Men’s Heart Health

heart healthHeart disease is the most common cause of death for men in the United States. Heart disease is a term that is used to describe any disorder of the cardiovascular system, which affects your heart’s ability to function correctly. It is basically an “umbrella” term to that includes coronary artery disease, heart failure, angina, arrhythmias and other heart related irregularities and infections. When it comes to heart health, there is never a right or wrong age to start taking care of your heart. Here are a few men’s healthy heart tips to help keep your heart healthy at any age.

Eat a Healthy Diet

One of the most important things that improve men’s heart health is by making smart food choices. Regardless of your age, everyone can benefit from a healthy diet-the food you eat can help to decrease your risk of heart disease and stroke. As part of a healthy diet, choose foods that are low in saturated trans fat and sodium and limit your calories by filling up on high-fiber foods, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains. A healthy diet includes limiting sugar-sweetened beverages and eating less fatty meals and more fish, nuts and skinless poultry.

Be Physically Active

Although it’s often easier to be and stay active if you start at a young age; getting physically active is possible at any age. Try to aim for a goal of 30-60 minutes of regular, aerobic exercise for 4-5 days a week. Simple activities, such as walking, biking or jogging are excellent forms of exercise for men’s heart health. The ultimate goal is to additional include two days a week for muscle-strengthening activities that will work on all of the major muscle groups (back, legs, hips, chest, shoulders, abdomen and arms).

Have Regular Wellness Exams

One of the most important things you can do for your heart as well as your overall general health is find a doctor and have regular wellness examinations. It is essential to talk to your physician about your eating habits, lifestyle habits and checking your heart rate, blood pressure and body mass index. The earlier you know where you stand with your numbers, the easier it makes it to identify any possible changes in the future.

Although it seems that something as serious as a heart attack should have warning signs, it is possible to develop cardiovascular disease without knowing it, so it is never too early or too late to learn the warning signs of a heart attack. Although the most common sign of a heart attack in men is chest pain and discomfort, not everyone that has a heart attack will suddenly experience severe chest pain. It is possible to have discomfort that isn’t necessarily painful in areas of your body, such as your jaw, abdomen, arms, neck or back. During a heart attack you may also have nausea, shortness of breath, profuse sweating and/or lightheadedness. Getting smart about men’s heart health early on will put you way ahead of the curve-the things you do and the things you don’t do are the tell-tale signs of a healthy future.

Surepoint Emergency Center is open 24 hours a day and is located at I-35E and Loop 288 on the east side of the highway.  At Surepoint, you are seen by a doctor within 5 minutes of your arrival. No waiting in the hospital emergency room waiting when you are sick.

Women’s Heart Week

women's heartNational Women’s Heart Week is designed to help bring awareness to the fact that heart disease is the number one killer of American women over the age of 34. During this time, organizations come together to help educate women about heart disease, prevention, early intervention and symptoms awareness. Many women are not aware of the life-threatening risk that even the mildest symptoms may have.

For these reasons, Surepoint Emergency Center would like women everywhere, now more than ever, to take time out for themselves and be given the reminder – Take Care of Your Heart.

Common Heart Problems that Affect Women

Heart disease, also known as cardiovascular disease, refers to a wide range of problems that affect the heart. Heart disease includes diseases of the blood vessels, including stroke, coronary artery disease and vascular disease. The most common type of heart disease is coronary artery disease. Common heart problems that affect women include:

  • Atherosclerosis
  • Heart failure
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Heart valve disease
  • Chest pain and discomfort (angina) (affects women more than men). There are two specific types of angina: stable angina and variant angina
  • Cardiac syndrome X (affects women more than men)

Symptoms of a Heart Attack in Women

The most common cause of a heart attack is coronary artery disease, which is due to a buildup of plaque on the walls of the arteries that supply your blood to the heart, this is known as atherosclerosis. When the blood flow is blocked, the heart muscle begins to die, which leads to a heart attack. Women who are having a heart attack are more likely than men to be misdiagnosed, which means women are less likely to get the necessary treatment before serious damages to the their heart occurs.

It is extremely important to keep in mind that women are more likely to have nontraditional symptoms of a heart attack and women are also more like to have a silent heart attack, which is a heart attack that doesn’t cause any obvious symptoms, such as pain in the chest. Heart attack symptoms of women may include:

  • Pain and/or discomfort in the center of the chest-the pain may be mild or strong and it can last for more than a few minutes, or it can stop and come back
  • Indigestion
  • Pain in the neck, back, throat or jaw
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Heartburn
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Difficulty breathing

Getting to the hospital as quickly as possible is essential, because the treatments for opening clogged arteries work the best when administered within the first hour after a heart attack starts. If you think you are having a heart attack, do not drive yourself or let someone else drive you to the hospital; call 9-1-1 immediately.


There are measures you can take that may help to reduce your risk of having a heart attack, including:

  • Getting preventive screenings and regular checkups from the doctor
  • Staying active
  • Eating healthy
  • Avoiding unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking

Remember, it’s never too late or too early to work on being healthy!


Chest Pains: Is It Indigestion or A Heart Attack?

Heartburn or heart attack?

That is the question. You’re at home and you start having chest pains. Should you be concerned?

Heartburn or indigestion creates discomfort and pain when digestive acid backs up from the stomach into the esophagus. Indigestion usually starts as a burning sensation. You might feel it in your upper abdomen, and the pain and discomfort might spread to your chest area, thus the term “heartburn.”

A heart attack is similar. The classic signs involve a sudden and severe pain in the chest. Victims describe it as a crushing pain, like an elephant sitting on your chest. However, heart attack signs vary greatly depending on the individual, and many attacks do not occur in the classic “textbook” way.

Heartburn can be one symptom of a heart attack. The most common symptom for both men and women is chest discomfort, and sometimes it is hard to tell whether it is mere heartburn or a more serious heart attack.

Typical heart attack symptoms:

  • Pressure on the chest
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Chest pain
  • A squeezing sensation in the chest
  • Pain that radiates down your arms, particularly your left arm or that spreads into the back, neck or jaw
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Indigestion (heartburn)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Breaking out into a cold sweat
  • Fatigue
  • Lightheadedness
  • Sudden dizziness

In case of any chest pain that you are not sure about, err on the side of caution and seek medical attention right away. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Remember that heart attack pain happens when a blocked artery can’t supply blood to the heart, so immediate medical attention is crucial.

Surepoint Emergency Center is open 24 hours a day and is located at I-35E and Loop 288 on the east side of the highway. At Surepoint, you are seen by a doctor within 5 minutes of your arrival. There is no waiting like in the hospital emergency room when you are sick.