BrightStar Care North Suburban believes facing and sharing these harsh facts can save lives.
We may have missed "National Wear Red Day" on February 6 sponsored by the American Heart Association, but we can still honor the red flags they're waving. It's time to face the harsh facts and tough truths--and some good news too!
Tough Truth 1: Heart disease is not mainly a man's disease; it's the number one cause of death for women. Heart disease ends the life of one woman per minute.
Tough Truth 2: Heart disease kills five times more women than breast cancer and, according to the National Heart Association, it is more deadly than all forms of cancer combined!
Tough Truth 3: More women than men die from heart disease. Despite this fact, only one woman in five thinks that heart disease poses a serious threat to them personally.
Tough Truth 4: It does not always have warning symptoms. In fact, 64% of all women who die suddenly from coronary heart disease had no previous symptoms. What's more, mens' and womens' symptoms differ and the one that gets publicized the most is severe chest pain. Do any of you out there on the north shore, remember "Sanford and Son" (obviously we provide care for older people ) and the way Fred was always grabbing his heart and saying, "Oh no, it's the big one!" Well, it's just too bad there wasn't a Mrs. Sanford there to set the record straight for women.
Tough Truth 5: Chest pain is not the number one symptom for women; they're more likely to experience shortness of breath, nausea, and back or jaw pain, dizziness, lightheadedness and fainting.
Tough Truth 6: This disease strikes younger women too! Sorry, young folks, you may "own the night," but we hope the truth dawns on you that youth is no magic cloak that can keep you hidden from heart disease. Truth is women on the pill and who smoke have a 20% higher risk of heart disease than women who do not smoke--including older women.
And now, we interrupt this blog with some positive news sponsored by BrightStar In-Home Care/North Suburban
Good Truth: Although women with a history of heart disease in the family are at higher risk (that's not the good news), there is a lot that can be done to reduce risk and let's run down a list from the American Hospital Association (we know reliable sources to quote). Most of the following suggestions relate to one of the biggest things you can do which is make lifestyle changes. For more helpful advice on heart disease prevention, read an "Update on Cardiovascular Disease" from the National Institute on Health (NIH)
Stop smoking evil cigarettes and avoid secondhand tobacco smoke. Don't quit and start again 10 times--your heart can quit once--for good!
Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day.
Start a cardiac rehabilitation program if you’ve recently been hospitalized or had a procedure for heart disease.
Eat a heart-healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables, grains, low-fat or nonfat dairy products, fish, legumes, and sources of protein low in saturated fat (such as, poultry, lean meats, and plant sources). Limit intake of trans fatty acids such as those found in hydrogenated oils.
To maintain a healthy weight, balance the calories you eat with the amount you use up each day. To lose weight, you need to use up more calories than you take in. If you need to, enroll in a formal weight-loss program.
At BrightStar Care we value strong, healthy hearts because we put our whole heart into helping seniors live longer (and stronger) in place with help from home care. And we wholeheartedly request that you share this information with others--women, men, young and elderly--because being aware of what you can do to stay well is something that never gets old. For more informative and personal help please call (847) 510-5750 today or contact your local BrightStar Care online.
Resources: Common Myths about Heart Disease: https://www.goredforwomen.org/about-heart-disease/facts_about_heart_disease_in_women-sub-category/myths-about-heart-disease/ Cardiology Patient Page: Heart Disease Prevention in Women:http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/109/10/e158.full http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23411578