In today’s blog post, we are going to talk about women and heart disease. We hear very little about women and heart disease. The term “heart disease” is a board term and it refers to several types of heart disease. The United States most common heart disease is coronary artery disease. Coronary Artery Disease affects the blood flow, which goes to the heart; decreased blood flow can cause a heart attack.
In the year of 2013, almost 290,000 women were killed by having a heart disease. Heart disease is sometimes classified as a “man” disease, but it is far from it. The same amount of women and men die of heart disease each year because it is caught too late. A little over half of women will recognize that heart disease is the number one killer. 64% of women who die suddenly of coronary heart disease, did not have any previous symptoms.
Even though some women may not see or feel symptoms, but other women will experience pain in the neck/jaw/throat, pain in the upper abdomen/back, and angina, which is a dull, heavy to sharp chest pain or discomfort. Often times, heart disease is silent and not diagnosed until a woman experience the sign of a heart attack, heart failure, an arrhythmia or even a stroke. I am going to describe each one now…
Heart Attack – Chest pain or discomfort, upper back pain, indigestion, heartburn, nausea/vomiting, extreme fatigue, upper body discomfort, and shortness of breath.
Arrhythmia: Fluttering feelings in the chest (palpitations)
Heart Failure – Shortness of breath, fatigue, swelling of the feet/ankles/legs/abdomen.
Stroke – Sudden weakness, paralysis (inability to move) or numbness of the face/arms/legs, especially on one side of the body. Other symptoms may include: confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech. You can also experience difficulty seeing in one or both eyes, shortness of breath, dizziness, loss of balance/coordination, loss of consciousness, or sudden or severe headache.
If you experience any of these symptoms, please go to the emergency room right away.
Here are some risk factors of heart diseases:
High blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, and smoking are the main factors that can cause heart disease. So, if you are smoking a pack a cigarettes a day then you are putting yourself in risk of heart disease. Some other lifestyle choices that can cause heart disease are diabetes, obesity/overweight, poor diet, and excessive alcohol use. If you are drinking alcohol more than once a day, you need to stop immediately; it could be damaging your heart and liver.
Here’s some things you can reduce your chances of getting heart disease:
Know your blood pressure. High pressure doesn’t have any symptoms, so it is very important that you check your blood pressure regularly.
Get tested for diabetes. If you have diabetes and do not know it, you are putting yourself in harm’s way of heart disease.
Discuss checking your cholesterol and triglycerides with your doctor.
Make healthy food choices. Obesity can raise the risk of heart disease.
Limit your alcohol intake to one drink a day or even a week.
Lower your stress level and find healthy ways to cope with stress.
If you find this post informative, please share.. Heart disease is dangerous, especially in women.