Hearts up: Wellness tips as American Heart Month comes to a close
As February comes to a close, so does American Heart Month, but doctors want to remind everyone that every month is important for monitoring your heart health.
Clear Creek County Public Health Director for Clear Creek County Dr. Timothy Ryan explained that the Clear Creek Health and Wellness Center offers free appointments for tests to make sure your heart health is on track.
“We offer them free blood pressure screening, cholesterol screening, hemoglobin and A1C, weight and BMI,” he said.
Tests like these can be early indicators for heart disease and other medical problems, said Ryan, adding that they can tell your doctor how well your heart is functioning.
Dr. Greg Katz is a cardiologist at New York University. He said one of the most important things for people to know is that heart disease and heart attacks don’t always present with the classic symptoms.
He said while many might think of the classic symptoms like chest pain radiating to the neck/left arm or the ‘elephant on your chest,’ you could also experience symptoms like jaw pain or nausea.
“At the end of the day, listening to your body….is really, really important,” Katz stressed.
If you experience any symptom that gets worse when walking and improves when resting, this is a sign of cardiac distress and warrants a trip to the emergency room, Katz said. He added that sweating or having symptoms worsening after a meal or going out in the cold are also warning signs that should be evaluated by a healthcare professional.
Luckily, taking charge of your heart health starts at home, Katz said. Making small changes such as adding in exercise, lowering your sodium intake, getting good sleep, reducing stress and quitting smoking can make a big impact on your health, according to Katz.
Katz stressed that finding out you have high blood pressure or another elevated test doesn’t have to seal your fate. Lifestyle changes can go a long way in preventing heart disease, he explained.
“Patient empowerment, people having the understanding that you’re not condemned to a bad cardiac outcome based on your genes or your current health status, a lot of these things are changeable,” he said.
To schedule a free appointment at the Health and Wellness Center, visit its website at https://www.clearcreekcounty.us/1370/Health-and-Wellness-Center or call 303-670-7528.
American Heart Month,
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