It’s Time to Get Serious About Your Heart Health

bigstock-153083354It’s time to get serious about women’s heart health. As most of us have heard, actress Carrie Fisher passed away on December 27th after suffering a heart attack while on a plane several days prior. She was only 60 years old.

The terrible part is heart attacks may be preventable in some cases. Sadly, signs and symptoms of heart attacks in women are often overlooked. Women and even their doctors brush symptoms off as “anxiety,” or “all in their head.” However, the same lack of concern is not shown for men when they present with symptoms characteristic of a heart attack.

It’s time that we take matters into our own hands. Unfortunately, a lot women do not survive their first heart attack. As women it is extremely important that we are able to recognize the signs and symptoms of heart disease, as well as ways to prevent it.

It’s especially important at this time of year – winter. Being outside in the cold, and especially shoveling snow puts a huge stress on your heart. Snow is heavy. I recently learned that on a day of heavy to medium snow fall the average driveway can have up to two tons of snow on it! Second of all, shoveling is cardiovascular, which raises your heart rate and blood pressure. Plus, the frigid winter air causes blood vessels to constrict allowing less oxygen to go to the heart. Combine the two and it is a recipe for disaster.

It’s important to keep all of these things in mind when it comes to your cardiovascular health. Every minute a woman dies from heart disease. Please don’t be another statistic. Get control of your health today! To learn even more on women’s heart health you can check out my interview for the Women’s Mind Body Wellness Summit with Dr. Joan Crawford. She is an Osteopath who specializes in women’s cardiovascular health. She is an advocate for women and has even worked on the Go Red campaign!

Signs and Symptoms of Heart Disease In Women

Woman having chest pain - heart attack. On white backgroundCardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in women in the United States. Did you know that one in four women die due to cardiac problems? Yet, often we only hear about men having heart trouble. And even though it is just as much an epidemic in women, little research is done in this department.

What’s even more scary, is women are often times misdiagnosed after reporting their symptoms to a doctor. In fact, due to prejudices, their signs are often brushed off as anxiety or depression, so they are not receiving proper treatment because they are being misdiagnosed. Therefore, it is important to know the signs and symptoms of heart disease in women, the risk factors, who it effects, and how to improve your odds.

Do you have chronic jaw, neck and upper back pain? Unexplained nausea or vomiting? Dizziness or lightheadedness? Unexplained fatigue? Right arm pain? These may seem like minor aches and pains, but one or any of these symptoms could be a sign that you may have heart problems. Don’t brush these symptoms under the rug. If you experiencing any of these problems, it’s time to schedule an appointment with your doctor.

Many other diseases and risk factors can increase your odds of developing cardiovascular disease. Women who smoke are at an increased risk for heart attack and stroke, those who have diabetes are more susceptible to cardiac issues, as well as those with high stress levels.

Contrary to popular belief, heart disease does not only affect older people. Heart disease does not discriminate against age, race, religion or gender. You are never too young to have a heart attack.

How can you decrease your odds? First, hit the pavement. Walking just 30 minutes a day is all you need. Those who are physically active sharply decrease their odds of stroke and heart attack.

Second, if you smoke, quit now. Cigarettes are filled with harmful chemicals and smoking increases your blood pressure and can lead to high cholesterol.

Third, find ways to reduce your stress. Start meditating, or find a positive way to focus your energy.

Fourth, make sure you’re getting eight hours of sleep. Your body needs that time to rest and refuel, and without that time it can put added stress on you.

Fifth, maintain a healthy weight. Women who carry around excess weight are at an increased risk of heart disease.

Heart disease doesn’t have to be a death sentence. Getting informed and being proactive can help save your life or the lives of those around you.

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