The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Eat healthy to avoid coronary attacks, speaker advises

By Kristen Bostick/reporter

   More than one million Americans will have a new or recurrent coronary attack ever year, the senior director of cardiovascular services at North Hills Hospital said last week.
   Sally Stutes presented “Know Your Numbers” Feb. 14 as part of a heart healthy lunch given by NE health services.
   “ You can’t navigate your heart world without knowing your numbers such as your blood pressure and cholesterol,” she said.
   Stutes opened the presentation with a slide of the impact of heart disease.
   Heart disease, she said, is not just a heart attack, but high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
   “Once you have heart disease, you will always have heart disease,” she said.
   A healthy blood pressure level is less than 120 over 80, and an ideal total cholesterol level is less than 200, she said.
   “ Be informed about your numbers and make sure that you don’t accept the doctor’s saying they are a little high or you’re okay. Have the doctor give you the numbers,” she said.
   Stutes said such knowledge is key to preventing heart attack, diabetes and strokes.
   Stutes then directed the audience’s attention to a pamphlet placed in front of each person.
   Inside was information on symptoms of a heart attack. Stutes said this information is important to know because men and women can have different symptoms.
   “ While men usually have the classic symptoms such as chest pain, arm pain and shortness of breath, women have uncommon symptoms such as nausea, fatigue and jaw pain,” she said.
   Stutes warned the audience not to ignore any of these symptoms thinking they will pass like so many people tend to do.
   “ People tend to wait, thinking the symptoms will go away, but when symptoms suggesting a heart attack persist, they get in their car, drive themselves and risk car crashes,” she said.
   Stutes told the audience that the first aid kit provided by NE student services contained aspirin.
   “Call 911, and if you have aspirin at home, chew and swallow two adult tablets,” she said.
   She said the aspirin soothes the blood platelets to stop blood clots from forming.
   Stutes spoke some on other diseases that can result from high blood pressure and high cholesterol: diabetes and strokes.
   “ Diabetes is a progressive disease in which your body doesn’t make enough insulin. People with diabetes have a 95 percent chance to get heart disease,” she said.
   Stutes finished the program by explaining what people should do to prevent heart disease, diabetes and stroke. She advised the audience to stop smoking and using other forms of tobacco.
   “ That is the fastest way to heart disease,” she said.
   Next she suggested exercise, saying a daily brisk walk in which one could still carry on a conversation, is effective.
   Another tool to maintain a healthy heart is to eat healthy, not so much fast food or processed food, Stutes said.
   “ Eating healthy is not hard, but it takes time. Lean meat, fresh vegetables and fresh fruit are very important to a healthy diet,” she said.
   Audience members shared a heart healthy lunch of turkey, chicken and ham wraps with tea and water to drink and oatmeal cookies on the side, provided by student services.
   Stutes’ last main point to have a healthy heart is knowing one’s numbers.
   “ Check your blood pressure at the same time every day,” she said.
   “ If you are younger, you are probably okay, but know what your blood pressure is and what the numbers mean. If you are older, take the pressure one to three times a week,” she said.
   Stutes told the audience if they had any questions, they could go to the North Hills Hospital’s Web site at northhillshopital.com and click on Know Your Numbers.

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