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Be “Sweet” To Yourself

By Mary W. Poole

February is no longer just for candy, roses, and date night. Nor is it to be recognized for only one special day on February 14th. Medical professionals are hoping that a month-long campaign of heart awareness will help each of us to touch the heart of someone we love. American Heart Month is sponsored by the American Heart Association, which devotes February to community outreach, marketing initiatives and educational programs – all aimed at bringing attention the health hearts.

Support National Wear Red Day

American Heart Month kicks off on February 1, with National Red Day, an initiative designed to pay tribute to men and women affected by heart disease. Wearing red is also a symbol of recognizing dedicated health care professionals and honoring researchers working toward uncovering medical innovations. The color also symbolizes you and your personal effort toward ensuring your optimum health and the health of those around you.

Take Care of Your Heart and the Hearts of Others

There are very simple steps that anyone can take to improve heart health. Healthy choices are a simple way to start. Get enough rest, exercise daily, limit alcohol, quit smoking and visit your primary care physician. Medical technology has advanced quickly with preventative testing and medications that can help provide you with a long life without heart disease.

Spread the Word

Do a little research on heart health and spread the message with your friends and family. You can use tools such as social media to post and broadcast the life-saving information you have learned. Host an American Heart Month Event at your local school. Work with the recreation coordinator to spread the word about physical activity and healthy hearts.

Get Educated

Contact your local Red Cross or YMCA and schedule a CPR class with family and friends. Learn more about your risk for having a heart attack. Does one or more of these conditions apply to you?

  • Family or personal history of coronary artery disease
  • Male over 45 years of age, female over 50 years of age
  • Past or present smoker
  • History of high cholesterol, diabetes, or high blood pressure
  • Overweight
  • Inactive lifestyle

Get Tested

Schedule an appointment for a Cardiac Screening at Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas, Orange Campus. You will need to do the following:

  • Fast for 8 hours prior to exam
  • Lab work will be drawn – the lipid profile requires a blood sample
  • Cardiac Calcium Score will be performed with a CT scanner. This test will reveal if there is a buildup of calcium of plaque on the walls of the arteries of the heart – it only takes 5 minutes!

This exam is not covered by insurance but is offered at Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas, Orange Texas. Complete testing includes the Cardiac Calcium Score, blood lipid profile, and evaluation by cardiologist for $125.00. The results will be mailed back to you within 72 hours, the results can also be sent to your primary care physician. For more information or to schedule your appointment, please call 409-883-1196. If you are a loved one need advanced cardiac care, you know your heart is in the right place at Baptist Hospital of Southeast Texas. Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

 

Mary W. Poole is Director Public Relations at Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas