Heart Smart Help For Her | February is Heart Disease Month

LWMJanFeb2015-smallfinal_Page_11Many believe the leading cause of death among women is cancer. If that is what you think, you are NOT alone. Unfortunately, you are not correct. The leading cause of death among women is HEART DISEASE. Yes, heart disease.

According to the American Heart Association heart disease is responsible for one in every three woman’s deaths per year. Worse yet, many still believe that heart disease is a man’s disease. It is NOT. In fact since 1984 women continue to die from heart disease at a growing and rapid rate.

So, you ask…What should women do to prevent heart disease?

1. Take Responsibility.

Women must take responsibility for her personal health and well being. Generally the care giver of her family, women are good at helping and encouraging others – family, friends but not diligent when it comes to her self. Every woman’s  first defense and motto going forward must be TAKE CARE OF ME – FIRST.

The best prevention against heart disease is to understand the risks and treatment options if heart disease and stroke history are apparent. Ask your health provider questions. Before visiting the doctor’s o ce be prepared. Take a pen and pencil with you. Ask questions – lots of them and write the answers down. Share your family’s history with your health provider. The information shared will become a part of the permanent health record. Especially share the information if heart disease and stroke are a part of your DNA. Your health history matters.

2. Know YOUR Risks- At EVERY Age.

The older one is the greater the risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Be diligent and focused. Recognize and honor your genetic make-up. If a family member has a history of cardiovascular disease, i.e. parents, siblings, grandparent – your risk is much greater.

3. DO NOT SMOKE, Not Now, Not EVER!

The evidence is overwhelming. Cigarette smoking and second hand exposure to smoking increases the risks of heart disease, lung cancer and stroke.

4. Keep the Pressure DOWN.

Hypertension also known as high blood pressure is the “silent killer.” It often goes without symptoms. Checking with your Doctor or health provider is a must on a regular basis – especially if there is a family history of high blood pressure. Heredity and increasing age raises the risk.

5. The Number Counts – Monitor Cholesterol.

Abnormal or high blood lipids (fats) are a major contributor to cardiovascular disease. Blood lipids include the LDL (bad cholesterol), HDL and triglycerides. The lower one’s LDL and the higher HDL, the better. If one is at risk, check with your Physician. Diet may or may not help. Medication may be the best prevention.

By Dorri C. Scott, MSW

Speak Your Mind

*

All rights reserved Ruby Red Press LLC 2016