Sutter Health Organization publishes a newsletter called "your health" for Northern California. The Spring newsletter just came yesterday, and there was an excellent article about heart disease, centered on women. Here is the top 10 symptoms that Women should know:
- Chest discomfort
- Pain that spreads to the shoulders, neck, arm or jaw
- Discomfort or pain between the shoulder blades
- Shortness of breath
- Nausea or vomiting
- Indigestion or gas-like pain
- Dizziness or fainting
- Unexplained weakness or fatigue
- Sense of impending doom
This is no laughing matter. If you feel you have the majority of the symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor right away.
They also listed 8 questions that you should ask your doctor:
- What screening or diagnostic tests for heart disease do I need?
- If I have a close family history of heart attack, am I at a greater risk?
- What are my numbers and what do they mean? Include blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, body mass index and waist circumfrence.
- If I smoke, what is the best way for me to quit?
- How much physical activity do I need to help protect my heart?
- What is a heart-healthy eating plan for me?
- What are the warning signs of heart disease or a heart attack?
- If I experience signs or symptoms of a heart attack, what steps do I need to take?
Also, nutrition-wise, there is much you can do to prevent heart problems in the future. Starting in your 20's, developing good habits will serve you well throughout life. Excessive carbohydrate intake will raise triglyceride levels: keep the intake off alcohol and simple sugars to a moderate level. And exercise regularly!! In your 30's, watch what type of fat you eat. Try and switch to olive oil and canola oil for cooking, which increase HDL. Omega 3 oils protect the heart by lowering the overall triglyceride levels and reduces blood clots. In your 40's, a higher intake of foods rich in B vitamin folate can reduce homocysteine levels in the blood. Elevated levels can damage the blood vessel wall lining and increase the probability of blood clots. 50's and older: reducing your salt intake to less than 2,400 mg per day can help reduce blood pressure. For everyone it is recommended that a plant-based diet rich in hole grains, fruits, and veggies will nourish and protect us for life.
All this is in the newsletter which is a joint effort between Sutter Novato Community Hospital and Sutter Marin General Hospital, here in Marin County, California. For more info please visit www.novatocommunity.sutterhealth.org, www.maringeneral.sutterhealth.org, and www.hearts.sutterhealth.org.