This morning we spoke with Jason Hatfield, M.D. from Ally Medical Emergency Room and Layne Bruner, a cardiac arrest survivor and owner of Wellthy Soul, about the importance of being heart healthy and ways to try and prevent heart disease.

Layne, can you tell us your story?

While I was teaching a fitness class at a popular gym I had a sudden cardiac arrest. 96% of individuals die from this type of cardiac event but I was saved partly because of my personal level of health.

What can we do to prevent heart disease?

You can reduce your consumption of ultra-processed foods and replace them with whole foods including fruits and veggies. Also add 20-30 minutes of exercise into our day – walking counts! Practice stress relief (Soul Work) daily to reduce cortisol, the stress hormone. The goal is to reduce your body weight focused on waist to height ratio.

Dr. Hatfield, what is heart disease and how do you know you’re having a heart attack?

Heart disease can encompass many things – it usually means something that happens with the electrical system or the structural system of the heart itself. The classic sign is a crushing pain under your breast bone that can sometimes radiate to the jaw or arm. There are also subtle things like stomach discomfort in your upper stomach, shortness of breath, and feeling dizzy, sweaty.

Why is it important to get to your nearest E.R. if you start having any of these symptoms?

We say in the E.R. that time is muscle. The longer the heart goes without blood flow and oxygenation the more you lose muscle tissue. It needs these things to survive and irreversible damage can happen in under 30 minutes. We try to get people to the cardiac catherization lab in 90 minutes or less to try and help.

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