American Heart Month

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American Heart Month

February is the month of love and also American Heart Month! February is a great time to raise awareness for cardiovascular health and wellness through preventative care and treatment. Highland Family Medicine strives to support our patients’ heart health through education and regular screening. Below are a few common cardiovascular-related conditions and tips for prevention and care.

High Cholesterol

High cholesterol happens when a surplus of fatty lipids prevents blood from flowing correctly. High cholesterol can be inherited or can come about from lifestyle choices. High cholesterol can cause heart attack or stroke, which is why it is a focus of American Heart Month. Appropriate diet and exercise can help prevent high cholesterol and, in some cases, prescription medication.

High Blood Pressure

High Blood Pressure, or hypertension, is a concern during American Heart Month. This condition makes the heart work harder to circulate blood through the blood vessels, potentially damaging the heart and arteries. Over time, the increased strain can cause the heart muscle to thicken and become less efficient, leading to heart failure or heart attack. Simple preventative measures include maintaining a healthy diet low in salt, regular physical activity, avoiding tobacco use, and managing stress. Regular screenings for blood pressure are vital, as hypertension often presents with no symptoms, making early detection key to preventing severe heart-related complications.

Diabetes

During American Heart Month, it is essential also to be aware of diabetes, a condition that significantly increases the risk of developing heart disease. High blood sugar levels, characteristic of diabetes, can damage blood vessels and the nerves that control the heart, leading to cardiovascular problems. Preventing diabetes involves adopting a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise, eating a balanced diet, including fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and maintaining a healthy weight. Regular screenings for diabetes are crucial, especially for those with a family history or other risk factors, as early detection and management can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease. Emphasizing these preventative measures and the importance of screenings during American Heart Month helps raise awareness and encourages proactive health management.

As always, please consult with a doctor before implementing any treatments. If you would like to book an appointment with one of the family doctors at Highland Family Medicine, please get in touch with us at 615-890-4810.