heart health

Scotland County Health Department – As we begin a new year many of us set goals for improving our health. Heart Disease continues to be the leading cause of death and disease among men and women across the nation, and particularly here in Northeast Missouri. As a way to help individuals get a baseline with regard to risk factors for heart disease and diabetes, and begin a new path to wellness, Scotland County Health Department will be offering special “health risk assessments” during the month of February 2016. These assessments will include blood draw tests: total cholesterol, bad cholesterol (LDL), Good Cholesterol (H1DL), CHOL/HDL Ratio, Triglycerides, Non HDL, Glucose (for Diabetes) and a Hemoglobin A1C that will show averages of your blood sugar over the past three months. Finally, all individuals will complete height and weight assessments, along with blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen saturation assessments. When the laboratory results come back, the nurse will call each participant and go over the results (which may be mailed or picked up at the health department).

Anyone wishing to meet to discuss their results will also have that option. All of this will be conducted for a minimal fee of $25, but individuals must register on a first come first serve basis at the health department 660-465-7275.

What are the risk factors for heart disease? . Tobacco Use

  • Diabetes or Pre Diabetes
  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol
  • A Family History
  • Inactivity
  • Excess Weight
  • Unhealthy Diet

Heart attacks are the first form of heart disease we think of heart disease. Heart attacks can come with no warning, or warning that women typically ignore.

Sweating. Pressure. Nausea. Jaw pain. Believe it or not, these are all symptoms of a heart attack. They are also symptoms that we often brush off as the flu, stress or simply feeling under the weather – which could put our lives in jeopardy.

If you experience tightness, squeezing or pressure in the chest that lasts for minutes or goes away and comes back; pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the neck, jaw or stomach; shortness of breath with or without pain in the

chest; and/or are breaking out in cold sweats with or without nausea and vomiting—you need to be seen and cleared by a healthcare professional. These things could mean a heart attack is imminent. You need to call 911 or as a last resort have someone drive you to the hospital (NEVER DRIVE YOURSELF!). Also try to remain calm and take slow breaths while you await emergency personnel.

Strokes can also be a complication seen among those with risk factors for heart disease. Every 40 seconds someone has a stroke in the United States. Although death can be an outcome related to stroke; the disability a stroke may leave behind can be very frightening. Many avoid burdening those around them, and will overlook the blurred vision, the tightness in their chests, the fluttering heart, the inability to move their body as they know they should be able to, an inability to put voice to their thoughts, sudden headaches, numbness in any part of their body (particularly on one side) or simply sudden loss of consciousness with recovery. A stroke may be occurring with any one or all of these symptoms and time is of the essence when fighting a stroke.. .every second that is lost is function that is lost.

As a spouse, child, grandchild, friend, neighbor, acquaintance on the street, be prepared to save someone from a stroke. Know the Signs. Recognize the Signs. Admit they are Signs. And Get Help! Heart Disease can be stopped, and the devastation (both emotional and physical) it leaves behind can be minimized or eliminated! For more information about heart disease and how we can change the statistics locally, call the health department. Also call the health department to make an appointment for the February 2016 Low Cost Health Risk Assessment Screenings available to Scotland County Residents.

During February the health department is also offering a Walk with Ease program. The program is the Arthritis Foundation program and is a six week walking program. You will receive a guide to walking for better health, improved fitness and less pain. If interested in participating contact Kim at 660-465-7275.