What Every Woman Should Know About Heart Disease

As a woman, it’s critical to understand just how at risk you are for developing heart disease. Yet, many women don’t think about heart health specifically, often due to their stressful and busy lives. With preventative medicine and healthy lifestyle decisions, it may be possible to reduce some of the risks to your health. Here’s what you need to know about heart disease and the preventative measures you can take.

Heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the country. In 2017, there were 299,578 women who died from the condition. That accounts for one out of every five women. Recognizing the true threat to your health is important. Even women who are active and believe they eat a healthy diet are still at risk for developing heart disease.

You may not recognize the symptoms of a heart attack

The symptoms of a heart attack in women are typically different than those that men experience. Most of the time, the symptoms are very subtle and hard to pick up on. For example, fatigue, shortness of breath, and abdominal pain are the most common. Other common symptoms of a heart attack include pain in one or both arms, jaw pain, and indigestion. It’s critically important to seek help immediately if you believe you are experiencing any of these symptoms.

Being overweight makes it even more likely you’ll suffer from heart disease

Being overweight, which is being about 30 pounds or so over the average weight for your height as a woman, increases your chances of developing heart disease significantly. However, you have the power to control this risk factor. By losing weight, even a moderate amount, you may be able to reduce the risk that you’ll suffer a heart attack.

Mental stress can be a key factor in developing heart disease

Stress is one of the largest factors impacting a woman’s risk of developing heart disease. Being mentally stressed or depressed puts a huge strain on your body. For women, depression makes it difficult to maintain an active lifestyle. And physical stress taxes the body with hormones that cause organs to work ineffectively and inefficiently, putting women at risk.

You can reduce your risk of developing heart disease

There are several things you can do to reduce your risk of developing heart disease or reduce your risk of developing complications from heart disease. By exercising every day, not smoking, and maintaining a healthy diet full of good fats and whole grains, you can significantly lower the risk of developing heart disease and keep your heart as healthy as possible. Be sure to cut out saturated and trans fats, both of which are specifically dangerous for women.

Get in for a routine medical checkup to handle heart disease early

Even if you do all the right things, you may still develop heart disease because unfortunately, genetics can contribute to your level of risk. The best way to ensure you remain healthy is to see one of our doctors, at DOCCS Urgent Care, on a routine basis. Scheduling an annual checkup is a good place to start. One of our doctors will talk to you about your heart health and your lifestyle. Your doctor can also run basic blood and lab tests to better understand how healthy your heart is. Most importantly, if there are any early warning signs or symptoms, you’ll be able to seek treatment options available to you to help avoid the negative consequences.

Schedule a checkup with your doctor to help detect heart disease early

Women of all ages should receive routine checkups to monitor for heart health. For those who are at a higher risk of having heart disease, this is even more important. Contact DOCCS Urgent Care at 321-752-7100 to learn more, or book an appointment online now.

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