By: Rachel Spivey, RN and Kelly Gurley, BSN, RN
As February is among us, we are reminded of the importance of a healthy heart. Heart disease is the leading cause of death among both male and female in the U.S. according to the American Heart Association. Heart disease causes many problems, of which are related to a process called atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a condition that develops when a substance called plaque builds up in the walls of arteries. This build up narrows the arteries, making it harder for the blood to flow through. If a blood clot forms it can block the blood flow. This can cause a heart attack or stroke.
You’re never too young or too old to take care of your heart. Lack of exercise, a poor diet, and other unhealthy habits take their toll over the years. Some easy ways to stay on track with your health include: a well-balanced diet plan, be physically active daily, avoid smoking, tame your stress, and watch your weight. Early in life, find a doctor and have regular wellness visits as a preventative measure. Also, family history plays an important role in one’s health. Having a relative with heart disease increases your risk of development.
Knowing the warning signs of a heart attack and stroke are very important as both require immediate attention. Signs and symptoms can be very different between male and female. Some of which include: chest pain, chest tightness, chest pressure and discomfort (angina), shortness of breath, and pain in the neck, jaw, throat, upper abdomen or back. Many aren’t diagnosed with cardiovascular disease until you have a heart attack, angina, stroke or heart failure. It’s always important to report any of those symptoms to your doctor.
As part of heart health awareness month, Coffee Regional Medical Center will be hosting an all-day Heart to Heart event, Saturday, February 29th, 2020, at General Coffee State Park. This event will be fun for the entire family and is open to the public. Whether you choose to do the one mile walk/fun run, 5k, or 10k, you’ll be on your way to a healthy heart. Pre-registration is going on now. All proceeds from this event benefit heart patients in our area. Contact Danny McCarty at the CRMC Wellness Center and Cardiac Rehab for registration and more details at 912-383-6988.
This article was written and submitted by registered nurses employed by Coffee Regional Medical Center. About the authors: Kelly Gurley, BSN, RN is a Registered Nurse and the Lead Charge Nurse in the Intensive Care Unit at Coffee Regional Medical Center. She has been an RN for 13 years. Rachel Spivey, RN is a Registered Nurse and is a Charge Nurse in the Intensive Care Unit at Coffee Regional Medical Center. Rachel has worked in ICU for 15 years.