Mayo Healthy Living Month

Erris leads the way with healthy heart talk

The Erris community are leading the way in the fight against heart disease and stroke by working with local heart charity Croí, in partnership with HSE West Mayo PCCC, by hosting a public meeting to promote heart health and raise awareness of the risk factors for cardiovascular disease during May, as part of the Mayo Healthy Living Month initiative.

This free public meeting and open forum on Heart Disease Explained: Prevention and Management will take place on Monday May 28 at 8pm in the Broadhaven Bay Hotel, Belmullet. The guest speaker is Dr Jim Crowley, consultant cardiologist, University Hospital, Galway.

For more information on the Mayo Healthy Living Month contact Ailish Houlihan, Croí nurse lead, Mayo Action on Heart Disease and Stroke, on 094 904 9172; email [email protected] or log onto www.croi.ie

Tips for giving up smoking

Ann Marie Walsh, nurse specialist, Croí MyAction programme shares some tips on how to quit smoking.

One in two smokers die from a smoking related illness. Smokers have a 70 per cent greater chance of death from heart disease and stroke than non smokers.

Why quit smoking?

The health benefits of quitting smoking kick in almost immediately. After just 48 hours, your sense of taste and smell begin to improve. After two to 12 weeks, your circulation continues to improve and your appearance improves. After three to nine months, breathing problems such as breathlessness/wheeze improve. After five years, your risk of heart attack falls to about half that of a smoker.

Top four tips for quitting:

1 Get advice on nicotine replacement therapy. These products help by alleviating the common nicotine withdrawal symptoms. NRT is available on a medical card and your doctor or pharmacist can advise you on the different products that are available. Your doctor can also advise you on the use of Champix which is a medication that is used for individuals who are planning to quit smoking.

2 Plan a quit date which will help you to focus.

3 Plan for relapse. Most lapses occur in the evening. Avoid old cues to smoke, ie, perhaps week one is not the best time to plan a night out if you usually smoke when socialising.

4 Remember the 4 Ds — distract yourself, delay for a few minutes, do some deep breathing, and have a drink of water.

For advice, speak to your GP, pharmacist, or practice nurse or phone the National Smokers Quitline — 1850 201 203; www.quit.ie

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