It's hunting season in Siouxland and before you head outdoors this fall, you might want to check to see if your heart can handle it.
Every fall, hunters head outdoors for a shot at the big buck, but it's the thrill of the hunt that can take shots at your heart.
"Every year when hunting season hits people go out and do a lot of aerobic activity," says Dr. Jon Peacock, a cardiologist with St. Luke's Medical Center in Sioux City. "They kill a deer and drag it though the woods and every year we have patients that are presenting health problems."
Dr. Jon Peacock says bagging the one isn't the only thing that can send your heart into overdrive while hunting. The stress and anxiety of waiting for the right one to cross your path can take its toll, too.
"There have been studies showing that when a deer walks in to the clearing and you realize you are going to have a shot, your heart rate spikes way up, your blood pressure spikes way up, and you get very excited and just that can cause symptoms and cause problems," says Dr. Peacock.
So how do you know if your healthy enough to hunt?
To help you answer that, St. Luke's has a special event specifically for hunters.
"Our health should be at the top of our list and we need to consider it all the time," says Calvin Hushka, the manager of St. Luke's Cardiology Services Department. "Anytime we are going to look at any activity that is going to be aggressive or put out bodies at strain or we have any concerns, we should check those out before we undergo and undertake these adventures."
And if you know you have heart problems, Dr. Peacock says you should always check with your cardiologist before you pack your gear.
"We might say it's perfectly safe for you to go hunting, but if you are looking to bag a big deer make sure your teenage son drags it out of the woods and not you," says Dr. Peacock.
The 'Target Health' event is Tuesday, September 25th from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Stony Creek Inn in Sioux City. For more information or to register go to http://www.stlukes.org/body.cfm?id=446.
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