Not Just a Man’s Disease: Raising Heart-Health Awareness in February
Already 2 months into the New Year finds us in February. Although Valentine’s Day garners most of the attention when it comes to star-struck lovers and heart-throbbing romantic notions, February is becoming a month of awareness for another issue that involves the heart – women’s Heart Disease. Usually awareness for heart disease has been focused largely on the male population, with women usually receiving attention in regards to breast cancer. That trend is looking to be reversed as studies show that in fact heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, causing 1 in 3 deaths each year. To put that into perspective according to goredforwomen.org, that’s nearly 1 woman a minute!
However, heart disease doesn’t affect all women the same way, and signs of it are different than in those of men. Knowing the truth about this seldom discussed killer can be the first step in realizing the predictors in your own life and working to minimize your risk over time.
Signs of Heart Disease in Women
Congenital Heart Defects
Up to 1.3 milllion people in America have a form of congenital heart defect. Each year over 1,000 babies are born with a heart defect. The causes are still under investigation, but it appears that they are a combination of environment al and genetic influences. There 3 known congenital heart defect factors: Genetic Syndrome, Single Gene, and Environmental Factors. The only way to know if you may be at risk or if your child-to-be may be at risk is to receive the proper congenital heart screenings.
Finding its root word in Greek, athero means literally “paste”. Sclerosis means hardness. So Atherosclerosis literally means “hard paste”. We call this plaque today. Plaque is produced as a byproduct of fatty substances and cholesterol. These substances build up over time and clog arteries – the vital pathways leading to the heart, supplying blood, nutrients and oxygen. This is very serious. An artery can eventually become so blocked that a blood clot forms – leading to heart attack or stroke.
Silent Heart Attack
Silent heart attacks occur with none of the traditional signs like tightness in the chest, chest pain, arm numbness, or labored breathing. They occur when blood flow to the heart is reduced, and subsequently – oxygen. This reduced blood flow can damage and weaken the heart over time. When sufferers visit their doctors due to unexplained fatigue, or muscle soreness they then find out that they had a silent heart attack weeks or months previous without even knowing it.
What you can do about it
The most important thing you can do for your health is to be proactive. Preventive care is leading the way into the future of individual care and wellness. At Be Well 365 we want you happy, healthy and living life to the fullest. Don’t wait to treat heart disease, work to prevent it.