Women’s Heart Health –
Why more women die from heart attacks than men

woman heart attackDo you take care of your hair? Yes

Do you take care of your makeup? Yes

Do you take care of your heart? Uh,Oh

Most women think of heart issues as a Man problem. Unfortunately, this could not be further from the truth.

Heart disease is the number one killer of women in the U.S. Killing 1 out of every 3 people, men and women equally.

In fact, you can see from the chart below that even as young as 45, the amount of women with heart disease is almost equal to the amount of men and by the age of 55, men and women have an equal risk.

deaths from heart attacks stats

What is more discouraging is that more women die from heart attacks than men.

23% of women die within their first year of having a heart attack, versus only 18% of men.

And 47% of women die within five years of having their first heart attack, versus only 36% of men.

So why do more women die
from heart attacks than men?

A 2005 study by the American Heart association showed that 8% of primary care physicians and only 17% of cardiologist knew that more women die from heart disease than men.

Since most heart studies are done on men, women often go unnoticed.

And since the symptoms of a heart attack are much milder and so different in most women, they don’t get the care that they need, when it is most important. Most women don’t even know they are having a heart attack.

How do you recognize a
heart attack in a woman?

man heart attackIf I show you this picture, you immediately know that this man is having a heart attack.

You can tell right away from his face that he is in pain, and he is grabbing his chest or maybe even his left arm.

Either way, if you saw this, you would probably think, that man is having a heart attack. I should probably go see if I can get him some help.

 

Now I am going to show you a series of pictures of women’s heart attacks.

women heart attack symptoms

What is sad is that even as recent as writing this article, when I looked up “woman heart attack”, the only images were the same symptoms that men have. I had to look up the individual symptoms of a women’s heart attack to find images that show what a women’s heart attack actually looks like. Which means that it is not common knowledge and it also means that most people will miss your symptoms and won’t offer you the same help that they would to a man.

Female heart attacks usually show as discomfort in the chest, breast, back, shoulders, jaw, neck or throat as well as fatigue, shortness of breath, anxiety, nausea, severe indigestion, and sleep disturbances.

These symptoms are usually milder than when a man has a heart attack and often either go unnoticed or dismissed as a minor issue.

1. women chest painPain in the chest or breast – This is still common, which is similar to a man’s heart attack, but usually much more mild.  You see the picture of the man above and it is written all over his face: he is in serious pain. Meanwhile, you see the woman to the right, and while she looks distressed, she does not look like she is in danger and therefore will not get the same attention. You may even excuse these pains as acid reflux.  If you are having these symptoms and then start having any of the other symptoms on the list, you should call 911 or get to a doctor ASAP.

2. Pain in the back, shoulders, jaw, neck or throat – These symptoms may signal a heart condition especially if it is hard to pinpoint exactly where it hurts, but it’s rather a general area that is causing discomfort. If the pain increases when you exert yourself and stops when you don’t, you should get it checked out.

jaw painOther things to look out for:

  • Women can have pain in both arms, not just the left arm like men
  • Pain in the back, usually starts in the chest and spreads out from there.
  • The pain can be sudden, not from anything you did, and can wake you up in your sleep.
  • Pain in the jaw, is usually on the left lower side.

3. Fatigue – Like most women, you take care of alot and probably feel tired most of the time. But if you feel more fatigued than usual, watch out for these issues:

  • fatigueYou are more worn out than usual after performing your regular exercises or routines.
  • You have heaviness in your chest without being active.
  • Simple routine activities make you extremely tired (ex. shopping, walking to the bathroom, making the bed, etc…)
  • You may have difficulty sleeping even when you are already tired.

4. Sweating or Shortness of Breath – As you get older, you may experience hot flashes (sweating) or shortness of breath if you are overweight, but in these situations, you should get yourself checked out:

  • sweatingSweating or Shortness of Breath, when you have not done anything.
  • Inability to catch your breath for a long time after exercise.
  • Shortness of breath that improves when you are in a propped up position but gets worse when lying down.
  • Feeling stressed and sweating for no reason
  • Sweating or difficulty breathing and also feeling tired or  pain in your chest

5. Nausea or Severe Indigeston – Often times women will feel nausea, have indigestion or have severe acid reflux, and will ignore this symptom all together. If you have these symptoms along with any of the other symptoms, you nausea upset stomachshould get yourself checked out.

Since women’s  heart attack symptoms are easier to miss, many women just attribute them to something else and go about their day. Now that you know the symptoms, take notes of the symptoms and if you see more than one occurring, or if you are concerned, see your doctor as soon as you possible.

Tikva - lower your blood pressure

So now that you know what to look for,
what can you do about it?

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

There are several simple and natural things that you can do every day to help prevent or reverse heart disease. These include; exercise, drinking enough water, proper diet / losing weight, and nutritional supplements.

Exercise

heart exerciseYour heart is a muscle that gets stronger and healthier the more active you are. It is never too late to get started and even something as simple as walking briskly for 30 minutes, can make a big difference.People who don’t exercise are almost twice as likely to develop heart disease as people that are active.Regular exercise can help you:

  • Burn calories
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduce bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol

The best thing you can do is actually to be active all day. People who are active all day, doing regular tasks, such as cleaning, running errands, yard work, etc., tend to burn more calories and are typically healthier than people that workout once a day for 30 to 60 minutes and then sit at a desk.

If you have a desk job though, it is important to add even 30 minutes a day into your schedule. I know this sounds daunting, but think about things you enjoy doing. Maybe join a gym and take some classes, or workout on your own, or maybe you used to play a sport, (there are plenty of adult leagues in most areas). It’s time to get active again!

Drink Enough Water

waterThis may sound like something your mother told you to do, but you never understood the reason, and so you did not make it a part of your life.

Drinking enough water, will help you to lower your blood pressure naturally.

If you do not drink enough water, your body will hold excess sodium from your blood as a way of retaining fluids and will force your body to shut down your capillary beds, creating excess pressure on your arteries.

So by staying hydrated, you help protect your arteries from excess pressure, and you reduce the risk of water retention and swelling.

To see other benefits of drinking water and to know how much water you should drink, read our water article by clicking here.

Dash Diet and Weight Loss

dash dietWith a weight loss as low as 9 pounds, systolic blood pressure (top number) typically falls  by 4.5 mmHg, and diastolic blood pressure (bottom number) falls by 3 mmHg

The Dash Diet is the number one diet recommended for lowering blood pressure and keeping your heart healthy.

What you eat affects your chances of getting high blood pressure. A healthy eating plan can both reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure and lower a blood pressure that is already too high.
For an overall eating plan, consider DASH, which stands for “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.” You can reduce your blood pressure by eating foods that are low in saturated fat, total fat, and cholesterol, and high in fruits, vegetables, and low fat dairy foods.
The DASH eating plan includes whole grains, poultry, fish, and nuts, and has low amounts of fats, red meats, sweets, and sugared beverages. It is also high in potassium, calcium, and magnesium, as well as protein and fiber. Eating foods lower in salt and sodium also can reduce blood pressure.
counting calories cheese burgerOr
I have found that when ever I am getting overweight,  I simply count my calories. Then I can eat what ever foods I like. The important thing is to know how many calories you should consume and stick to that number.

Nutritional Supplements

When it comes to blood pressure supplements, it is first important to know what the main causes of blood pressure are, so that you know that the ingredients in the supplement are addressing those issues.

You should look for a product that:

  • pomegranate plaqueLowers Blood Pressure
  • Lowers Cholesterol
  • Increases Nitric Oxide
  • Increases Circulation
  • Widens (dilates) arteries
  • Creates a “teflon” like coating so new plaque can’t stick
  • Increases HDL “good cholesterol”
  • Reduces LDL “bad cholesterol”
  • Improves Homocysteine levels
  • Increases Antioxidants
  • Reduces Stress
  • Reduce Triglycerides
  • Reduce C-Reactive Protein
  • Reduce Arrythmias
  • Reduces inflammation

We have found a product that does all of these things, you can learn more about it by clicking here

What you should know

Know your blood pressure numbers:

blood pressureAdults should have a blood pressure of less than 120/80. High blood pressure is 140/90 or higher. Many people fall into the category in between, called prehypertension.

120 – 129 over 80 – 84 = 181% higher risk of cardiovascular disease*

130 – 139 over 85 – 89 = 233% higher risk of cardiovascular disease*

*New England Journal of Medicine

Know your Cholesterol Numbers:

In healthy adults, total cholesterol levels should be under 200. From 200 to 239 mg/dL is considered borderline-high, and levels above 240 are considered dangerously high.

Total cholesterol of 260 mg/dL increases your heart attack risk by 500%.

LDL Cholesterol – (keep below 100mg/dl if you have heart disease.)

When too much LDL (bad) cholesterol circulates in your blood, it can slowly build up in the inner walls of your arteries.  This plaque narrows your arteries and makes them less flexible.  This condition is known as atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries.

cholesterol and antioxidantsHDL Cholesterol – (keep above 35mg/dl – the higher the better.)
HDL is called the good cholesterol. HDL transports cholesterol in your blood back to the liver, where it is then eliminated from your body. HDL helps keep LDL cholesterol from building up in the walls of your arteries. If your level of HDL cholesterol is below 35mg/dl, you are at substantially higher risk for coronary heart diease.

Triglycerides – (keep under 150mg/dl.)
Triglyceride is another form of fat (lipid) made in the body. Elevated triglycerides can be caused by obesity, physical inactivity, cigarette smoking, excess alcohol consumption and a diet very high in carbohydrates.

Other Risk Factors

High C-reactive Protein

c reactive protein testOne of The New England Journal of Medicine studies showed that people with high levels of C-reactive protein were almost three times as likely to die from a heart attack.

High C-reactive protein  causes significant damage to the arteries. A series of landmark studies indicate that 25 to 35 million Americans with normal cholesterol levels have above average levels of inflammation within their cardiovascular systems, This inflammation has significant impact on heart disease risk. You can know if you have this inflammatory marker by having a C-reactive protein test.

High C-reactive protein levels indicate an increased risk for unstable plaque and abnormal clotting. One of the New England Journal of Medicine studies showed that people with high levels of C-reactive protein were almost three times as likely to die from a heart attack.

High Homocysteine

homocysteineHaving a high homocysteine level produces  a 3-fold increase in the risk of heart attack over a 5-year period.

The evidence is clear that having an elevated homocysteine level is an independent risk factor for heart disease. One large study indicates having an elevated homocysteine level produces a more than 3-fold increase in the risk of heart attack over a 5-year period.

Homocysteine causes thickening of the inner wall of your arteries. It also encourages blood platelets to accumulate, which may lead to the formation of blood clots. In animal studies, homocysteine has been shown to negatively affect the production of nitric oxide, the gas that causes your arteries to relax and blood flow to increase.

In 1999, the American Heart Association recognized the role of homocysteine in atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) when it issued an advisory statement emphasizing the importance of reducing homocysteine blood levels. The New England Journal of Medicine suggested that Vitamins B6, B12, folic acid and trimethylglycine could be used to lower homocysteine levels.

Heart Arrythmias

magnesium arrythmiaHeart arrythmias increase the risk of stroke five to seven times.

A healthy heartbeat is stimulated by electrical pulses that arise from within the heart itself and cause cardiac muscle contractions that send blood pulsing through your body’s network of arteries and veins. Ideally, this system works without problems. When there is a problem with your electrical system, an irregular heartbeat, or arrhythmia may develop.

Underlying health problems that may contribute to the development of arrhythmias include congenital heart defects, coronary artery disease, high blood pressure (hypertension), high cholesterol or triglyceride levels, atherosclerosis, diabetes, thyroid disease, and damaged heart valves. Untreated, you may experience chronic fatigue and it may lead to heart failure. Arrhythmias increase the risk of stroke three to five times.

What natural product do we recommend?

Tikva is the only product that we have found that addresses all of the issues above. You can learn more about the Tikva product at www.TikvaDrink.com

Tikva with chocolatedrinkIf you are taking blood pressure medications or are looking for a natural way to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, Tikva addresses all of the issues above.  Tikva has several natural ingredients that help to widen (dilate) the arteries, so they do not become too narrow.

There are ingredients that increase Nitric Oxide, reduce homocysteine and C-reactive protein levels,  increase circulation, dissolve plaque that is already in the arteries and reduce new plaque from forming. In addition, there are ingredients in Tikva to help reduce stress that often increases blood pressure without all of the side effects.

Read more about the natural ingredients in Tikva by clicking here.

 

 

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