It’s Atrial Fibrillation Month, and atrial fibrillation, also known as AFib or AF, is a type of irregular heartbeat that can raise your risk of other health problems. Learn more.
For most people, their heart beats between 60 and 100 times a minute. Those with AFib can have heart rates as high as 175 beats a minute.
AFib can feel like drums or thunder pounding in your chest or even flip-flopping in your chest. Talk to your doctor if you’ve experienced this kind of discomfort.
If you’re experiencing AFib and other issues, like shortness of breath with light physical activity, lightheadedness, dizziness, or fatigue, your heart might not be getting enough blood and oxygen out to your body.
AFib raises your risk of stroke by 5 times. It can allow clots to form, which can cause strokes that can cause serious damage to your tissue and brain.
Some people may just have to cut caffeine in their diet to improve their AFib. Others may need special medication and treatment to address the underlying cause.
If you suffer from heartbeat irregularities, changes in your lifestyle, like being physically active, quitting smoking, or managing stress and your blood pressure can also help.
It’s Defeat Diabetes Month. 9.4% of Americans have diabetes, and 1 in 4 of them don’t even know they have it.
Diabetes affects 1 in 4 people over 65 years old. Managing your diabetes is even more important as you age.
The most common types of diabetes are type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes.
If you have diabetes, monitoring your blood sugar, exercise, and diet change can all help you manage your disease long-term.
These resources are packed with lifestyle tips that can help you make smart day-to-day choices when you have diabetes.
Diabetes can lead to more health problems, like heart disease, stroke, nerve damage, and more.
Curious about the history of diabetes? Learn more about how humans have made sense of it through the years.
It’s Brain Injury Awareness Month, and every 9 seconds, someone sustains a brain injury. Learn more about brain injuries.
Acquired brain injuries (ABIs) are ones that aren’t hereditary or from a degenerative disease. These can be caused by infection, electric shocks, nearly drowning, stroke, seizures, tumors, substance abuse, and overdose.
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are from a trauma to the brain, and every day, 137 people die of TBI-related injuries. At least 5.3 million Americans live with a TBI-related disability.
Opioid addictions and overdoses can cause permanent brain injuries and disabilities.
Strokes are brain injuries that can permanently alter your life. Learn more about preventing strokes.
Concussions are brain injuries, and without treatment, they can cause serious problems. But a better way to detect them might be on the way.
More than 13,000 service members and veterans are diagnosed with TBIs, and knowing the signs is key to getting help.
Just when you think the holidays are over and the thrill of the new year has finally tapered down, here comes February — Groundhog Day, Super Bowl Sunday, Mardis Gras, Valentine’s Day, and Presidents Day. February is a multi-themed, food-filled month of celebration.
We anticipate the shadow reveal of Punxsutawney Phil, we break out the football-shaped cheese ball to root for our team, we plan our menu of anything and everything on Fat Tuesday, and if that isn’t enough, we love to eat chocolates on the day of love. Then when it’s all over (and after a slight weight gain), we hit the mall for some comfy stretch wear with Presidents Day sale bargains!
But wait, how about doing something this month to celebrate our health and focus on our heart? If we can take advice from a small woodchuck about the weather, we surely can take advice from the American Heart Association about our health!
February is American Heart Month, and part of that is National Wear Red Day. For those of you who know me, my wardrobe pretty much consists of drab colors and neutrals, but this year, I broke out my red floral scarf for a splash of color as a symbol of support!
The American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute encourage all of us to take action against this killer disease. Studies show that 80% of cardiac and stroke events may be preventable with education and action.
Find time to talk to your family and get everyone on board with heart health. Encourage healthy eating habits by making healthier versions of your favorite food. Choose foods and recipes low in sodium and with no added sugar or trans fats. When you shop, buy colorful fruits and vegetables, which are all powerhouses when it comes to nutrition, and stay away from dairy and meat products that are high in fat.
Fiber is important in your diet, and you can find fiber not only in fruits and vegetables, but also in beans, nuts, and whole grain. Take the time to read the nutrition labels on items, and check out the sodium content. (A general rule is, if anything has more than 250 mg of sodium, you may want to search for something with less.)
Physical activity can also help you stay heart healthy. It’s not only what you put into your body, it’s also what you put out. Exercise helps to improve heart health, and it can even help reverse certain heart disease risk factors. Our heart becomes stronger from exercise, which helps it pump more blood through the body and work at maximum level without strain.
Aerobic activities at least 3 to 4 times a week are the best. Choose walking, swimming, or biking, and allow for a good 5 minutes of stretching beforehand to warm up your muscles and a cool down period after you’re through. And of course, always check with your doctor before starting any new physical routine.
So this February, maybe forego indulging in lavish holiday food choices (remember that New Year’s resolution?) and celebrate in a new way. Go out and buy something red to wear to celebrate heart health AND 6 more weeks of winter, or will it be an early spring? Better check with Punxsutawney Phil before you go!
Mervet Adams is a community liaison with Health Alliance. She loves her grandson, family, nature, and fashion.
It’s National Stroke Awareness Month and National High Blood Pressure Education Month. Learn more about managing your blood pressure.
Stroke is 1 of the leading causes of death and disability in the U.S., but it doesn’t have to be. For Stroke Month, learn how you can treat and prevent stroke with tools from the CDC.
On average, 1 American dies from a stroke every 4 minutes. But there is good news; up to 80% of strokes are preventable. Take action to lower your risk for stroke with these resources from Million Hearts.
Can you spot the signs and symptoms of a stroke? Knowing how to spot a stroke and respond quickly could potentially save a life. Put your stroke knowledge to the test with this quiz.
Time lost is brain lost. Every minute counts! If you or someone you know shows symptoms of a stroke, call 911 right away.
From the first symptoms of stroke to recovery at home, here’s how the CDC Coverdell Program connects healthcare professionals across the system of care to save lives and improve care.
High blood pressure can increase your risk for stroke. This Stroke Month, make blood pressure control your goal with tips from Million Hearts.
Chewing tobacco can be just as dangerous for your health as other forms of tobacco. It’s time to quit for Through with the Chew Week.
Chewing tobacco is tied to many mouth problems, including mouth, tongue, cheek, and gum cancer, and can also cause cancer in the esophagus and pancreas.
Chew can cause leukoplakia, or gray-white patches in the mouth that can become cancer.
Chewing tobacco also stains your teeth, causes bad breath, and destroys your gum tissue.
If you regularly use smokeless tobacco, you’re more likely to have gum disease, cavities, tooth decay, and expensive dental issues.
All forms of tobacco, including the smokeless kind, increase your risk of heart disease and high blood pressure.
When you chew tobacco, you also raise your risk of heart attack, stroke, and serious pregnancy complications.
Smokeless tobacco can also lead to nicotine poisoning and death in kids who mistake it for candy.