MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) – Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., and February is dedicated to keeping your heart healthy.
Doctors at Tidelands Health said there are a few ways you can lower your risk and manage conditions leading to heart disease.
First, you’ll want to take a look at your diet. Try cutting out foods that are fried, processed and high in carbohydrates. Instead, eat more fruits, vegetables and food high in fiber.
Next, in order to keep a healthy heart, you’ll have to make a few lifestyle changes. Some of those changes include cutting out smoking and cutting down on drinking alcohol.
Doctor Nitesh Ainani, Interventional Cardiologist at Tidelands Health said you can also help lower your risk by exercising at least five days a week focusing on cardio for 30 minutes.
However, he said when you are doing any kind of physical activity, you should watch out for warning signs.
Those warning signs include chest discomfort, neck and jaw pain, dizziness, heart palpitations or shortness of breath.
Dr. Ainani said if you experience any of these symptoms or if they become gradually worse, do not wait and see a doctor right away.
“We often get people who say Oh I was having chest pain for the last two to three days and just thought it was gas and took some Tums. The next thing you know they were having a heart attack and by the time they come to the hospital the damage is done,” said Dr. Ainani.
Dr. Ainani said men typically have more symptoms that are easily detectable relating to heart disease while women have less typical symptoms that may not seem like they are coming from the heart.
Other factors that can contribute to heart disease are genetics and if you have high-risk factors like diabetes.
Dr. Ainani said do not self-diagnose and always see a doctor if you experience issues.
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