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Healthcare 101: Listen to Your Heart

More than 1.5 million people are affected by heart attacks and stroke in the U.S. alone each year. When it comes to matters of the heart, we want to provide serious information, but we also don’t want it to scare you. Being prepared is your best defense!

Heart Attacks

Heart attacks happen when your heart stops working properly and is not getting enough blood. They can come on suddenly and be intense, but most of them begin with mild pain or discomfort.

Here’s what to watch for: 

  • Chest discomfort – may last a few minutes, go away and come back with pressure similar to squeezing or expanding
  • Upper body discomfort – can be in either arm, back, neck, stomach, or even your jaw
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cold sweat
  • Nausea
  • Lightheadedness

Heart attack symptoms in women and men can be different. It’s been shown that women are more likely to experience pains such shortness of breath, nausea, or pain in the back or jaw.


Strokes happen when blood flow to the brain is interrupted and brain cells don’t get the oxygen or nutrients they need. They mainly come on suddenly, but have even been seen to come on gradually, lasting hours or days.

Things to watch for: 

  • Numbing in the face, either arm or both arms, or one leg or both legs
  • Vision issues – can happen in one or both eyes
  • Slurred or difficulty speaking
  • Dizziness, loss of balance
  • Severe headache

The warning signs are different for everyone – male and female. It’s important that you dial 9-1-1 or call for help as soon as you feel the symptoms above.

We want you to stay happy and healthy, so take steps to prevent cardiovascular disease. Try to be active at work. Walk around periodically or stand up and stretch. Exercise regularly; if you’re a first-timer, start slow and build up your endurance.

Foods that can help

Eat healthy! Some super foods aren’t always in your kitchen or pantry, but here’s a list of foods that may already be in your possession:

  • Dark chocolate
  • Salmon, sardines and mackerel
  • Berries: blueberries or strawberries
  • Citrus fruits: oranges and grapefruits
  • Tomatoes
  • Nuts: almonds, pistachios, and peanuts
  • Legumes: beans, lentils and peas
  • Green foods: broccoli, avocado, kale and spinach

Go on, listen and love on your heart!