Your Heart's in the Right Place at Upson

February has long been associated with matters of the heart – love, cupid, chocolate, even heart health. February is Heart Health Month, a month dedicated to improving the cardiovascular health of men and women.

Cardiovascular diseases, including stroke, are our nation’s No. 1 killer. Although there are different types of cardiovascular disease, they all share common risk factors. Screening for these risk factors will be the focus of a Heart Health Month program at Upson Regional Medical Center.

Hosted by Upson’s Cardiology Services, “Your Heart’s in the Right Place” will be held Thursday, February 16 from 3:30 – 7:30 p.m. in the Upson Regional Medical Center Auditorium. Free screenings will include Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, Body Mass Index and Blood Sugar, all relevant tests to assess risk for heart disease.

Dr. Keith Huckaby, a local internal medicine physician, and family medicine physicians Dr. Charmille Hare and Dr. John Jenkins will be in attendance to talk one-on-one about prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease, which has different warning signs for men and women.

The symptoms for women can be far more subtle than those for men, Dr. Hare said. “Symptoms for women to look for include shortness of breath (often without any chest pain); feelings of anxiety or doom; unexplained fatigue, weakness or dizziness; pain in the chest, upper back, shoulders, neck or jaw; and flu-like symptoms — specifically nausea, clamminess or cold sweats,” she said.

Dr. Huckaby urges, “It is very important to listen to your own body. Sudden decline in exercise tolerance may be a sign of heart disease, which can occur without any other symptoms. Make your physician aware of changes such as this so that proper evaluation can be performed. Regular exercise is extremely important for the entire body’s health.’

“Most heart disease can be prevented by treating risk factors,” he said. “This screening and informational session is a very good opportunity for everyone to become more informed about heart disease as a condition and about their individual risk for developing it.”

Pre-registration for Your Heart’s in the Right Place is recommended. To register, call 706-647-8111 ext. 1338.