hey The first thing we do as doctors when you come to see someone is listen to your heart.
There is a reason for that.
According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the top cause of death in the US, killing hundreds of thousands of people each year.
Still, there are serious signs that someone’s heart is in trouble that are sometimes overlooked:
, Sudden chest pain with pressure.
, Heaviness in the chest that lasts for 10 minutes or more.
, Pain that radiates to the left arm or neck.
, Shortness of breath when out of proportion to your physical efforts or at rest.
, Fainting without confusion, caused by simple low blood sugar.
, Leg cramps during physical activity are a symptom of possible coronary disease, but not necessarily a heart attack.
, Swelling of the legs indicates a heart attack when it occurs suddenly and is associated with chest pain.
If you have any of these symptoms, the safest thing to do is to call 911 to get to the hospital immediately. These are dangerous signs that you may be having a heart attack.
And, if you’ve never had any of these symptoms, you should know that certain risk factors make it more likely that you’ll have heart trouble in the future.
Know your heart disease risk From your weight to your family history, many things can increase your chance of having a heart attack in the future. We have a way to score patients’ risk level based on a certain number of factors:
, Smoking – Tobacco smoke causes blood vessels to harden, which puts pressure on the heart.
, Diabetes – Uncontrolled blood sugar levels can lead to damaged, blocked blood vessels.
, High blood pressure – The heart has to work harder.
, High cholesterol – leads to plaque that builds up inside blood vessels.
, Family history – If your close relatives have heart disease, you may inherit the risk.
, Obesity – puts pressure on your heart.
, Inactivity – deprives your heart of the necessary increased activity that keeps it in shape.
, Age – Men 55 years of age and older and women 65 years of age and older are at higher risk.
, Chest pain – Also called angina, is caused by reduced blood flow to the heart, and can be a warning sign for a heart attack.
Keeping Your Heart Healthy Your doctor knows best how to help you address your risk factors and give you advice about your heart health. Here are some things you can do to reduce your risk of heart disease:
1. Quit smoking – It’s never too late. After just six weeks of quitting smoking, you can regain up to 20% of lung capacity, meaning your heart won’t have to work as hard to get oxygen to your body. There are plenty of tools to help you quit smoking, ranging from nicotine replacements like nicotine gum and patches to prescription medications. Find out more at Smoke Free New York.
2. Maintain a healthy weight – Obesity leads to many health problems, including heart disease and diabetes. Maintaining a healthy weight can prevent stress on your heart and help your body use insulin better, thereby preventing diabetes.
3. Pay attention to your diet – Eating too many carbohydrates like bread, rice, cereals and sweets not only leads to excess weight gain, but also makes your body work harder to maintain correct blood sugar levels, causing you to overeat. Get into danger. Include plenty of vegetables and fruits in your diet to ensure a healthy balance.
4. Do some exercise – Just 15-20 minutes of physical activity every day is enough to increase your heart rate and give it the exercise it needs. One of the best forms of exercise is walking. In winter, if you want a warm place to keep your steps, visit the mall or your nearest department store. It’s free to visit!
5. Avoid too much caffeine – Caffeine constricts blood vessels, which causes the heart to work harder. Avoid excessive consumption of caffeinated beverages, especially if they also contain high sugar content.
6. If you’re diabetic, make sure your disease is under control – Hopefully, your doctor has given you good advice on how to manage diabetes. If not, ask them. There are also prescription medications available today that help people manage diabetes — and even control their weight — more easily.
7. Take your medicines – Whether you are suffering from diabetes or high blood pressure or high cholesterol, if you take medicines prescribed by the doctor for such conditions, make sure you stick to them and take them honestly. Take from. Each of these conditions can lead to heart disease. Your medicines can help prevent the problem.