Monday, February 4, 2013

February is National Heart Disease Awareness Month

When you think of February, one of the first things that normally comes up is Valentine's Day and love.      As much as I am a hopeless romantic and love Valentine's Day, it's also National Heart Disease Awareness Month.    There is nothing romantic about heart disease and I hope that if I can share just a little information and provide some extra protection for you, a goal will be reached.  

Heart Disease is one of the leading causes of death among men and women.    In fact, it will take the lives of more women this year than breast cancer.     It's also important to share with you that symptoms are different in men and women.     Men will normally have chest pain, left arm pain radiating down the arm, indigestion, and even jaw pain.     For women, symptoms can include unusual fatigue, sleep disturbance, a feeling of severe indigestion or reflux that can actually make you short of breath, cold sweats and nausea with or without feeling dizzy.   

There are ways you can protect yourself against this disease.    The American Heart Association calls these Life's Simple Seven.   Here they are:

1.   Get active and stay active. 

2.   Control your cholesterol.     Keep your cholesterol in normal levels, most importantly, keep LDL (or bad cholesterol levels) at 100mg/dl or less.   

3.   Eat better.    

4.   Manage blood pressure.    120/80 and below for healthy individuals is what is recommended by 
      The American Heart Association.   

5.   Reduce blood sugar levels.    If you are a diabetic, keep your blood sugar levels within normal
      limits, generally 70-100 mg/dl.

6.   Stop smoking.  

7.    Lose weight.    Maintain a BMI within a  normal weight, 18.5 - 24.9.    

Balanced Care also wants you to realize that these are all things that your physician can help you to control.     By having your yearly physical exams (if you have health insurance, health care reform has included a yearly exam for prevention of disease and does so without any additional cost), you are taking the necessary steps to make sure that you are protecting your heart and your health.     

So many people rely on you each day - Your children, your spouse, your parents, your employer, your co-workers, and even your closest friends.     And while you are busy focusing on them, Balanced Care is focusing on you.   

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