The Metroplex Cardiac & Vascular Center and Wellness Department have teamed up to bring you a heart-healthy February.
Plan for Prevention
Eat a healthy diet
Research shows that healthful eating can help control high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and excess body weight—all risks for heart disease.
It isn't easy to change the way you eat, so it’s important to take it one step at a time and make adjustments in your diet gradually.
Start by trying a new healthy recipe. Visit http://creationhealth.com/recipes to get some ideas from CREATION Health.
Maintain a healthy weight
Being overweight can increase your risk for a variety of health problems, including heart disease and heart attack, even if you have no other risk factors.
Carrying weight around your waist puts you at greater risk for heart disease than having extra fat elsewhere, such as on the hips. If you’re a woman with a waist measurement over 35 inches or a man with one over 40 inches, you are more likely to have diabetes, high blood pressure, low HDL cholesterol and other risks.
Get a free check up! Get your BMI, blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose checked at a Metroplex Wellness health screening. Call 254-519-8200 to find out when/where the next screening will take place.
Even modest amounts of aerobic activity done regularly help modify factors that can make heart disease worse. Aerobic conditioning also helps reduce the heart’s workload and protect the heart.
Metroplex Wellness offers a variety of FREE exercise classes that are open to the public. Kickboxing, Tai Chi, Yoga, Zumba, and arthritis exercise classes are available throughout the week. Visit http://mplex.netreturns.biz/Calendar/ to find a calendar of classes.
Smoking causes coronary heart disease and increases the risk of sudden cardiac death, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and abdominal aortic aneurysm. Smoking also negatively affects the lungs, reproductive system, mouth, eyes and brain.
Make up your mind and make a plan to quit! Quitting “cold turkey” isn’t your only option. Talk to your doctor to see what options are right for you. You don’t have to do this alone!
Army's tobacco cessation program: (254) 288-8488
Baylor Scott & White tobacco cessation program: (254) 724-1942
Metroplex Physician Referral Line: (254) 526-DOCS
Limit alcohol use
If you choose to drink alcohol, do so only in moderation. In certain situations, the risks of alcohol use may outweigh any possible health benefits. For example if:
- You've been diagnosed with alcoholism, or you have a strong family history of alcoholism
- You have liver or pancreatic disease
- You have heart failure or a weak heart
- You take prescription or over-the-counter medications that can interact with alcohol
- You've had a hemorrhagic stroke
Talk with your doctor if you have questions or concerns about your alcohol consumption. Metroplex Physician Referral Line: (254) 526-DOCS.
Al-Anon Alcohol Support Group meets at Metroplex Medical Plaza, Room 122 every Tuesday from 7-8 p.m.
Check your cholesterol
When there is too much cholesterol in your blood, it builds up in the walls of your arteries causing a form of heart disease. The arteries become narrowed and blood flow slows down or blocked completely.
Total cholesterol should be less than 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). Levels between 200 mg/dL and 239 mg/dL are borderline high, and 240 mg/dL or above is high.
LDL should be less than 100 mg/dL. Between 130 mg/dL and 159 mg/dL is borderline high, 160 mg/dL to 189 mg/dL is high, and 190 mg/dL or above is very high.
HDL should be at 60 mg/dL or more. A level below 40 mg/dL is a major risk factor for heart disease.
Know your numbers! Get your cholesterol checked at a Metroplex Wellness health screening. Call 254-519-8200 to find out when/where the next screening will take place.
Manage your diabetes
Diabetes can affect the entire body, from the eyes to the feet. But all too often, people who have diabetes don't recognize one of the most serious potential complications—heart disease. Just as a high percentage of people with diabetes have heart disease, a high percentage of people who have heart disease have diabetes.
Managing diabetes can seem overwhelming, but your doctor can help you find multiple ways to lower the risk of heart attack or stroke.
Metroplex offers a Diabetes Self-Management Class to gain a better understanding of diabetes. The classes are located in the hospital’s main conference room from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 19, April 23, June 25, Aug. 27, Oct. 22 and Dec. 3. Register for a class at http://mplex.netreturns.biz/Calendar/.
Take your medicine
For patients with cardiovascular disease, taking medication can be a long-term and even lifelong commitment. Therefore, understanding the medications you’re taking, potential side effects, and interactions is an important step in managing your heart health.
If you have questions about your medications, visit Metroplex Outpatient Pharmacy (located next to the ER) and talk with one of our pharmacists.