These facts, and they are facts, are only meant to increase your knowledge of your body and encourage you to see your doctor if you have symptoms with which you are unfamiliar.
First of all, let's understand just how our heart works in layman's language.
The heart is a muscle about the size of a closed fist and lies to the left of the center of the chest. The heart pumps blood that contains oxygen and nutrients to all body tissues.
The heart has four chambers. It is divided vertically by a wall called the septum and has right and left sides. It is also separated horizontally with the atria at the top and ventricles at the bottom. The chambers of the heart are separated by valves to prevent the backward flow of blood. The heart has its own blood vessels called coronary arteries that run along the outside of the heart muscle. The coronary arteries supply blood to the heart itself.
Now let's check risk factors for women to have a heart attack.
Menopause risk increases four times
Diabetes risk increases seven times.
Smoking as few as four cigarettes a day increases risk seven times.
High blood pressure triples your risk of heart attack and doubles risk of stroke.
High cholesterol increased levels of bad HDL contributes to the development of heart disease and narrows the coronary arteries.
Overweight likelihood two or three times of a heart attack, especially if the excess weight is in the upper body. Physical inactivity contributes to low levels of HDL, being overweight, high blood pressure and stress.
Stress emotions affect the body, make the heart work harder and can worsen high blood pressure.
Family history if a blood kin under age 55 has a heart problem your risk, without proper medical care, increases.
Important incidental Women experience more silent heart attacks than men. It is also more likely that a single artery will be narrowed in women versus multiple arteries in men.
Women should know the warning signs of heart disease or heart attacks:
Vague discomfort in the chest that doesn't do away with rest.
Sudden, severe and crushing chest discomfort. (It might not be acid indigestion.)
Heaviness, pressure, squeezing, fullness, burning, tightness in the chest, shoulder. arm, neck that doesn't go away.
Shortness of breath or unusual fatigue.
Unusual pain spreading down both or one arm.
Paleness, sweating (other than hot flashes) and/or weakness.
Feelings of extreme anxiety, denial or fear.
If you experience any of these symptoms, tell someone immediately or call 911.
Under no circumstances drive yourself to the hospital.
This article, like all previous or subsequent articles I write on HEALTH, is only meant as a warning to protect your health. NOBODY knows your body as well as you do.
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Freda Douglas is a published author. Her first book "Cherish the Past", still available on Amazon.com, was published in 2004. Her second book "Winds of Change"
is now available at your local book store by using this ISBN # 978-1-60145-367-9
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