The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland Tennessee (TN) and Bradley County Tennessee (Tn).

Of Bradley County Tn.


                            The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland and Bradley County Tn.







February - and your Heart

by B.J. Armstrong

February - the 2nd month of the year. February - Valentine's Day on the 14th. February - the Love month... Heart month. Let us hope not, but it could possibly be the month for a heart attack. Wisdom and knowledge of the symptoms might possibly save us from a heart attack. Sometimes, after rushing to the hospital, you find out it's heartburn instead. Don't be embarrassed. It's best to be safe than sorry, especially if you have any heart risk factors such as: smoking, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and a family history of heart disease.

Integrate what you believe into every single area of your life.
Take your heart to work and ask the most and best of everybody else.
Meryl Streep.

Depending upon which survey you read, about 1.5 million people suffer from a heart attack each year and 500,000 die. If more people knew the signs of a heart attack, perhaps many lives could be saved. Common symptoms to look for are the following:

B J Armstrong

* Chest pains
* sweating
* shortness of breath
* dizziness
* nausea
* burning in the chest

Prompt medical attention is important. Take an aspirin, which helps dissolve the internal blood clots that trigger a heart attack. While waiting for the ambulance; loosen any constrictive clothing, lie down if nauseated, and, don't eat or drink. Reassurance is crucial at this time, because heart attack victims often panic, which places considerable strain on the already damaged heart.

Among the many heart attacks in the United States each year, most of them are 'sudden' although most of them gave some earlier warning. Many people either didn't

recognize the signals or denied them and did nothing about them. Of course the best way to prevent a heart attack is to reduce the risk. Let's take a look at some heart-healthy life style suggestions.

Tobacco- Nicotine throws arteries into temporary spasms with each puff you take. It's never too late to stop smoking. Even 2 to 5 years after stopping smoking, you can eliminate your chance of an heart attack. If you are one of these people who pay no attention to the risk of a heart attack and do not have one... then this is the exception to the rule. For example: Winston Churchill.

He did everything that was bad for his health... drinking, smoking, was overweight, lived through the stress of war... and lived into his nineties. Again - this is an exception - not a rule!

High blood pressure- Normalizing the elevated pressure substantially reduces the risk of heart attack - at any age. There are many drugs on the market to lower blood pressure. Your doctor can make sure that you take one that forgoes some side effects that aren't good for you.

Diabetes - Diabetics who don't control their blood sugar level, are overweight, and whose cholesterol is abnormal are prone to having a heart attack.
Obesity - Americans are the fattest people in the world. Being 10% above ideal weight raises your risk of a heart attack by 30%, especially if the poundage is in the belly.

Certain personality types are said to be more prone to heart attacks. One of these types is the impatient person that sits on his car horn in traffic ands curses because we don't drive to suit him. Hostile people release adrenaline, which in turn, increases heart rate and raises blood pressure.

When a woman reaches menopause, she becomes as vulnerable to heart attacks as a man. Studies have shown that menopausal women taking estrogen have fewer heart attacks than those who don't.

Here is some doctor advice: if you already have heart disease, don't start on hormone replacement therapy. But, if you have been taking estrogen for more than a year, then it's probably safe to continue. To be extra safe and satisfied, talk to your doctor about this.

Exercise is a good prevention against a heart attack. You're more likely to stay with the exercise program if you enjoy it. Brisk walking or working in the garden are enough for most people. If you prefer, you might also, run, jog, dance, swim, or ride a bike. These exercises will lower your resting heart rate and blood pressure. Check with your doctor before starting any exercise program.

There is life after a heart attack. The world is full of people who have had heart attacks and returned to their jobs and continued to lead active lives. All of this has been made possible through the following:

* coronary angiography
* balloon angioplasty
* bypass surgery

I will not elaborate on these because I do not fully understand all the details. I will say though, if you think you are having a heart attack, get to the doctor. The symptoms of heart attack may mimic several other conditions. Let the doctor determine one from the other and what it might or might not be. One thing is for sure, heart attacks are the number-one killer of our world. Chest pains usually precede a heart attack by days, weeks, months, or years. The fact is that the major health risks are well known, and those interested in living long and happy lives can take precautions against them.

The heart has eyes that the brain knows nothing of.
-- C.H. Parkhurst.

Happy Valentine's Day.