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February Is National Heart Month

February Is American Heart Month

The month of February has been designated as American Heart Month. The goal for this designation is increased awareness regarding the preventative measures that can be taken to provide assistance to your heart. This can be accomplished through healthy lifestyle decisions that will help your heart perform its vital functions while also improving your chances of avoiding serious health issues.

The designation actually occurred in 1964, by President Lyndon B. Johnson, with the goal of providing education to the public that would assist in the prevention of heart disease and other related issues. Of course, the current statistics concerning heart disease and the health challenges that can occur indicate that similar education remains important today.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 610,000 individuals die from heart disease in the United States on an annual basis. That equates to one out of every four people. Heart disease is also the primary cause of death for both men and women.

Coronary heart disease (CHD )is the most frequent form of heart disease, and it is responsible for over 370,000 deaths annually. Each year, around 735,000 Americans also experience a heart attack. Of these individuals, 525,000 are in countering their first heart attack, while 210,000 are dealing with a heart attack for at least the second time.

How Your Heart Works

You are already aware of the extreme importance that exists with your heart and the role that it plays within each of us. We rely upon our heart to continually pump oxygen and blood through our body which enables us to remain alive. Your heart beats approximately one hundred thousand times each day while transporting somewhere between 5 and 6 quarts of blood throughout your body. That equates to around 2,000 gallons on a daily basis.

The blood advances through your blood vessels, which is referred to as the circulatory system. As the blood progresses through your body, it also delivers oxygen and nutrients to your lungs and the critical tissues within your body. This process also eliminates waste and removes it from the tissues, which is also an essential process in order to remain alive.

The blood vessels consist of arteries, capillaries, and veins. The arteries deliver blood from the heart to the tissues in our body. The veins are blood vessels that send blood back to the heart. The capillaries are small blood vessels that join the arteries with the veins.

Heart Conditions And How They Develop

Heart attacks are clearly a serious concern, although there are also other multiple heart conditions that can develop. They are often referred to under the umbrella term of heart disease. The most frequent form of heart disease is coronary artery disease. This can occur due to clogged arteries, which is the result of plaque buildup in the walls of the arteries, Plaque contains a collection of substances including calcium and cholesterol.

As the plaque continues to build it can solidify or coagulate, which will cause the arteries to eventually narrow. This results in reduced blood flow, and the aforementioned clogged arteries. Unfortunately, this can also lead to a heart attack.

Heart Arrhythmias is a condition that involves beating patterns that are irregular. This can include heartbeats that can be faster or slower than normal. This can be caused by diabetes, excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, caffeine, stress, and some over-the-counter medications.

An individual that is dealing with arrhythmia might experience a racing heartbeat, a slow heartbeat, chest discomfort, fluttering in the chest, difficulty breathing or dizziness.

Heart failure takes place when the heart is unable to pump a sufficient amount of blood through the body. This can occur if your heart becomes overworked and is eventually too weak to maintain the normal process of pumping blood. High blood pressure, diabetes, and existing heart conditions can cause heart failure to take place.

Heart Valve Disease occurs when any of the four heart valves 
that normally open and close as part of the blood flow process are unable to function properly. This can result in a blockage of the blood flow. This condition can be caused by high blood pressure, along with congenital heart disease – which is an issue with the heart that takes place at birth.

Risk Factors For Heart Disease

Anyone who experiences high blood pressure faces an increased risk of encountering heart disease. This is also the case for anyone with high cholesterol or diabetes. Smoking also raises the chances that heart disease will develop, and the risk also increases for anyone who is physically inactive.

Steps To Reduce The Risk Of Heart Disease

First, it will be beneficial for you to discuss your medical history with your physician – particularly as or relates to your health. That will allow he or she to discuss the current level of risk that you have based upon your history.

It is also important it will also be helpful to maintain a healthy diet that includes vegetables, fruits, and low-fat dairy products. It will also involve reducing your salt intake, well also decreasing the fat and sugar in your diet.

It is also critically important to stay physically active, with regular exercise. This will ensure that you avoid spending too much time in a stationary position. The CDC has recommended a combination of muscle-strengthening and aerobic activities in order to maximize the positive effects of your exercise.

It it will also be extremely beneficial to avoid smoking and to make sure that you take all medications exactly as you have been instructed by your physician.

Warning Signs Of A Heart Attack

There are multiple warning signs that can deliver an indication of a heart attack, and it is extremely important that these potential warning signs be taken very seriously when they occur. These include any sudden pain that you experience in your chest, along with pain in the upper body including the shoulders, neck, jaw, arms, and upper area of the stomach. Shortness of breath is also among the warning signs that a heart attack is taking place, as is feeling lightheaded, or contending with cold sweats, and nausea.

When To Visit A Physician

It is essential that you call 911 if you are experiencing any of the warning signs that were just mentioned. You should also seek emergency medical care if you have a rapid heartbeat, weakness in your legs or arms, or suffered a loss of consciousness.

Your physician will ask you multiple questions concerning your current health, and any symptoms that you are experiencing. He or she will also ask about your medical history, along with the history of your family,

Your doctor will also conduct a physical exam and might order additional testing in order to determine whether you are dealing with a heart problem of any kind.

If you are diagnosed with a heart issue, your physician will construct a treatment plan that is specific to your situation.

At Rapid Med Urgent Care Center We Can Help 

If you have any questions or concerns about your heart or any other health topics, do not hesitate to contact us at Rapid Med Urgent Care Center. At Rapid Med, not only do we offer immediate medical attention for conditions that are not critical or life-threatening, but we also provide both primary and preventive care.

Our Primary Care 

  • After Hours Care Available
  • Continuity of Care
  • Health Maintenance
  • Patient Education
  • Vaccinations

Our Preventative Care 

  • Alcohol Misuse Screening & Counseling
  • Atherosclerosis Risk Factor Modification
  • Blood Pressure Screening
  • Cancer Screening
  • Cholesterol Screening
  • Depression Screening
  • HIV-STD Screening
  • Immunizations
  • Obesity Screening & Counseling
  • Type 2 Diabetes Screening
  • Weight Management
  • Wellness Exams

In addition to visiting our offices at either location, you can receive the same great care and consideration by using our On Demand service through your phone, tablet, or computer.

Regardless of how you contact us, we can also assist you, or answer any questions regarding any of these other medical problems.

Our Urgent Care


Phil Clark
Phil’s experience as a writer enabled him to generate advertising and marketing material throughout his career in the television industry before he expanded his level of knowledge by creating various promotional elements for all forms of media in other industries. He has also produced articles that have been published in numerous publications and websites, including usatoday.com, and USA Today’s football magazine, where he wrote weekly columns and player profiles for multiple years. He has also worked with Photoshop, Illustrator, and Vizio, and has a BS in Broadcasting from Indiana State University.
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