Heart Disease in Women: Don’t Get Involved in the Toxic Relationship

Heart Disease in Women: Don’t Get Involved in the Toxic Relationship

Feb 13 2015

February is filled with love, romance and heart-shaped food and cards. It’s also the perfect time to think about your heart. Ask yourself, is your heart healthy?

A healthy heart is much to celebrate – heart disease is the number one killer of women, and is more deadly than all forms of cancer combined.

February is a month dedicated to hearts, not only on Valentine’s Day but all month long as its American Heart Month, according to the American Heart Association.Priority Health - Health Condition Management - Heart Disease in Women - Valentines Day 1

Show yourself some love by taking control of your heart health. Know your risk factors, the symptoms of heart disease and what steps you can take to achieve a healthy lifestyle.

Understanding heart disease and risk factors in women

Heart disease is often thought of as a man’s disease, but the truth is that one in three women die from heart disease each year, according to the American Heart Association.

But, there’s good news – women can drastically lower their chances of heart disease by making healthy lifestyle choices before reaching old age. Smoking, consuming alcohol, poor eating habits, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, stress and a previous diagnosis of diabetes can all be risk factors for heart disease later in life.

One proactive step you can take in managing these risk factors is taking advantage of what your health plan offers, often at little or no cost to you.

A healthy heart is much to celebrate – heart disease is the number one killer of women, and is more deadly than all forms of cancer combined.

For example, most health plans cover preventive care at no cost. Take advantage of this benefit by scheduling a biometric screening, cholesterol screening, or routine physical exam. Keep track of your yearly statistics and ask your doctor about what range you should fall within to stay healthy. Some health plans also offer diabetes programs or on-staff care managers to help you manage chronic conditions.

Heart attack symptoms for women

The symptoms of heart disease can be different in men and women. Chest pain is generally the most common symptom of a heart attack, but sometimes a woman can experience a heart attack without chest pains. Here are some other symptoms to be aware of:

  •        Pain of the neck, jaw, shoulder, upper back or abdomen
  •        Shortness of breath
  •        Pain in your right arm
  •        Nausea or vomiting
  •        Sweating
  •        Lightheadedness, dizziness
  •        Fatigue

Reduce your risk of heart disease and live a healthy lifestyle

According to the American Heart Association, only one in five American women believe that heart disease is her greatest threat. Don’t fall to this statistic!

Take a proactive approach and make these healthy lifestyle choices a part of your routine:

  1. Commit to a healthy diet – eat lots of fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, whole grains and lean meats and fish.
  2. Quit smoking – some health plans offer smoking cessation programs- if this is a feature of your plan, take advantage of it.
  3. Start an exercise regimen – shedding those extra pounds can lower your blood pressure and cholesterol level, lower your risk of diabetes and improve your heart function.
  4. De-stress – some health plans offer free online stress management programs. If you are feeling overly stressed or depressed, talk to your doctor about getting a recommendation.

Looking to incorporate these new tips right away into your Valentine’s Day plans, check out this article for 13 Valentine’s Day Recipes that Beat a Box of Chocolates.

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