February brings thoughts of love and heart-shaped boxes of chocolates. My thought today is to help you think about your own heart health and the health of those you love. There are few who don’t like chocolate and actually, valid studies show dark chocolate is beneficial and even a cup of hot chocolate now and then is good for you. One would taste good about now because this morning in northwestern Montana, the temperature is -20 degrees F. It is a sunny day but intensely cold.

When temperatures drop and snow piles up, it is a time when people with heart disease should stay indoors where it’s warm and avoid shoveling. You ask why? Because with narrowed coronary arteries, cold exposure can cause spasm and heart pain. If you have not been diagnosed with heart disease, experiencing chest discomfort in the cold may be a warning that you should see your doctor for a heart evaluation.

Cardiovascular disease is silent. There are no symptoms until the cholesterol plaques narrowing the inside of heart arteries reach a point where inadequate oxygen and blood flow to the heart muscle results in chest pain. Symptoms may be subtle, such as shortness of breath, upper back discomfort or even jaw pain. You may not recognize them as heart-related. You can have more than a 90% blockage and no symptoms. Seeing a physician and being diagnosed before a heart attack occurs can save your life. Nearly 50% of people who have a heart attack die before reaching a hospital.

Because of the increasing obesity in our society, Type 2 diabetes is increasing and with it heart disease. Obese children as young as 5 years old have signs of cholesterol accumulating in their arteries. Type 2 diabetes used to be a disease of old people, now it is seen in overweight teens. In the US, 66% of the population is overweight or obese. If you would like to calculate your heart risks and learn more about heart health, there are many valid sites to gain this information.

Internet sites of value: (a comprehensive health site), I have two blogs addressing health issues: (Up-to- date information on heart health) and (Women’s Health). In addition, reputable sites are found at major university centers. Information on the Internet is only as valuable as the accuracy of the source so take care with your choices.

Each year heart disease kills more people than all cancers combined. If each person learns their risks and reduces them, the likelihood of dying from a heart attack decreases. My book Your Heart – Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease in Women, Men and Children is on sale at a reduced price for the entire month of February to encourage more people to purchase it and learn what you can do to improve health. Instead of a box of chocolates, why not buy yourself or a loved one a copy of Your Heart? The information could save your life and the lives of those you love.

Consider giving Your Heart as a Valentine gift!

Kindle e-book $2.99 Your Heart Book Cover- Finalwfontchg.2

Paperback $9.99

Every time you see a heart image, think about your own heart health.

Thanks for stopping by.

Happy Valentines Day.


About bettykuffel

Author and retired medical doctor with broad interests in writing, flying, photography and outdoor life. She has Indie published 7 books, fiction & non-fiction, all available on Amazon. Writing projects include: multiple books of fiction: a medical thriller series, a psychological thriller set in 1960 co-authored with her sister Bev, and others in process. Dr. Kuffel lives in MT with husband Tom, two dogs and neighborhood deer.
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  1. Karen Frazer says:

    Thanks for the good advice, Betty. It is great information. Thanks again. Karen

    Date: Thu, 6 Feb 2014 15:34:45 +0000 To:

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