National Wear Red Day

Image Source: https://www.goredforwomen.org

National Wear Red Day is February 1st. Go Red for Women is the American Heart Association’s national movement that advocates for more research and swifter action for women’s heart health. The movement also challenges people to know their risk for heart disease and act to reduce their personal risk. Heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year, killing approximately one woman every 80 seconds.  Fortunately, we can change that because 80 percent of cardiac and stroke events may be prevented with education and action.

What are the Signs and Symptoms?1

While there are many similarities in the symptoms of heart disease in men and women, there are even more differences. Listed below are the signs and symptoms, specific to women, that are important to watch out for:

Heart Attack Symptoms:

  1. Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back.
  2. Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  3. Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
  4. Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
  5. As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.

Stroke Symptoms:

  1. Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  2. Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  3. Sudden trouble seeing or blurred vision in one or both eyes
  4. Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  5. Sudden severe headache with no known cause

Take Steps to Reduce Your Risk2

Not only can you wear red to raise awareness but you can also take steps to reduce your own risk. The American Heart Association has developed an online tool called My Life Check. My Life Check allows you to find out your heart score and see if you’re at risk based on Life’s Simple 7:

  1. Managing your blood pressure
  2. Control your cholesterol
  3. Reduce your blood sugar
  4. Get active
  5. Eat better
  6. Lose weight
  7. Stop smoking

Find out Your Heart Score

Tria Health Helps Control Heart Disease

Tria Health offers Chronic Condition Management through our Pharmacy Advocate Program. Heart Disease and stroke are two of the many chronic conditions that Tria Health targets. Clinical Pharmacists provide one-on-one telephonic counseling for members and act as their personal advocate to help them navigate through the health care system. Through reviewing a member’s medications and lifestyle habits, Tria Pharmacists can make recommendations that will help control their chronic conditions and help them feel better!

Questions?

Call the Tria Health Help Desk at 1.888.799.8742

Sources:

  1. https://www.goredforwomen.org/en/about-heart-disease-in-women/signs-and-symptoms-in-women
  2. https://www.goredforwomen.org/en/know-your-risk/risk-factors

Heart-Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes

As Thanksgiving approaches, it can be stressful trying to maintain a healthy diet surrounded by indulgences. While it’s true that sweets can be enjoyed in moderation, there are still plenty of alternatives available so you can treat yourself and stay true to your healthy lifestyle. To help you get through the Thanksgiving season, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite Heart-Healthy recipes:

 Slow Cooker Turkey Breast

Turkey

Healthy Green Bean Casserole

Green Bean

Maple-Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes

Light & Luscious Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie

 

Have any questions for us?

Contact the Tria Health Help Desk at 1.888.799.8742

Recipes for Lowering Your Cholesterol

Cutting board covered in veggies
Image Source: Katie Smith/Unsplash

Are you looking to lower your cholesterol? A healthy diet is a great way to get started. From a dietary standpoint, the best way to lower your cholesterol is reduce saturated fat and trans-fat. The American Heart Association recommends limiting saturated fat to 5 to 6 percent of daily calories and minimizing the amount of trans fat you eat.1 You’ll typically see these types of fats in fried food, red meat and products made with whole milk. If you’re ready to start eating healthy, meal-planning can help keep you from falling into old temptations. Here are a few tips and recipes to get you motivated!

What Should You Look for in a Healthy Diet?

  • Fruits and Vegetables
  • Whole Grains
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Nuts

Our Favorite Recipes:

Banana Mini-Muffins

Oven-Baked Salmon

Slow Cooker French Onion Soup

Crispy Parmesan Chickpeas

Have any Questions for us?

Contact the Tria Health Help Desk at 1.888.799.8742

 

Sources:

  1. https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/cholesterol/prevention-and-treatment-of-high-cholesterol-hyperlipidemia

 

What Causes High Cholesterol?

Medical form with words cholesterol
Image Source: designer491/iStock.com

In 2011–2012, 78 million U.S. adults (nearly 37%) had low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels that fall in the range where experts recommend cholesterol medicine or had other health conditions putting them at high risk for heart disease and stroke.1 Cholesterol is a waxy substance your body needs to build cells. So, while cholesterol alone isn’t necessarily a bad thing, having too much in your system increases the chances that cholesterol will start to slowly build up in the inner walls of arteries that feed the heart and brain.

Main Causes of High Cholesterol2

  • Unhealthy diet
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Smoking or exposure to tobacco smoke
  • Excess weight

In addition, some people inherit genes that can cause them to have too much cholesterol.

Good vs. Bad Cholesterol

  • LDL (Bad) Cholesterol: Contributes to fatty buildups in arteries. Plaque buildup narrow arteries and raise the risk for heart attack, stroke and peripheral artery disease
  • HDL (Good) Cholesterol: Carries LDL cholesterol away from arteries back to the liver, where its then broken down and passed from the body. HDL can help decrease the risk of heart disease.

Symptoms of High Cholesterol

Unfortunately, high cholesterol usually has no symptoms. It’s important as an adult (age 20+) to get tested once every 4 to 6 years.

Treatment of High Cholesterol

Working with your health care provider can lower your cholesterol, which will reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Lifestyle changes such as eating a heart-healthy diet, regular exercise, avoiding tobacco and losing weight (if overweight or obese) are all things that can lower your cholesterol.  However, these lifestyle changes may not work for everyone, in which case, there are many medications available. Statins are recommended for most patients, but your doctor may consider other options as well.

 

If you have any additional questions regarding your medications,

reach out to the Tria Health Help Desk: 1.888.799.8742

 

Sources:

  1. Mercado C, DeSimone AK, Odom E, Gillespie C, Ayala C, Loustalot F. Prevalence of cholesterol treatment eligibility and medication use among adults—United States, 2005–2012. MMWR. 2015;64(47):1305–11.
  2. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Cholesterol/CausesofHighCholesterol/Causes-of-High-Cholesterol_UCM_001213_Article.jsp#.WyAVQvZFyHt

Supplements & Blood Thinners

Many people take some type of over the counter product on a daily basis and consider this a safe and natural way to treat or prevent disease.  In many cases this can be true, but “natural” supplements and vitamins can cause side effects and worsen conditions in some cases.

Fish oil can be used to help lower triglycerides and reduce heart disease risk. However, this common supplement can also thin blood slightly and in some people actually raises their LDL, or bad cholesterol, too high.  Vitamin E, which many people take for its antioxidant properties, is similar to fish oil in that it too can effect platelet function and thin blood.  On their own this is usually not a problem, but when taken in combination with Aspirin, an antiplatelet medication like Clopidogrel (brand name: Plavix), or a blood thinner like Warfarin (brand name: Coumadin) this can increase the risk of bruising and bleeding.  Sometimes this can even lead to severe bleeding issues.

Always talk to your doctor or pharmacist before adding any herbal supplement or vitamin to your daily medication routine.