February is American Heart Month: Be Heart Healthy

heart attack signs

Dr. UlvelingHeart attack and cardiac arrest are two topics that have been in the news lately and are critical things to discuss relative to heart health. Manning Regional Healthcare Center sat down with Dr. Kyle Ulveling, the hospital’s visiting Cardiologist in the specialty clinic to learn more.

“A heart attack and cardiac arrest are different diagnoses with two very different treatments,” said Ulveling, MD. “A heart attack is when there is not enough blood flow to the heart. The warning signs are typically exertional chest pain or other exertional symptoms like jaw, arm, or teeth pain. It typically will get worse with activity and better with rest. If you have any of these signs don’t wait until it’s so bad that you don’t think you can complete an activity. Get checked out right away either by your primary care provider, an urgent care, or at the ER if it is severe.”

Other common warning signs of a heart attack can include:

  • Fullness, indigestion, or a choking feeling
  • Sweating, vomiting, or dizziness
  • Severe weakness, anxiety, fatigue, or shortness of breath
  • Fast or uneven heartbeat

“Cardiac arrest is not necessarily a blockage problem of the heart, it’s where the heart has gone out of rhythm and is either too slow or too fast, not getting enough blood to the body. This is treated with things like CPR, shocks from either an AED, or in the hospital from a defibrillator,” Ulveling said. “One of the best things that you can do just as a person in the community is, if you’ve got access to training, learn how to do CPR and be trained how to use an AED. You can help somebody in the future should that happen to them.”

MRHC offers monthly CPR/AED training for anyone who wishes to be trained. Upcoming class dates are March 20 and April 17 at 6p.m. in the MRHC education room located in the maintenance shed behind the hospital. Course fee is $50 and includes a certificate and book.

Those interested in registering should call (712) 655-8179.

How to Maintain a Healthy Heart

While some heart issues can be hereditary, there are ways to help maintain a healthy heart. Dr. Ulveling shares some tips on things you can do without a doctor’s help for your heart health.

“Number one, moderate things in your diet like sodium, fats, or carbohydrates. That doesn’t mean you can’t have any, but recommended amounts can help prevent heart damage in the future. Number two, moderate physical activity for 20 minutes a day at least five days a week. This can be walking, biking, or any other uninterrupted, athletic activity. Lastly, regular well checks. Even if you don’t have a complaint, providers would much prefer to catch things earlier rather than when they might cause symptoms later on,” advised Ulveling.

It is also important to abstain from tobacco and vaping, find ways to manage stress to the best of your ability, and control high blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol with medications if necessary.

If you have any heart health concerns, Dr. Ulveling with the Iowa Heart Center in Carroll comes to Manning offering cardiology services on the first and third Tuesday of every month. Cardiac nuclear imaging & stress testing can be performed on an as needed basis. On the third Tuesday of the month, echocardiograms are performed in the specialty clinic.

If you have a history of heart health complications or have any heart health concerns, talk to your primary care provider about scheduling a cardiology appointment with Dr. Ulveling. To make an appointment to see Dr. Ulveling at MRHC, call (712) 792-6500.