February is Heart Month

Not just chocolate hearts for your sweetie!  Heart disease is an epidemic that affects millions of adults.  TheAmerican Heart Association has dedicated February as American Heart Month.    The media has increased their coverage of this topic and some of this might not be hot of the press for you, but it is worth repeating.

First, heart disease is the number one killer of women; above the number of deaths from breast cancer or any other reproductive cancer.  A main reason is awareness.  Most women go to have regular gynecological check-ups and will have a mammogram when it is recommended.  Women and men need to have regular physicals to check their blood pressure, cholesterol, and other diagnostic testing.

The second note with heart disease is that it is a silent killer.  A person doesn’t usually notice their blood pressure is high or that they have a decreased cardiac output.  These only come up in a physical exam or in a cardiovascular event like a heart attack or a stroke.

Another item is that blood pressure, cholesterol, and other tests are confusing!  Here are some links that help explain your results

Blood pressure



Lastly, one of the best actions is PREVENTION.   Leading a healthy life can help keep your heart strong, your arteries clear, and your blood sugar under control.  Quit smoking.  Eat lots of fruits and vegetables.  Exercise.  Reduce stress.  Avoid processed foods.

If you missed this documentary from 2004, it is worth a watch.

image from nickshell.com

In just a few weeks, Morgan Spurluck shows declining health in his lab results and quality of life.

Sit on the couch to watch the movie, then go for a walk to your nearest farm stand to pick up a pile of veggies for dinner!

In health,

Dr. Molly