Most people don’t realize that heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States. In fact, a staggering 1 in every 5 female deaths is related to heart disease.
Many women are unaware of the signs of a heart attack or stroke. While some women do experience chest pain, many experience more uncommon symptoms such as cold sweats, shortness of breath, discomfort in the stomach, and vomiting.
Because of the stereotype that heart disease and heart attacks happen to men, surveys show that most women do not know the signs and symptoms of heart disease. Symptoms may include:
- Chest pain or chest discomfort
- Pain in the abdomen, upper back, neck, throat, or jaw
- Weight gain
- Swelling in legs and feet
- Shortness of breath
- General weakness
- Changes in skin color
Preventing heart disease
There are tons of risk factors for heart disease including, genetics, lifestyle choices, and biological factors. And while you can’t eliminate your chances of getting heart disease, you can reduce them by taking the following steps
The bottom line is, we’ve known for years it causes heart disease, lung disease, and many other debilitating heart issues.
Get up and move
Numerous studies show simple exercises such as walking and even passive stretching can improve blood flow to your heart, lower blood pressure, and generally improve your overall health. In fact, stretching and light exercise can help reduce stiffness in your arteries, and reduce your chance of getting heart disease.
Watch what you eat
Maintaining a healthy diet that is high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can lower your blood pressure and weight, both things that have a profound effect on your heart. Lowering your sodium intake and eating potassium-rich foods such as bananas and sweet potatoes can lower your blood pressure.
Reduce stress levels
Studies show that long-term stress can increase your blood pressure, blood sugar, and even your cholesterol. Go for a walk, dinner, or a night out on the town and remove your mind from the thoughts of everyday life.
Check your blood pressure
High blood pressure is one of the biggest symptoms of heart disease and can lead to heart attacks.
The bottom line is that heart disease is much deadlier in women than most people realize. Start taking control of your stress, diet, and overall health to reduce to risk of getting heart attacks and heart disease.