Heart Truth spreading critical message

By Katherine Miller

STAFF WRITER

CROWLEY – Today is a day on which the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and partner organizations urge people to join a nationwide campaign called the Heart Truth, to spread a critical message that “Heart disease doesn’t care what you wear-it’s the number one killer of women.” Each person is able to participate in this movement by wearing their favorite red shirt, tie or Red dress pin.

This campaign is aimed at women ages 40 to 60, the time when a woman’s risk of heart disease begins to increase. Many people may be unaware of the seriousness of their symptoms.

Kathy Foreman, RN at Southwind Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Crowley, warns that each type of heart disease has different but similar symptoms.

“The most common symptoms typically seen in coronary artery disease is angina. This symptom can be described as a discomfort, pressure, heaviness, aching, burning, fullness, squeezing or painful feeling in your chest,” she informed.

Oftentimes, this symptom may be mistaken for indigestion or heartburn. The feeling is usually in the chest, but may also be felt in the shoulders, arms, neck, throat, jaw or back.

Other symptoms that may occur with coronary heart disease are, shortness of breath, palpitations, faster heartbeat, weakness or dizziness, nausea and sweating.

Heart attack symptoms include, discomfort, heaviness or pain in the chest arm or breastbone; feelings of fullness; sweating, vomiting or dizziness; extreme anxiety/shortness of breath and rapid or irregular heartbeat.

Heart arrhythmia is a condition in which the heart beats with an abnormal rhythm. Typical symptoms include, palpitations, pounding in the chest, fainting, shortness of breath and weakness.

Both in treatment and prevention of heart disease, doctors agree that following these tips will be of aid. These include avoiding tobacco and stay away from secondhand smoke; eat right by reducing saturated fats and limiting red meat, whole dairy products and eggs and eat lots of fruits and vegetables; stay active with 30 minutes a day of walking, biking or other moderate exercise and reducing stress.

For more information about heart disease, contact your doctor or visit the American Heart Association website at www.americanheart.org.

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