I want to share some information about heart disease and some of the ways it shows up, especially for women. Much of the existing heart disease in the US, in fact 80%, can be prevented through proper nutrition and lifestyle habits. There are some risk factors we all need to manage to keep ourselves healthy but a few changes can be profound in protecting your heart.
According to the Mayo Clinic, there are risk factors we all need to be aware of. Some of them are within our control, others not so much.
Women have risk factors unrelated to the classic male model of heart disease, but we also can be affected
by some of the same risk factors as men.
- High cholesterol, high blood pressure and obesity – As with men, if any or all of these factors are part of your life, your risk of developing heart disease increases.
- Diabetes – This poses a bigger threat for women than it does for men. When diabetes is present, the way we feel pain changes, so the likelihood of having a ‘silent heart attack’ increases.
- Stress and depression – These conditions have a more dramatic effect on women than they do on men. Depression makes it difficult to maintain normal healthy lifestyle habits, increasing risk even more.
- Smoking – This is much more detrimental to women than it is for men in developing heart disease.
- Sedentary lifestyle – Being physically inactive puts you at greater risk for developing heart disease and women are more likely than men to be inactive.
- Menopause – Once estrogen levels begin to drop off as women age, our risk of developing cardiovascular disease increases.
- Pregnancy – If a woman develops high blood pressure and gestational diabetes during pregnancy, she is at higher risk for developing these conditions long-term and also heart disease.
- Family history – If a woman has a family history of heart disease, her chances of developing it herself are higher than a man’s.
- Inflammatory diseases – Autoimmune diseases like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis are more likely to trigger heart disease as well in both men and women.
As I mentioned before, 80% of heart disease is preventable with simple lifestyle and nutrition changes. Make these changes and you will decrease your risk of developing heart disease.
- quit smoking
- exercise daily
- maintain healthy weight
- eat a healthy balanced diet
- manage stress
- limit alcohol
- manage related health conditions
- take medications as prescribed
Heart disease comes in many forms. You can do a lot to prevent or manage it through medical intervention, dietary changes and lifestyle improvements.
In my practice, I work with women living with or at risk for developing heart disease or other chronic illness that can be managed through lifestyle and nutrition changes to prevent or possibly even reverse such conditions.
To schedule a ‘no strings attached’ free consultation with me please click here. We’ll discuss your specific health challenges and come up with some next steps for you to follow. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.