Heart disease is a major health concern for many Americans. In 2020, 697,000 people in the United States lost their lives to heart disease. Poor diet, limited exercise, and genetic factors often lead to high cholesterol, obesity, hypertension, and diabetes while dramatically impacting the health of a person’s heart.
A healthy heart is the secret to a longer life, so minimize your risk of heart disease by keeping your heart strong. There are various factors that health professionals use to gauge the health of a patient’s heart that you can use to measure your own heart health.
These 7 key factors are:
- Heart rate
- Blood pressure
- Energy levels
- Healthy breathing
- Rate of recovery (strenuous exercises/activities)
- Good oral health
With many Americans at risk of heart disease or having an unhealthy heart, here are a few indicators you need to be aware of to determine if your heart health is at risk:
- Shortness of breath from minimal movements or low-impact activities
- A feeling of tightness or pressure around your heart
- Weakness in your arms or legs
Visit IUC for Your Heart Check-Up Now!
If you want to test the health of your heart or have concerns about non-life-threatening conditions involving your heart, visit the nearest Integra Urgent Care clinic. We offer quality examinations and diagnostic testing to analyze your heart health. Also, we can refer you to a primary care doctor or specialist if necessary.
For other medical conditions that require on-demand healthcare, Integra Urgent Care is a leading urgent care provider in the Dallas/Fort Worth-area. We operate three state-of-the-art clinics in Las Colinas (Irving), Grand Prairie, and Weatherford. Our qualified healthcare providers care for you and your family 7 days a week. Our urgent care centers are also open late on weekdays until 8pm.
We treat a wide range of sports injuries, acute illness care, acute injuries, COVID-19 testing, diagnostic care (such as X-Rays), and physical exams. We also offer online check-in and Telemedicine for your convenience.
If you are experiencing difficulty breathing, significant pressure or pain around your heart, and/or having trouble maintaining consciousness, call 911 or get taken to the nearest ER facility immediately.
Indicators of a Healthy Heart
- Heart Rate – For most adults, a normal resting heart rate ranges between 60 and 100 beats per minute. Physical activity and exercise increase your heart rate while stress, activity, anxiety levels, and medication can also affect your resting heart rate. The easiest way to tell how fast your heart is beating is by feeling your pulse.
At Integra Urgent Care, we have diagnostic testing options available to help you monitor your heart rate at our centers in Las Colinas/Irving, Grand Prairie, and Weatherford. Our professionals will guide you on what your resting heart rate should be and will address any concerning signs to be aware of.
- Blood Pressure – For a healthy heart, blood pressure is usually below 120/80 mm Hg. If your systolic pressure is at 130 or higher or your diastolic pressure gets to 90 or above, then it’s considered elevated. Monitor your blood pressure consistently and if your condition does not change you should see a healthcare professional for observation and testing.
The most accurate way to know what your blood pressure is by having it measured. You can have this done by your healthcare provider at Integra Urgent Care or monitor it regularly yourself using a blood pressure monitor. Home monitoring should not be a substitute for doctor visits, and make it a habit of getting a yearly physical from your primary care doctor.
At Integra Urgent Care centers, we offer diagnostic testing and a thorough evaluations by licensed healthcare providers, so you are never left in the dark about the health of your heart.
- Energy Levels – One of the easiest ways to tell if you have a healthy heart is how high your energy levels are throughout the day. If you often feel fatigued or get winded with light activities (like walking a few blocks, shopping, carrying groceries, or walking up the stairs) your heart is struggling to pump enough blood to serve all your body’s needs.
Excess fatigue during the day or heavy snoring at night may also be caused by sleep apnea. Sleep apnea puts you at a higher risk of high blood pressure and abnormal heart rhythms (called atrial fibrillation). Not getting enough sleep or sleeping poorly can be a sign of an unhealthy heart and can lead to serious heart conditions if not addressed. According to the American Heart Association, your chances of poor cardiovascular health increase by 25% if you sleep less than 6 hours a day. At the same time, if you have obstructive sleep apnea, you have a 200% risk of developing heart problems compared to those who sleep longer.
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms or have any concerns about your heart health, visit an Integra Urgent Care center in Las Colinas/Irving, Grand Prairie, or Weatherford for a proper diagnosis. After diagnosis, our professionals will advise you on options to help increase your heart heath, and, if necessary, recommend you to specialists for additional care and support.
- Cholesterol – Your body needs cholesterol to build healthy cells, but only at healthy levels. High levels of certain cholesterol can be caused genetically and/or is a result of an unhealthy lifestyle (such as consuming too much saturated fat which can increase blood cholesterol levels and “bad” LDL cholesterol levels).
Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are viewed as “good fats” because they lower the risk of heart disease and stroke, reduce (LDL) cholesterol levels, and increase levels of good cholesterol (HDL). These fats are in olive oil, nuts, seeds, avocado, and fish. Many “bad fats” are saturated fats present in high fat meats and dairy products, like dark chicken meat and poultry skin, fatty cuts of beef, pork, and lamb, and high fat dairy products (including whole milk, sour cream, butter, cheese, sour cream, and ice cream).
For adults (18 years and older), total cholesterol levels under 200 mg/dl are considered healthy. However, readings of 200–239 mg/dl are treated as borderline high; and readings from 240 mg/dl onwards as high. Healthy LDL should be less than 100 mg/dL, and HDL greater than 40 mg/dL. For children (17 and younger), total cholesterol should be less than 170 mg/dL, LDL less than 110 mg/dL, and HDL greater than 45 mg/dL.
There is no way to know how high or low your cholesterol level is except by having a blood test done. Integra Urgent Care centers offer diagnostic testing options to help you keep track of your cholesterol levels and the health of your heart.
- Quick Recovery Rate – Heart rate recovery is a measure of the change in your heart rate after you have stopped a workout or another high-intensity activity. Heart rate recovery has proved a reliable tool in confirming cardiovascular health especially in individuals at risk of heart disease (such as those with high blood pressure and diabetes). Ideally, the faster your heart rate decreases after exercise, the better your cardiovascular health – and vice versa.
It is important to have your heart rate recovery at the right level to reduce the risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke. Integra Urgent Care centers offer diagnostic testing and expert medical care to make sure you are aware and educated about the health of your heart.
- Good Oral Health – Good oral health may be indicative of a healthy heart. A 2021 study by the American Heart Association revealed that people with healthy gums often have lower blood pressure compared to those with severe gum disease who were more likely to have higher blood pressure (whether they already have other common cardiovascular risk factors or not). People with healthy gums also respond better to blood pressure.
Oral hygiene is important, as the same study revealed that if you brush your teeth less than twice a day for at least two minutes at a time, you are 3 times more likely to suffer or die from a stroke, heart failure or heart attack. It is recommended that a person visit a doctor every 6-months for a check up and evaluation.
- Healthy Breathing – If you can perform moderately intense physical activities, such as brisk walking, running, or lifting weights without experiencing chest pain, tightness in the chest or shortness of breath, your cardiovascular system is supplying your body with the oxygen levels it needs. You have a healthy heart.
If these activities cause you to lose your breath and require you to stop a certain activity, be aware of this and take notice. You know your body best. If it’s fatigue, take the rest you need. If it’s a more serious condition where you are struggling to breathe or have significant pressure on or around your chest, skip the urgent care and visit the nearest ER room immediately.
Be aware of your body and monitor activity levels to make sure your heart is healthy enough for them. If you have questions or concerns about your heart health, the healthcare professionals at Integra Urgent Care centers are here to help you and provide diagnostic options so you are clear about the health of your heart.
Urgent Care Centers – Las Colinas, Grand Prairie, and Weatherford
If you or a family member need on-demand healthcare for non-life-threatening conditions (that are not chronic in nature), Integra Urgent Care is here to help.
Our team of medical professionals treat patients of all ages (3-months and older) in our three DFW urgent care centers in Las Colinas, Weatherford, and Grand Prairie. We offer a variety of services, including:
To check-in online, visit https://integrauc.com/online-check-in/ or call the nearest clinic: