What Is Your Heart Telling You?
 

What Is Your Heart Telling You?

In a person who lives to 70, their heart will pump about 2.5 billion times.

In that same time, a person will have lived just 2.2 billion seconds.

Your heart is always busy.

February is Heart Health Month. In the spirit of taking the best care of your heart, here are 28 thoughts to help you understand the challenges your heart faces, from obesity and smoking to high blood pressure, diabetes and other conditions that can be detrimental to your heart's health.

Understanding those issues and taking smart steps to improve your health. Doing that can help your heart do its job so you can lead your best and fullest life.

  1. Releasing stress by exercising or talking out issues can help your heart. Get it out!
  2. Research shows sleeping between 6-9 hours a night could reduce your risk of heart disease.
  3. With heart failure, your heart may simply beat faster.
  4. Heart failure doesn't necessarily mean your heart condition is immediately life threatening.
  5. "Heart failure" (happens over time) is not the same as a "heart attack" (abrupt).
  6. Signs of heart failure? Fatigue, shortness of breath, muscle weakness, pain.
  7. Heart failure treatment depends on the type, your symptoms, age, overall health and more.
  8. Cholesterol is measured in LDL (low-density lipoprotein) and HDL (high-density). You want the HDL.
  9. NIH's optimal cholesterol:
    LDL (bad): Under 100 mg/dl
    HDL (good) Over 60
    Total: Under 200
  10. Estrogen could help HDL cholesterol level in women, slowing onset of coronary heart disease.
  11. People with high LDL and with low HDL are more likely to develop heart disease.
  12. Healthy diets (low sat fats, fresh fruits and veggies) will help your cholesterol levels.
  13. Heavy? Don’t eat right? No exercise? Drink a lot? You're at risk for high blood pressure.
  14. To lower your blood pressure, cut down on saturated fats, sodium and alcohol. And get moving!
  15. One third of Americans have high blood pressure.
  16. Your optimal blood pressure is under 120/80 mmHg. Abnormal is above 140/90. What's yours?
  17. Men's hearts (10 ounces, 70 beats per minute) are bigger, beat slower than women's (8, 78).
  18. Stress tests can be done on a treadmill or medically to simulate exercise on your heart.
  19. Stop smoking now and you'll lower your chances for heart disease by a third in two years.
  20. Smoking reduces good HDLs and increases blood pressure. Only good things come from quitting.
  21. Your healthy BMI (body mass index) is between 18.5 to 24.9. Calculate yours here.
  22. Even minimal weight loss helps reduce risk of heart disease, as well as controlling diabetes.
  23. Women suffering depression are 50% more likely to have heart disease.
  24. A heart arrhythmia simply means your heart is beating too quickly, slowly or out of rhythm.
  25. Early intervention and new technologies can help treat heart arrhythmias.
  26. Cardiomyopathy is heart muscle disease. It can be caused by high blood pressure, diabetes.
  27. 1.35 million babies are born with congenital heart disease each year. We can help those tiny hearts.
  28. A quarter of babies born with a congenital heart defect require surgery before turning 1.

If you have questions or concerns about your health or that of anyone in your family, please see your doctor.

To learn more about how to take the best care of your heart, you might like: