Tips to improve your Heart Health

What is Type II Diabetes?

Type II Diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose (sugar) for our bodies to use for energy. The pancreas, an organ that lies near the stomach, makes a hormone called insulin to help glucose get into the cells of our bodies. When you have type II diabetes, your body can’t use its own insulin as well as it should. This causes sugar to build up into your bloodstream.

Type II diabetes is a serious condition. Without proper management it can lead to health issues such as heart attack, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, and/or loss of toes, feet, or legs. 


What is Prediabetes?

Prediabetes is a blood glucose (sugar) level that is higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. One in Three American adults have prediabetes and most don’t even know it. If you have prediabetes and do not lose weight and/or do moderate physical activity, you are likely to develop type II Diabetes within 3 years.   


Risk Factors for Prediabetes and Type II Diabetes

You are at an increased risk for developing prediabetes and type II diabetes if you:

- Are 45 years of age or older

- Are overweight

- Have a family history of type II diabetes

- Are physically active fewer than 3 times a week

- Ever had diabetes while pregnant which disappeared after delivery (gestational diabetes)

- Gave birth to a baby that weighed more than 9 pounds


              If you think you are at risk, ask your healthcare provider to do a blood test.  


Diabetes ~ Heart Attack ~ Stroke ~ Obesity

Increase your physical activity by Walking!


Our prevention staff are meeting with all the local towns to identify friendly places for people to walk. We are encouraging all residents to increase their physical activity to the best of their ability, and consider going out for a walk or stroll along some of your towns most scenic areas.

The Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) recommends we all get at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week.       

                                                                                 Click here to visit their "Walking" webpage.

CDC Group Image_187px.png

Benefits of Walking & Physical Activity Include:

  • Decreases your chance of living with a Chronic Disease

  • Reduces the risk of premature death

  • Supports a positive mental health & healthy aging

  • Helps in maintaining a healthy lifestyle

  • Reduces your health care costs

Places to Walk in Caroline County:      Martinak State Park          Tuckahoe State Park                  Marshyhope Trail 


Chronic Disease:

Prevention Information

Heart Disease & Stroke are two leading causes of death in the United States.


Million Hearts fully supports tobacco prevention and cessation as a means to decrease the incidence of heart disease and stroke.



Click on the icon to learn more about Million Hearts 



I. Heart Disease

Heart and blood vessel disease — also called Heart Disease — includes numerous problems, many of which are related to a process called Atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a condition that develops when a substance called plaque builds up in the walls of the arteries. This buildup narrows the arteries, making it harder for blood to flow through. If a blood clot forms, it can stop the blood flow.

This can cause a Heart Attack or Stroke.



II. Heart Attack

Your heart muscle needs oxygen to survive. A heart attack occurs when the blood flow that brings oxygen to the heart muscle is severely reduced or cut off completely. This happens because coronary arteries that supply the heart muscle with blood flow can slowly become narrow from a buildup of fat, cholesterol and other substances that together are called plaque. A heart attack, also called a myocardial infarction, can be fatal, but treatment has improved dramatically over the years.


It's crucial to call 911 or emergency medical help if you think you might be having a heart attack.

III. Stroke


A stroke occurs when the flow of oxygen-rich blood to a portion of the brain is blocked. Without oxygen, brain cells start to die after a few minutes.  If brain cells die or are damaged because of a stroke, symptoms occur in the parts of the body that these brain cells control.

Examples of stroke symptoms include sudden weakness; paralysis or numbness of the face, arms, or legs (paralysis is an inability to move); trouble speaking or understanding speech; and trouble seeing.


A stroke is a serious medical condition that requires emergency care. A stroke can cause lasting brain damage, long-term disability, or even death.

If you think you or someone else is having a stroke, call 9–1–1 right away.


Do not drive to the hospital or let someone else drive you. Call an ambulance so that medical personnel can begin life-saving treatment on the way to the emergency room. During a stroke, every minute counts.

Warning Signs of a Heart Attack

- Pain, squeezing or pressure in the chest

- Pain in the arm, shoulder, upper back, neck or jaw

- Shortness of breath

- Dizziness

- Nausea

- Weakness/Tiredness

- Breaking out in a cold sweat

- Flu like symptoms (especially in women) 

Warning Signs of a Stroke – F.A.S.T.

F - Face: Ask the person to smile. Is one side of their face drooping?

A - Arms: Ask the person to lift both of their arms in front of themselves. Is one of their arms drifting down?

S – Speech: Is their speech slurred, unclear, or strange?

T – Telephone 911 ASAP, If you see any of these signs!


Other stroke symptoms may include:

- Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg on one side of the body

- Trouble speaking or understanding

- Loss of vision in one or both eyes

- Confusion

- Dizziness, loss of balance, trouble walking

- Severe headache

IV. Obesity

A disorder involving excessive body fat that increases the risk of health problems.

Very common

  • More than 3 million US cases per year

  • Usually self-treatable

  • Usually self-diagnosable

  • Obesity often results from taking in more calories than are burned by exercise and normal daily activities.

  • Obesity occurs when a person's body mass index is 30 or greater.

  • The main symptom is excessive body fat, which increases the risk of serious health problems.


The mainstay of treatment is lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise.

Ages affected

0-13:   Common       14-60+: Very common



Consult a doctor for medical advice, treatment, and other recommendations before starting any

weight-loss program or activity.

Source: Mayo Clinic 

Blood Pressure chart.jpg

Click here for more information  on high blood pressure from the American Heart Association