Friday, February 7, 2014

Womens Heart Day

It's National Wear Red Day, are you wearing red?

Personally speaking this days means a lot as heart disease has affected many in our family tree.  In fact  I myself struggle with heart issues.  In my late twenties I developed palpitations and other unpleasant symptoms.  At first doctors wrote it off thinking I was too young but after extensive testing it showed I not only had a form of tachycardia but a leaking heart valve. To me it either felt like my heart was skipping beats or racing.  Those skips are technically called pac and pvc. So I was put on medication and routinely require echocardiogram to keep a close watch on the valve.

It can be very frightening to experience. To this day I still panic as it feels unpleasant.  What is amazing is how women's hormones can directly affect the heart.  For many the ovulation and pms phase can be a difficult time as symptoms often increase.  And many say that menopause can be cruel as well. Surprisingly most of the testing has been on men, and in recent years they have found there are significant differences in men and women when it comes to heart disease and even treatment.

The fact is: Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, causing 1 in 3 deaths each year. That’s approximately one woman every minute! 

But it doesn’t affect all women alike, and the warning signs for women aren’t the same in men. What’s more these facts only begin to scratch the surface. It affects all ages and there are many factors that affect the heart hormones, stress, diet, exercise, pregnancy, colds, certain diseases, genetics, medicines, smoking and more.

Please take the time to find out more at Facts About Heart Disease in Women    And read the very personal stories of women who have shared their experiences to help others.

And most importantly listen to your body if something doesn't feel right be persistence until doctors listen to you.  All too often women's health ailments get written off as anxiety and stress when in reality many of their symptoms are just different than a mans.

The American Heart Association created Life Simple 7 which are seven factors and behaviors that have the biggest impact on your heart health, both on their own and taken together.  Making positive changes in any one of these areas can make a difference in your health.  The links will provide information on each.
  1. Lose weight/maintain healthy weight 
  2. Eat better 
  3. Get active 
  4. Manage blood pressure 
  5. Reduce blood sugar 
  6. Stop smoking 
  7. Control cholesterol
Here is an assessment test that will help create an action plan toward a healthier life.

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