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Doctors warn heart-related issues increase during holidays

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Doctors warn heart-related issues increase during holidays

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) – Doctors warn people to pay attention to warning signs of heart health during holidays, especially women.

Interventional cardiologist at Tennova Healthcare, Dr. Janet Eichholz wants people to pay closer attention to changes in the body, specifically the chest.

“People want to stay at home and spend time with their family and friends and oftentimes began having some symptoms that may be concerning for heart attack and stroke, but they ignore it or put it off because they’d rather be at home,” said Dr. Eichholz. “Regardless of it being Christmas dinner Christmas Eve. Just really listen to your body and seek out help when you feel like something is not right.”

She warns patients who put off the warning signs risk more serious complications and this year, the COVID-19 pandemic could make it even worse.

“We’ve seen more complications than what we ever would have seen from those medical emergencies,” she said.

Warning signs in women can be different than men, often times not having the same chest pain, she said.

“Chest discomfort, and I like to use the term chest discomfort, because it doesn’t necessarily have to be crushing substernal chest pain, which might be the textbook description but any chest discomfort across the chest, external pressure tightness squeezing just an uneasiness in the chest that might radiate to the jaw or to the arm may be associated with some shortness of breath so difficulty breathing unusual sweating feeling sick on your stomach, and maybe even some lightheadedness,” said Dr. Eichholz.

For signs of a stroke, she said to use the acronym, F.A.S.T. from the American Heart Association

F – facial drooping or drooping on one side of the face

A – Arm weakness

S – Speech difficulty or slurred speech

T – Time, seek immediate care if a person is exhibiting symptoms of heart attack or stroke

Copyright 2020 WVLT. All rights reserved.

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