February is American Heart Month, an important awareness effort because millions of Americans do not know the devastating effect that heart disease continues to have on families and communities. Heart disease is the #1 killer of American women and men, and was responsible for about one in every four deaths in 2014.
About the Disease
Heart disease is a general term that includes a number of conditions that affect the heart and blood vessels and lead to heart attack, chest pain or stroke. The term “heart disease” is often used interchangeably with “cardiovascular disease.” The heart requires an adequate supply of blood to be able to function. When one or more of the arteries that supply blood to the heart narrow, the heart becomes stressed and the person experiences symptoms of heart failure. If an artery becomes completely blocked, blood supply to the heart is lost and the person experiences a heart attack.
Warning Signs of Heart Disease
Damage to the heart cannot be cured, therefore knowing the warning signs that the heart is in trouble is key. As a failing heart struggles to move blood through the body, a person may experience several distinct symptoms. If you experience more than one of the following symptoms, report them to a healthcare professional immediately and ask for a heart screening.
- Shortness of breath while active or at rest
- Persistent coughing or wheezing
- Increased swelling in the lower body (feet, legs and ankles)
- Fatigue and lightheadedness with everyday activities
- Nausea or loss of appetite
- Unexplained dizziness, confusion or sadness
- Increased heart rate or racing heart
Get Heart Health Screenings & Diabetes Testing at RediClinic
Research supports the fact that heart disease is highly preventable, and 90% of heart attacks could be avoided by controlling risk factors such as tobacco use, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity and physical inactivity.
If you have a personal or family history of heart concerns, discussing your heart health with a board-certified clinician at RediClinic is an important first step to help you live a healthier and longer life. We offer many heart health screenings and diabetes testing to help you evaluate your risk for heart disease and make a plan for prevention. Schedule an online appointment to be seen at RediClinic today!