With February being American Heart Month, we have been shining a light on ways you can help improve the health of this organ that keeps your body going with every beat.
Linda Perkins is a registered nurse and director of clinical operations with CCA Health Michigan, and we spoke to her to learn about the warning signs of an unhealthy heart.
According to Perkins, heart disease has been the leading cause of death for both men and women for over 70 years. Heart disease causes both heart attacks and heart failure, so the key is learning the warning signs to deal with heart disease as quickly as possible.
While chest pain and shortness of breath are the most common and severe symptoms of heart disease, here are some lesser known ones you should look out for:
- Pain in the upper back
- Nausea or vomiting, indigestion
- Loss of appetite
- Weakness or fatigue
- Heart Palpitations
She went on to say things like drinking, smoking, poor diet, lack of exercise, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol increase your risk of heart disease. So, in turn, to help combat heart disease start with eating healthier and moving more. It is recommended that the average person get 150 minutes of activity a week.
“This doesn’t have to be strenuous,” explains Perkins. “The goal is just to get moving.”
Eating four-to-five fruits and vegetables a day, cutting back on your salt intake, and limiting sugary snacks are great ways to get started.
It is also important to know your weight, cholesterol, and blood pressure. She recommends buying tools to get these measurements and tracking them in a journal so you can share them with your doctor.
For the full interview, watch the video above. To learn more about CCA Health Michigan and how to get their “uncommon care,” click or tap here.