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National Heart Disease Awareness Month

The month of February is always associated with hearts and the color red because of Valentine's Day, but that isn't the only reason to show love and learn to be "heart-healthy". February is National Heart Disease Awareness Month. Anyone can be affected by heart disease whether it be a family member, friend, stranger, or yourself. This being said, it is always a good idea to be aware of the symptoms and other information concerning it.
The symptoms for each type of heart disease differs but if one is to experience certain symptoms a doctor should be called immediately. Such symptoms include a feeling of fullness in the stomach with a loss of appetite or nausea, extreme fatigue or a decreased ability to complete daily activities, a respiratory infection or cough that has become worse, a heart rate about 100 beats per minute, chest pain or discomfort during activities that is relieved during rest, difficulty breathing during regular activities or while resting, changes in sleep patterns, decreased urination, restlessness, confusion, constant dizziness or lightheadedness, as well as poor appetite. One should also be aware of what symptoms require emergency attention. Those symptoms include new chest pain and/or discomfort that is severe, unexpected, and occurs with shortness of breath, sweating, nausea, or weakness, a heart rate that is above 150 beats per minute, shortness of breath that is not relieved by rest, sudden weakness or paralysis in arms or legs, sudden severe headache, as well as fainting spell with loss of consciousness. One should know their body and recognize when something is not right.
There are four easy and simple steps that one can take to help prevent heart diseases. One important step is to lose weight, if needed. Obesity has been linked to the development of cardiovascular disease. A second step is to get active; physical activity is essential in being and staying healthy. A third step is to prevent diabetes. Diabetes has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease and heart attacks by doctors. The fourth step is to relax; studies have shown that stress, especially high levels, harm your mind as well as your health.
There is an endless list of opportunities to raise awareness about heart disease. During February there are campaigns such as The Heart Truth which is sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute as well as thousands of runs and walks that take place all over the United States. What will you do this February to raise awareness and fight heart disease?

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