Heart attack, stroke can be prevented this Christmas Season
Increase in cases of heart attack and other cardiovascular diseases, which include stroke cases are noted every holiday season, especially on Christmas holiday when there are a lot of festivities and food on the table, but these are highly preventable, an expert in heart disease said.
Dr. Jermiah Butch Gemarino, a cardiologist based in Adventist Hospital Palawan, said that the high occurrence of these diseases are due to food intake and stress this month of December.
“The incidence of these diseases rise during the holidays because of dietary indiscretion and the ‘stresses’ brought about by Christmas parties, reunions when people oftentimes forget to take their maintenance meds,” Dr. Gemarino told Palawan Daily News.
“Everything in moderation. It is possible that patients on maintenance meds can still enjoy the holidays without getting into trouble. Don’t forget to drink your meds on time. Monitor your blood pressure and heart rate on a daily basis. Be vigilant of the warning signs,” Dr. Gemarino added.
People should watch out for the signs and symptoms, which are: abnormal vital signs like BP 150 mmHg and above or 80 mmHg and below, too fast heart rate if more than 120 bpm or too slow of less than 50 beats per minute; chest pain; palpitations; dizziness; nape pains; blurring of vision; numbness or loss of strength in a localized extremity or face; slurring of speech; shortness of breath or difficulty of breathing; progressive extremity edema; feeling of drowning while lying down.
“If ever patients experience the warning signs, they can have an emergency room consultation in Adventist Hospital Palawan, MMGPPC Cooperative Hospital, or Ospital ng Palawan for proper assessment and investigation,” Dr. Gemarino said.
Heart diseases, diseases of the vascular system are the topmost leading causes of death in the Philippines as confirmed by the Department of Health.
Usually an intake of food which is high in cholesterol, specifically those that are classified as LDL or low density lipoprotein, commonly referred to as bad cholesterol, can cause buildup on the wall of arteries forming a blockage termed as atherosclerosis.
While HDL or highdensity lipoprotein (HDL), the good cholesterol, works to clear cholesterol from the blood, it is necessary to lower the consumption of saturated fat, trans fats and sugars, and increasing the amount of fiber and plantbased diet.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised that one should have a healthy living habits: eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, getting enough physical activity, not smoking or using other forms of tobacco and limiting [or better not taking] alcohol.