February has been designated as heart disease awareness month. February 1st, the color Red was worn as awareness of this killer disease sponsored by the American Heart Association. Heart disease is the leading cause of death amonth women and men in the United States. However, its effect on women is inherently different than that of men. “Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, causing 1 in 3 deaths each year. That’s approximately one woman every minute!” www.goredforwomen.org
Heart disease continues to be a major problem among Americans. It is vitally important to know the signs and symptoms of a heart. Most women do not realize they have heart disease and even more unaware of the symptoms of a heart attack. Once the symptoms manifests, women continue to deny it may be their heart excusing it away as stress or a virus. Flu-like symptoms are often associated with heart attacks -- sweating, nausea, pressure and jaw pain. Symptoms of a heart attack you may look for are:
- Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
- Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
- Shortness of breath, with or without chest discomfort.
- Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
Prevention is key! See your physician so you can begin a heart-healthy diet regimen (you can also begin to cut down on the foods that may cause heart attacks like salt, greasy foods, etc), exercise, and be aware of your body language as it will let you know when something is wrong. Get educated! If you think that you or someone you know is having a heart attack, call 9–1–1 immediately – time is of the essence -- don’t delay, it is a matter of life and death!
Dedicated to the memory of my mother, Mrs. Jimmie D. Denard Howard!