Women’s Heart Health Month

Women’s Heart Health Month

February is women’s heart health month, and we at Whitefish Family Doctor Medical Clinic would like to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of a woman’s heart attack.
Heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States. The symptoms a woman experience are not as well known as a man’s, and are actually very quite a bit from men’s heart attack experience. The traditional left arm pain, tightness in the chest, and shortness of breath are not the only symptoms of a woman’s typical heart attack.

Women are more likely to experience these signs and symptoms:

  1. A squeezing, uncomfortable heaviness, pain or pressure located centrally in your chest.
  2. Difficulty Breathing or shortness of breath.
  3. Pain or discomfort in the neck, jaw, stomach, one or both arms, or the back.
  4. Nausea, cold sweats, and dizziness
  5. Fatigue
Women can experience a heart attack and have no chest pressure. When people think heart attack they tend to think of someone grabbing their chest or arm and falling to the floor. A woman’s heart attack may not be so symptomatic.
Many times a woman will dismiss a heart attack as something else, for instance the flu or acid reflux, only later to find out that they were actually experiencing a heart attack.
Around every 43 seconds someone has a heart attack. When the blood flow which supply the heart with oxygen is severely reduced or completely cut off a heart attack occurs. This occurs when cholesterol, fat or other plaque block or severely narrow the arteries.

Ways to help prevent a heart attack

  1. Get regular check ups with your local family physician. They can help to assess your risk factors and run all the proper tests to check your levels.
  2. Kick cigarettes in the Butt. Quit smoking as soon as possible and your risk will decline by 50%
  3. Get your heart pumping. Begin an exercise program, if you start by simply adding 30 minutes of walking everyday to your routine it reduces your chances for stroke and heart attack.
  4. Eat to fuel your body. Changing your diet can be extremely beneficial to your family’s health. Opting for lighter, leaner meat cuts for instance chicken breast instead of red meat, can increase heart health.

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