How healthy is your heart? Questions for your healthcare provider

February is a great time of the year to take a look at heart health. For starters, it’s American Heart Month, which means a lot of health-focused organizations are putting out some great information to

February is a great time of the year to take a look at heart health. For starters, it’s American Heart Month, which means a lot of health-focused organizations are putting out some great information to help educate and inform us all about our ticker that keeps us alive and functioning.

One of the things we can all do is to talk with our healthcare providers about our risk for heart disease and what to do about it.   If you are at increased risk or already have a heart problem, there are things that you can do.   Below are questions to ask your provider to learn more about your risk, courtesy of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), which also has a great website with information on managing stress, aiming for a healthy weight, heart-healthy eating, and more.   Click on the links to learn more about each topic area.

  1. What is my risk for heart disease?
  2. What is my blood pressure?
  3. What are my cholesterol numbers? (These include total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, and triglycerides.) Make sure your doctor has checked a fasting blood sample to determine your cholesterol levels.
  4. Do I need to lose weight for my health?
  5. What is my blood sugar level, and does it mean that I’m at risk for diabetes?
  6. What other screening tests do I need to tell me if I’m at risk for heart disease and how to lower my risk?
  7. What can you do to help me quit smoking?
  8. How much physical activity do I need to help protect my heart?
  9. What’s a heart-healthy eating plan for me?
  10. How can I tell if I’m having a heart attack? If I think I’m having one, what should I do?

          Source: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

If you are female, did you know that 1 in 5 women in the United States will die from heart disease? Learn more about the Heart Truth initiative of the NHLBI.

One of the best things we can do for those we love – during February, the “love” month or any time of the year – is to take care of our health.  Consider talking to your healthcare provider soon about your risk for heart disease and what you can do to live a healthier lifestyle.

 

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Cindy Chafin
Cindy Chafin, M.Ed., MCHES® serves as editor-in-chief of Unconditionally Her. Through her many years as a masters-level certified health educator and 18-year employment in a higher education setting – as well as several years as a graduate and doctoral student – she has written countless articles, essays, publications, grant applications, proposals, reports, and other technical and creative writing documents. In addition to her training and professional work experience, she spent four years as volunteer editor of New Focus Daily, a publication of the Women Survivors Alliance, a national women cancer survivors-focused organization based in Nashville, Tennessee.
While serving as editor of Unconditionally Her, a women-focused magazine which provides content on anything from recipes, travel, books, and everything in between, she has a special interest in fitness, health, and well-being. She is certified by the National Commission on Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC) and was part of the first cohort to receive master's level designation. NCHEC certifies health education specialists, promotes professional development, and strengthens professional preparation and practice. She is proud to be a CHES® and has been a public health professional for many years after receiving her graduate degree in health promotion and education from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. She was a personal trainer and group fitness instructor for many years and looks forward to re-engaging with women one-on-one as a health coach pending completion of her certification and doctoral degree to supplement her public health and academic work.

She currently is the Associate Director for Community Programs for the Center for Health and Human Services at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, located just outside of Nashville, where she has been a project director of multiple grants since 2002 and served as interim director from 2015-2018. Cindy offers her consulting services and volunteer hours under the umbrella of Community Health Collaboratives, LLC which she founded in 2002 for organizations such as Unconditionally Her and other non-profit and charity organizations. She is pleased to promote empowerment and confidence of women readers across the globe, and to provide inspiration, motivation, and voice for social change through her role as editor-in-chief of Unconditionally Her.