What Every Woman Should Know About Heart Health

Being aware of your heart health can help you prevent and beat heart disease. According to the American Heart Association, knowledge and action can prevent 80% of cardiac and stroke events. At Joshua Medical Group, we want to help you maintain the healthiest heart possible and can help if you develop a cardiovascular issue.

Read on to learn how you can protect your heart health and how to recognize problems should they arise.

Know the seriousness

Heart disease is a serious issue. Heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths every year. It’s more deadly than any cancer. But only half of women recognize heart disease as the No. 1 killer of women. Take prevention seriously.

And heart disease comprises more than a major incident like a stroke or heart attack; blocked arteries and arrhythmia are examples of heart disease that can affect your day-to-day quality of life.

Recognize the symptoms of a heart attack

A woman’s body responds differently to a heart attack compared to a man’s body. You may have the typical chest pain, but more likely, you’ll experience back or jaw pain and nausea just before a heart attack.

In 64% of cases of death from coronary heart disease in women, no previous symptoms were present. Attention to your body and regular screenings are critical. If you suddenly feel lightheaded or daily tasks are harder, consider a visit to Joshua Medical Group for a checkup and screening.

Daily habits can increase your risk

Contributors to heart disease include:

Your genetic history also plays a role. Discuss these risk factors with our medical staff so we can offer appropriate testing.

You don’t have to be overweight to be at risk

Your weight may be normal, but it’s very possible you could have high blood pressure or elevated cholesterol. These health issues can be a result of unlucky genetics or an abundance of visceral fat that sits in your abdomen. 

Visceral fat surrounds your abdominal organs and secretes inflammatory compounds that negatively affect your heart. Ask us to measure your belly and assess your risk, even if you’re not considered overweight or obese.

Lifestyle can change things

You might think you don’t have to worry about major disease, including heart disease, until you’re much older. But the seeds of heart disease can start in your 20s and 30s. Get screened and start to make changes in these early years to stay healthy for the long term.

Get regular screenings for your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and glucose levels. If you have a family history of heart disease, you would benefit from a yearly EKG, or electrocardiogram. Adopt healthy eating habits and a regular exercise routine to keep heart disease from developing early.

What you eat matters

Adopt a healthy diet to help prevent heart disease from developing in the first place. Most of your meals should consist of lean proteins — such as chicken breast, fish, or plant-based items such as tofu — as well as fresh vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.

Avoid saturated fat, found in fatty cuts of meat and full-fat dairy, as well as processed foods and white flours. But don’t fear healthy unsaturated fats found in salmon, walnuts, avocados, and olive oil. These fats keep you feeling satisfied and offer important omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce total body inflammation.

Keep your alcohol intake to just one drink per day — a glass of wine or a beer, for example.

Hormone maintenance

A woman’s hormones play a role in heart health. Prior to menopause, one of the primary sex hormones — estrogen — protects you against heart disease. But when you go through menopause and your estrogen production significantly drops, your risk of heart disease rises greatly. At Joshua Medical Group, we can help you navigate these health changes so you reduce your risk of heart disease. 

Keep up with your health and visit Joshua Medical Group for regular checkups. We work with you to prevent health issues, including heart disease, so you live a long, healthy life. Call today for your appointment or book yours online. 

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