How to recognize heart disease in women

Posted by on Feb 21, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Women experience heart attacks differently from men.

The classic signs for a man include(1):

  • Chest pain
  • Discomfort or pain in other areas incuding the neck, jaw, back or stomach
  • Shortness of breath
  • Abdominal discomfort resembling indigestion

Women on the other hand do not usually have the same symptoms.

Here’s what to look for(2):

  • Feeling very tired, even after having enough sleep
  • Trouble breathing
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Feeling sick to the stomach
  • New or worse headaches
  • An ache in the chest
  • Feeling heavy or tight in the chest
  • Burning feeling in the chest
  • Pain in the back between the shoulders
  • Pain or tightness in the chest that spreads to the jaw, neck, shoulders, ear, or the inside of the arms
  • Pain in the belly button.
Note:  This list isn’t meant to cause you to panic.  It’s simply a means of identifying the most common symptoms that may be overlooked.  Something to think about.

How do you lower your risk for heart disease?

  • Know your family history
  • Get annual checkups
  • Don’t smoke
  • Get blood pressure checked regularly
  • Control diabetes
  • Get your cholesterol checked
  • Stay active
  • Eat a good healthy diet with lots of green leafy vegetables
  • Control salt intake
  • If you’re on oral contraceptives, DON’T SMOKE.
Of all of these tips, exercise and diet are the most crucial, however if you’ve already experienced a heart attack or you don’t feel like you’re in the best shape, talk to your provider about beginning a low intensity exercise program to start with.
As far as diet goes, it’s a very good idea to decrease saturated fats and increase fruits and vegetables.  I’ve got some good tips on how to incorporate more of these into your diet and I’ll go over them in the next newsletter.

(1)http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/features/his-guide-to-a-heart-attack

(2)http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ByAudience/ForWomen/ucm118528.htm

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