February is American Heart Month!

Cardinal Health

Looking to improve your heart health? February is American Heart Month!  A healthy diet and lifestyle are your best weapons to find cardiovascular disease. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, unrefined whole grains, fish, lean meats and poultry, and low fat dairy products. Make sure you’re exercising at least 30 minutes a day, 3 times per week.  Preventative care is essential to the early diagnosis and treatment of heart disease.  Keep reading to learn more about Heart Disease and speak with our pharmacist today to get more healthy heart information!

What is heart disease?

Heart disease – also called cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease – is a simple term used to describe several problems related to plaque buildup in the walls of the arteries, or atherosclerosis. As the plaque builds up, the arteries narrow, making it more difficult for blood to flow and creating a risk for heart attack or stroke.

Other types of heart disease include heart failure, an irregular heartbeat – or arrhythmia – and heart valve problems.

What is a heart attack?

heart attack occurs when the blood flow to a part of the heart is blocked by a blood clot. If this clot cuts off the blood flow completely, the part of the heart muscle supplied by that artery begins to die. According to the American Heart Association, some heart attacks are sudden and intense where no one doubts what's happening, but most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort.  Some of the most common signs of heart attack includes chest discomfort, discomfort in other areas of the upper body, shortness of breath, nausea and lightheadedness.

How do I know if a product at the grocery store is heart healthy?

The American Heart Association recently introduced a new icon - the Heart-Check mark.

When you see the Heart-Check mark on food packaging, you'll instantly know the food has been certified to meet the American Heart Association's guidelines for a heart-healthy food. It's a good first step in creating an overall sensible eating plan.

Why quit smoking?

You can reduce your risk of a heart attack by quitting smoking.

Smoking is the most important preventable cause of premature death in the United States. Smokers have a higher risk of developing many chronic disorders, including atherosclerosis — the buildup of fatty substances in the arteries — which can lead to coronary heart disease, heart attack (myocardial infarction) and stroke. Controlling or reversing atherosclerosis is an important part of preventing future heart attack or stroke.