American heart month reminds you to take care of your ticker

09, Feb 2022

Heart disease has been consistently a leading cause of death in the United States.

February is "American Heart Month."

During this month, many people commit to making their hearts healthier and raising awareness of cardiovascular health in their community.

Counting calories and making an effort to stay physically active certainly help.

Atherosclerosis is the accumulation of cholesterol-rich plaques inside the coronary arteries and other arteries of the body. If a plaque breaks apart, it can cause a heart attack or stroke.

Timely detection of symptoms of a heart attack can save lives.

If you feel any chest pain, fullness, pressure, pain in the jaw, neck, back or stomach, nausea, dizziness, shortness of breath or sweats, you must call 911 and report to your doctor immediately.

Symptoms may vary from woman to man as women do not necessarily feel all these symptoms.

Dr. Mitra's previous three columns:

Silent killer: Cervical cancer kills 14,000 women each year in the U.S. Here's what to know

Holiday health: The holiday season is a busy one; keep up with your help for optimum enjoyment

When you gotta go: Suffering from urinary incontinence? Here are ways to help alleviate issues

You are in direct control over your heart health.

It’s up to you to choose how seriously you take your responsibility for good health.

Some people take responsibility for their health seriously by quickly adapting to a healthy lifestyle.

Others will take action only after being diagnosed with a symptom of heart disease, like high blood pressure or high cholesterol.

Preventive strategies include smoking cessation, following a healthy diet including lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and lean proteins, remaining physically active, and maintaining a healthy weight.

Typically 30 minutes a day for five days a week of moderately intense physical activity paves the path to a healthier heart.

Eating healthy foods and getting regular aerobic exercise can boost your mood and energy and lessen stress.

Sometimes going for a regular walk, doing sit-ups and push-ups, or simply taking the stairs at work can help initiate lifestyle changes.

Avoid carbonated beverages and energy drinks. Drinking water, at least eight 8-ounce glasses each day, can significantly impact your health for the better.

High blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, lack of regular activity, obesity, smoking, diabetes, positive family history (especially a parent or sibling) are all risk factors of cardiovascular disease.

So, it is vital to monitor and know your health numbers and review them periodically with your doctor to help determine your risk for heart disease:

Depending on your age, you should be receiving regular screenings from your doctor for blood pressure and cholesterol level.

Ask your doctor about your lipid profile, blood pressure, blood sugar, Body Mass Index (BMI). High blood pressure has no symptoms.

So, the best way to know whether you have elevated blood pressure is to get a periodic check-up.

Regular cholesterol screenings must be done for adults starting at age 20 who are smokers or have a family history of heart disease.

Once diagnosed with heart disease, your doctor will prescribe a treatment plan that includes a healthy lifestyle change and medications to help control cholesterol or high blood pressure.

If you believe you have a heart attack, you should call 911 immediately.

To discuss more about your heart health, contact Dr. Sue Mitra ( at 321-622-6222.

Dr. Sue Mitra is a Board Certified Internist and accepting new patients. Call Dr. Mitra at 321-622-6222 for clinical preventive services and discuss how to stay healthy for the holidays.


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Dr. Sue Mitra and her staff strive to offer their patients the best care, advice and services available in the medical field with the goal to keep patient healthy & happy.