Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States, and sometimes it’s difficult to know the best ways to protect our heart health. As the Volusia and Flagler communities have grown, so have your options in cardiac and preventive care.
At AdventHealth locations in Daytona, Deland, New Smyrna Beach, Palm Coast and Orange City, we provide the latest life-saving diagnostic and treatment procedures and have ongoing health education, as well as wellness and rehabilitation programs.
The AdventHealth care providers in your neighborhood are experts you can trust with your heart. Each year, our hospitals perform over 300 open-heart surgeries, 700 balloon angioplasties and 4,500 cardiac catheterizations. We’re committed to putting our communities at the forefront of high-quality, state-of-the-art cardiac care.
Heart Attack Versus Heart Failure
Those who smoke, eat a diet high in fat, cholesterol and sodium, don’t exercise and/or drink alcohol in excess, have an increased risk of developing heart failure and experiencing a heart attack. Both have similar symptoms, but there are important differences between heart failure and a heart attack.
Signs and Symptoms of Heart Failure
About 6.5 million adults in the U.S. have heart failure. And according to AdventHealth Interventional Cardiology specialist Nathan Valin, MD, “This occurs when your heart function becomes weak and you can’t pump enough blood and oxygen to support other organs in your body. It’s a serious condition that usually develops gradually — but it doesn’t mean your heart has stopped beating.” The weakened blood flow can cause:
- Blood and body fluids in lungs
- Dry cough (often worse at night)
- Fatigue and shortness of breath
- Loss of appetite/upset stomach
- Swelling from fluid buildup
Signs and Symptoms of Heart Attack
During a heart attack, a blockage prevents blood to flow to your heart. Usually the blockage is a blood clot or buildup of plaque in the arteries. Opposed to heart failure, a heart attack happens suddenly, and most people who experience a heart attack feel:
- Chest pain
- Cold sweats
- Fatigue and shortness of breath
- Irregular heartbeat
- Pain in back, jaw and/or arms
Heart failure and a heart attack can be life-altering conditions, but they can also be managed with lifestyle changes and appropriate treatment plans.
Get Ahead of Your Heart Health
The best treatment for a heart condition is prevention. Preventive care and early diagnosis are key to maintaining heart health. Practicing a heart-healthy lifestyle will hopefully prevent a heart attack or heart failure from ever occurring, and this starts with a nutritional diet, regular physical activity, weight management and avoiding tobacco use. To prevent and detect heart disease, it’s also important to schedule regular visits with your physician where you keep tabs on your cholesterol and blood pressure.
The earlier cardiac issues are detected, the more likely it is that treatment will be effective. “As we continue to make strides in our understanding of heart failure, new medications and procedures will continue to become available that offer improvement in survival and quality of life,” says Dr. Valin. Each cardiac patient will have a unique treatment plan focused on your needs and goals, but usually it will include medication, lifestyle changes (including diet, exercise and smoking cessation) and surgical procedures, if necessary.
Education and Care
To get to the heart of good health, continue your education on risk factors and care options. You can take many quizzes on WholeHeartCare.com discover your risk level for heart conditions, including stroke. Take control of your heart health by requesting an appointment at WholeHeartCare.com with one of our community’s highly-skilled physicians.