“It’s your health, take care of it,” stressed Amy Wheat, the guest speaker at the combined Rotary-Kiwanis meeting Wednesday afternoon.  Wheat, a physician for Life Line Screening, presented the listening audience with handouts that described the tests and the testing procedures.

“It’s your health, take care of it,” stressed Amy Wheat, the guest speaker at the combined Rotary-Kiwanis meeting Wednesday afternoon.  Wheat, a physician for Life Line Screening, presented the listening audience with handouts that described the tests and the testing procedures, such as:
1. Stroke Screening, in which an ultrasound evaluation looks for plaque build up in the arteries in the neck.  Ninety percent of strokes are caused by plaque build up in the coronary arteries.
2. Heart Rhythm screening, which requires a painless EKG that can detect an irregular heart rhythm.
3. Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) Screening in which an ultrasound is used to screen for the presence of an aneurysm in the abdominal aorta that could lead to a ruptured aortic artery.  Men are 4 to 5 times more likely to suffer an aneurysm, which usually goes undetected.  However, once you have been diagnosed it can be monitored.
4. Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) screening which checks for the plaque buildup in the lower extremities such as the legs.  PAD is a strong predictor for heart disease.
5. And a bone density screening, which tests both men and women for the early detection of osteoporosis.
Wheat has been a supporter of the Life Line Screenings for almost 10 years, and continues to pass on vital information about its’ mission.  She explained that a stroke is the third leading cause of death in the U.S., the 2nd leading cause of death in women.  Meanwhile, 50 percent of residents in nursing homes have had a stroke, “that means that for every other resident in that home, they have had a stroke,” Wheat said.  “Part of our mission is to prevent these numbers from increasing, and prevent early nursing home admissions with early detection,” Wheat expressed.  At times there may be warning signs when experiencing a stroke such as:
 •Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
 •Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
•Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
 •Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
   •Sudden, severe headache with no known cause
“I remember a couple of months ago we saved 103 individuals after directing them to the ER after their screenings,” Wheat recalled.  “There are five, non-routine tests that are offered to individuals within the ages of 35 to 40 plus, and we advise our patients to have screenings done once every two years unless directed otherwise by your doctor,” said Wheat.  The health screenings will be held at Second Baptist Church on East Baldwin in Helena-West Helena and are painless, non-invasive, and require about an hour to complete. 
You must pre-register for an appointment.  You do need to have a scheduled appointment for the screening.