Taking care of our heart is as good as taking care of our loved ones!

Yes, you heard it right. There is an entire month dedicated to the wellness of the obviously important ‘Heart of our body’. Feb 2022 is celebrated as American Heart Month to encourage citizens of America to opt for a healthy lifestyle and maintain a healthy heart in every possible manner. It has become even more important to check for the health of your heart at regular intervals. People with a deteriorated heart condition are more prone to have serious ailments because of Covid-19.
Every year during this American Heart Month, pause for a while and give it a thought that heart-related disorders are a cause of thousands of families losing their loved ones every year and standing on the crossroads of a devastating life full of socioeconomic and emotional insecurity.

History of American Heart Month

In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson first declared the observance of American Heart Month.
History of American Heart Month

Why is it crucial to take care of your ‘Heart’?

The blood-pumping organ is the lifeline of the human body. We are all alive till our heartbeats. Divided into four chambers with arteries and veins, it weighs roughly around 8-12 ounces. From the moment a human being is born till the last breath, it pumps oxygenated blood throughout the body received from the lungs, supplies nutrition to the entire body, removes toxins, etc.
Focusing on cardiovascular health has become an important requirement as there are increasing risk factors for heart diseases, failures, and strokes.
Parts of our heart
As we proceed further, let us understand about heart diseases:

Heart Disease

We must understand heart diseases as a group of all heart conditions and not any single ailment in particular, though the most important one that keeps people on their toes in the US is Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) affecting blood flow to the heart.

Symptoms of Heart Diseases

The most interesting part of heart diseases is that this does not ring any bell before seeking entrance into the body. It simply enters even without we could experience its first occurrence. The silent killers include Heart Attack, Heart Failure, or arrhythmia.
  • Heart Attack – Most commonly identified by chest pain or discomfort, shortness of breath may also accompany it. Sometimes people do mistake discomfort in other areas of the body like back pain, joints, jaw, neck, etc. With routine pain, these symptoms may be the red alert for a heart attack. A feeling of weakness, lightheadedness, or instances of fainting may also be the forerunner. Last but certainly not least, any kind of nausea and cold sweats must not be ignored.
  • Heart Failure – The common population sometimes uses interchangeably heart failure and heart attack in everyday scenarios. Of course, there are many similar symptoms of Heart Failure like shortness of breath, feeling of lightheadedness, and many more, there are some distinguishing factors as well. Swelling of feet, ankles, abdomen along with an abnormal weight gain overall. Three or more pounds in a day or five or more pounds in a week are some of them.
  • Arrhythmia – A feeling of palpitations in the chest with feelings of fluttering.
Do Not Ignore Sign

Do not ignore these early signs!

Fluid building up in the heart should not be ignored as this is the classic initial symptom of Heart Failure. Any such event must be immediately brought to the notice of our healthcare providers, doctors, or nurses at the earliest. Hot water showers may be avoided as they may worsen the lightheadedness/dizziness due to lowered blood pressure. In the best interest of the human body, it is advisable to always take a shower in lukewarm water and that the water temperature must never exceed our body temperature.
The beauty of nature and its creation is that we get a good amount of time being forewarned before any big health disorder, but as human beings, we have an inherent trait of procrastinating things till it really hinders our daily routine. Heart Failure and Heart Attack are no exceptions. We get a lot of warning signs before the actual unfortunate event takes place.
Amazing facts to know!
Heart Disease is the leading cause of death in the USA. – Source

Every year 805, 000 people in the United States have a heart attack. –  Source

Risk factors for heart disease

Needless to say, heart disease does get initiated with a whole lot of medical conditions and risk factors.
  • Diabetes Mellitus – Commonly known as Diabetes, it’s a medical condition leading to high blood sugar levels. Though it is entirely the game of the hormone insulin, family history also leads to the presence of this condition.
  • Hypertension – High sodium intake in the form of table salt or common salt, increased stress levels, lower physical activity levels all trigger hypertension.
  • High cholesterol
Do you know?
Heart ailments have become a common scenario in the United States, so getting medical check-ups and other tests like ECG, EEG, done at regular intervals is advised in the best interest of the citizens.

People with a family history of cardiac arrests and disorders should get genetic predisposition or screening after a certain age, as per requirements.

Apart from the above medical conditions, the following also contribute to various heart disorders
Occupation – The jobs requiring low physical activity, but demanding high levels of stress also act as a slow catalyst to deteriorate cardiac health. It is necessary to take intermittent breaks during the work-hours window of 8-9 hours, stay relaxed with quality family time and little bits of meditation and follow the modern concept of ‘me-time’.
Lack of healthy diet – Fast-food and junk food era has led to severe heart blockage complaints due to deposition in the respective chambers of the heart. A balanced diet full of nutrients in the form of fresh vegetables, fruits, fish, lean meat should be followed. The consumption of red meat and high-intake of sugar and salt must be avoided.
Healthy diet
Lifestyle – Thanks to modern day sedentary working style and WFH culture increasingly due to Covid-19, we are continuously being prone to more and more health risk with very little or no physical activities, one of the major factors leading to coronary artery disease (CAD).
Excessive alcohol intake – Anything in excess is fatal. Moreso a habit of regular drinking pushes hypertension to the higher side. Thus, increasing it to an alarming level where the intervention of a medical professional might be required.
Alcohol intake
Smoking – It is a proven fact that smokers are more likely to develop heart disease than a non-smoker, leaving the obvious negative impacts of smoking aside.
Age – It is imperative to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle in all stages of our life. Though age is no more a deciding factor for a cardiac arrest, still with advancing age of 60-65 and above, some precautionary measures must be taken. Some minimalistic changes like a food-habit with less oil and spice, a brisk morning or night walk etc. Work wonders to keep it all on track.
All the above do play an important role in making us to think that a good Cardiovascular health is a must for a healthy life. Despite the busy schedules, every individual must devote a particular amount of time to maintain a healthy heart and overall physical and mental well-being.

Maintaining a healthy heart worries you?

A sound cardiovascular health is essential for every human being. Given the increasing number of heart diseases in America, it becomes vital to
  • Check for warning signals, and be in touch with your cardiologists regularly
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Our heart should be hale & ‘hearty’ and it should beat as cheerfully as always round the year. Also, every human being on this earth deserves a life full of happiness and basic medica amenities.

Let us come together and make all necessary arrangements to keep our heart and over-all mental, physical and emotional well-being in good state. Also stay safe and sound during these difficult times of Covid-19 and get us tested immediately in case of any abnormalities or discomfort.