all.
• Keep saturated fat to less than 7 percent of energy; use red meat sparingly and choose lean or extra-lean cuts.
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