Heart Health & Cholesterol Guide
- Friday, 12 February 2021 15:38
Eric Martin, M.D.
Cardiologist Eric Martin, MD encourages you to keep your heart beating strong by following these healthy heart tips!
• Improve your blood pressure: Have your blood pressure checked frequently by your doctor and keep a record so you can identify and track changes.
• Live Smoke Free: Smoking narrows your blood vessels which can increase your blood pressure.
• Maintain a Healthy Weight: Being overweight makes your heart work harder causing high blood pressure.
• Eat less sodium: Eat less than 2300 milligrams of sodium a day.
• Be more active: Exercise can help lower your blood pressure and your weight. Aim for 20-30 minutes of moderate exercise each day.
• Manage the stress in your life: You will always have some stress, but learn to control it.
• Learn to relax: When you relax, your blood vessels relax too.
• Take blood pressure medicine: If your doctor prescribes it, take it!
• Know your numbers and understand your results: Don’t let your numbers be a mystery. Know them and track them to keep up with your progress and so you can watch for any changes.
Best: less than 200
Borderline high: 200-239
High: 240 or higher
|LDL (Bad) cholesterol
Best: less than 100
Near best: 100-129
Borderline high: 130-159
Very high: 190 or higher
HDL (Good) cholesterol
Low: less than 40 for men,
less than 50 for women
Very good: 60 or higher
Normal: less than 150
Borderline high: 150-199
Very high: 500 or higher
Upcoming Events – Rescheduled
- Thursday, 14 February 2019 11:17
Food for Thought: Learn the value & benefits of hypnotherapy
You are invited to learn more about Ringgold County Hospital’s new Hypnotherapy Program and the benefits of tapping into your subconscious mind through hypnotherapy. Join Ruth Smith, DPT Thursday, March 14 at 5:00 p.m. in the RCH cafeteria. Please RSVP by calling 641-464-4401
Ladies In Red
Enjoy complimentary drinks and appetizers while hearing from featured speaker Melissa Murphy, a heart attack survivor, advocate, and speaker from the Des Moines area. All women are encouraged to wear red and enjoy conversation and education on Wednesday, March 60 – 5:30 p.m. at the Crazy Heifer (115 N. Taylor St., Mt. Ayr). For more information, contact Tracee Knapp at Ringgold County Hospital 641-464-4532.
2nd Annual Red Flannel Walk
Join Ringgold County Hospital to raise awareness for heart health! Our goal is to encourage everyone to walk for 30 minutes at the Mt. Ayr High School Track. This event is for all ages, registration begins at 4:30pm on Tuesday, February 26. Note: Strollers or other wheeled devices may not be permitted on the walking track.
Back in the Saddle
- Monday, 13 February 2017 13:16
Dwayne Cason, heart attack survivor
When you talk to Dwayne Cason, you know right away that he’s been through a lot. The 71-year-old Viet Nam veteran has had his share of injuries, but perhaps none as life threatening as the heart attack that forced him to have open heart surgery last June. “I was taking care of 37 acres and walking five miles a day,” he said, “and I still had a heart attack!”
Luckily for Dwayne, he knew where to find the best cardiac rehabilitation in Southern Iowa– with Jennifer England at Ringgold County Hospital. “On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give Jennifer a 12!” He’d worked with her in 2010 after having a stent put in, so he knew how she worked and that she would help him after his surgery. “Jennifer’s the best. I told her ‘I want you to push me. Push me hard.’ And she really pushed me.”
Dwayne explained that each session began with warm ups like leg lifts, squats, and stretching his muscles. Then they’d lift weights. “I started lifting at three pounds. She got me up to eight. And Jennifer does every one of them with you. She always had two pounds more than me.”
For many cardiac patients, time on a treadmill is part of their rehab. Not so for Dwayne. “You can walk forever,” said Jennifer. So instead he spent time on a bike. “We bumped up the resistance and I’d ride for 30 minutes.” According to Dwayne, his doctors told him he won’t feel 100% better until a year after his surgery. But he’s working hard to beat that prediction. With the great start he received from RCH cardiac rehab, he’s well on his way.
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New Dietary Guidelines
- Thursday, 04 February 2016 11:46
New dietary guidelines were unveiled recently that called on Americans to cut down on meat, salt, and sweets. The new guidelines recommend consuming less than 10 percent of one’s daily calories from added sugar—including that found in seemingly healthy foods, such as yogurt. Limiting saturated fat was also recommended—a chief source is meat. Eating less meat is associated with reduced cases of heart disease and stroke, the report said. The report also singled out teenage boys and adult men as eating excessive meat and other proteins, and said they “need to reduce overall intake of protein foods by decreasing intakes of meats, poultry, and eggs and increasing amounts of vegetables or other under consumed food groups.”
But for many people, the report said, eggs are a good source of nutrition, and not as big a worry on cholesterol as previously believed. Americans are also advised to eat more fruits and vegetables and work out more. The recommendation on sodium is now 2,300 milligrams per day for healthy adults and 1,500 milligrams per day for those with high blood pressure or those in danger of developing high blood pressure. The number of Americans at risk of developing high blood pressure has increased over the past five years. Now, two-thirds of the population is at risk. Back in 2010, only half the population was at risk. The increase in people with high blood pressure is another reason to “know your numbers.” Everyone is encouraged to stop by the RCH lobby between 7-10:00 a.m. February 15-19, 2016 for free blood pressure screenings.
Source: American Heart Association
Feeling Better Than Ever
- Wednesday, 03 February 2016 15:47
Cardiac rehab helped George get back to work
For George Haidsiak, the “new normal” is actually better than ever. “I feel wonderful!” he reported on a cold day in January. His story begins when he experienced chest pains and was rushed to the hospital. “They did an enzyme test, and sure enough, I’d had a heart attack,” he explained. “They took me to Des Moines to see a heart specialist. Luckily, it was a very small obstruction that affected only about 10% of my heart. After trying to do an angiogram, which didn’t work, I was told that I could go back to my normal activities.”
A lifelong farmer, currently managing about 90 head of cattle, George has been active all his life. But like anyone in his 60s, over time he had begun to “take the easier roads when doing things.” His “normal activities” included plenty of physical labor, but not necessarily constant work for extended lengths of time. When Jennifer England from Ringgold County Hospital’s cardiac rehab department contacted him, he was skeptical at first. “The doctors had cleared me for normal activity, so I didn’t think I needed rehab. But I agreed to come in and talk to her. I thought it sounded very interesting so I decided to start the program.”
George’s rehab focused on exercise and nutrition education. He began with 2 ½ miles per hour walks on a treadmill for about 20 minutes. Along with the walking he did stretching and weight lifting and other muscle-building exercises. By the time he finished his 16-week program he was up to 3 miles per hour for at least 40 minutes. “I could really feel the difference,” he said. “As it got more strenuous, I kept
improving.” He’s continued the exercise program at home. “When I’m doing chores and working on the farm I don’t get tired or winded like I used to.”
After four months of cardiac rehab, George doesn’t tire as easily
Because of his overall health and the condition of his heart, cardiac rehab was recommended, but not mandatory for George. It was the convenience of Ringgold County Hospital and the quality of the staff that made the difference for him. “If they’d wanted me to do rehab in Des Moines, I just wouldn’t have done it,” he said. “It’s a two-hour drive and not economically feasible. But this worked out perfectly for me. Jennifer was superb.”
George’s “new normal” really is better than ever. “I feel wonderful. It’s been worth it. Whenever someone asks me how I’m feeling I tell them I’m doing great. I’ve never had another chest pain. I am very lucky.”
For more information on Ringgold County Hospital cardiac rehab program, contact Jennifer England at 641-464-3226.
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