Pledge Red for American Heart Month
By the end of this month you will be seeing red, but healthcare professionals say that's a good thing.
It's American Heart Month. Tells us why doctors say it's especially important for women to pay attention to their telltale heart. 1 in 3 women will die from heart disease. But many women have no idea they're at risk.
72 year old Mary Jane Tschorn said, "Well I'm sure I was a heart attack waiting to happen." Tschorn underwent bypass surgery 9 months ago after a fainting spell.
She said, "I am a retired nurse practitioner and I'm aware of heart symptoms but this did not make sense to me." Tschorn said knew she was at risk for heart disease because of her family history. But she thought she was doing enough by taking cholesterol medicine and exercising five days a week.
Cardiac rehab nurse Angela Eglinger said most women don't realize they're at risk until they suffer a serious issue. She said, "Common reason that women die most of the time is because they have atypical symptoms meaning that they're either short of breath, they're feeling tired, they may have back pain, jaw pain."
58 year old Marilyn Winner was not aware of her condition until suffering a massive heart attack in October. But after a series of stint surgeries and a carotid artery surgery to remove blockage, she has embraced a completely new lifestyle.
Winner said, "She said you know you shouldn't even be here...it's a miracle you're here. And Angela taught me about my diet and taught me about taking my medicine and how important it was to me."
Eglinger said being proactive is key because although family history is outside of your control, others areas are up to you. Eglinger said, "You still have to look at what your diet is and what you're putting in your body and how much."
These viles show the amount of fat and cholesterol in some of your favorite foods. So realizing that a breakfast burrito for example can have as many as 20 grams of fat and 195 milligrams of cholesterol can help you make better choices. Making conscious decisions early on to eat a balanced diet low in fat and sodium to exercising and monitoring your blood pressure and cholesterol can prevent progression of the disease.
"Heart disease is becoming a younger and younger disease it doesn't have to mean that you're old. Addressing it, getting with your doctor, sitting down getting a base line of what your lab values are, what your risk factors are, how you're going to address them and coming up with a personal plan."
Winner said, "I'm just enjoying life now."
This is first day of heart month and we begin a campaign working with North Florida Regional Medical Center called "Wear Red, Think Red, Pledge Red."
The goal is to encourage you to choose a heart healthy lifestyle. To join the Red Campaign or more information on heart disease and what you can do to stay healthy, go to http://www.facebook.com/NorthFloridaRegional.
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