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Heart Disease is the number one killer of women in the United States, but it doesn’t have to be. Find out what you can do to prevent becoming a victim of this deadly disease.
Know the Symptoms:
“Often times women fail to recognize the signs and symptoms and failing to acknowledge any urgency believing that a heart attack cannot happen to them. Other reasons may be fear but women continue to put their families first,” Joyce Dobish, CRNT
Heart disease may present differently in women than it does in men. Some symptoms women may experience include shortness of breath, pressure or pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen, dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting. In some cases women complain of upper back pressure, extreme fatigue, flulike symptoms consisting of cold sweat, nausea, vomiting, neck and jaw discomfort, headache and shoulder pain.
Dobish explains that one reason for the differences in heart disease symptoms among women is that heart disease in men has more often been associated with blockages in the coronary artery. “Women frequently develop heart disease within smaller arteries that branch out from the coronary artery,” she says.
Prevention is Key:
When it comes to the treatment of heart disease, prevention is still best.
• Don’t smoke
• Control your blood sugar
• Manage your blood pressure
• Be active
• Maintain a healthy weight
• Eat a diet rich in fruit, vegetables and lean meats
• Know your family history
• Limit your alcohol intake