To commemorate the American Heart Month in February, the Lake Regional Health System educates Lake Sun readers on a variety of heart health topics.
In the United States, heart disease causes one in four deaths. Despite its prevalence, there is still a lot of false information surrounding heart disease.
“Relying on myths can be dangerous to your heart,” said Dr. Muthu Krishnan, Physician, Lake Regional Cardiologist at FACC. “Education is the key to changing the healthy behavior of the heart.”
Here, Dr. Krishnan corrects four common misconceptions surrounding heart disease.
1. Heart disease is a human problem.
Heart disease was once thought to be a disease of men, but in reality, heart disease is the largest murderer of women and men. According to the American Heart Association, heart disease and stroke cause one in three women’s deaths each year, more than all cancers combined. Most women have the same symptoms as men, but women are more likely to experience pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen and extreme malaise as symptoms of a heart attack.
“Women need to be aware that heart disease is a threat and need to undergo regular heart health checks,” said Dr. Krishnan. “For women and men, caring for the heart through regular exercise and a balanced diet is the best preventive tool.”
2. Young people do not have to worry about heart disease.
Heart disease occurs when a substance called plaque accumulates in the arteries.
“Lifestyles from childhood to early adulthood can later affect the risk of heart disease,” said Dr. Krishnan. “Plaque can begin to build up in arteries from an early age. Overeating, a sedentary lifestyle, and smoking are all habits that can increase your risk of developing heart disease. Heart health It’s never too early or too late to start a good choice. ”
Having an active lifestyle and a balanced diet does not mean that you are not immune to heart disease. The American Heart Association recommends that if your family has heart disease, you should start testing for cholesterol at age 20 or earlier. It also screens blood pressure.
3. People with heart disease need to ease it.
Diagnosis of a heart attack, heart surgery, or heart disease does not mean that physical activity should be avoided. In fact, the American Heart Association reports that survivors of a heart attack who are regularly physically active and have other positive changes in heart health live longer than those who do not. Exercise planning is generally recommended for patients with heart disease, but it involves a healthcare provider. Seek advice on staying active and whether you are a good candidate for a cardiac rehabilitation program.
4. Symptoms appear before you get heart disease.
Both high cholesterol and high blood pressure are risk factors for heart disease. However, none of these conditions usually cause symptoms. This means that even if it can damage the heart and arteries, there are one of these risk factors and you may feel that you are okay. Talk to your healthcare provider about how often you should be screened for cholesterol and blood pressure. If you have a large number, your provider may recommend lifestyle changes or medications.
“Another misconception is that people who are experiencing a heart attack always have chest pain and discomfort,” said Dr. Krishnan. “Not everyone has the typical symptoms of a heart attack. Chest discomfort is the most common, but more subtle symptoms such as shortness of breath, dizziness, malaise, and nausea cause a heart attack. You may know that. “
If you suspect you have a heart attack, call 911 immediately, even if you are not sure.
Dr. Krishnan is a member of the Lake Regional Health System’s comprehensive cardiac care team. The team includes intervention cardiologists and cardiovascular thoracic surgeons, as well as registered nurses and x-ray technicians who specialize in cardiac therapy. As a Level IISTEMI Center, Lake Regional is equipped with facilities to provide timely and reliable heart attack care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For more information, please visit lakeregional.com / heartcare.
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