Did you know that February is Heart Month. It is appropriate with Valentine’s Day being in the same month. Everything about February says Heart.
I want to talk about women and heart disease. Don’t stop reading here because you think heart disease is something that only kills out of shape elderly, men! Did you know that Heart Disease is the number one killer of women and kills more women than Breast Cancer?
Can it happen to you? I suggest you know the signs to look for because it happened to me. Let me share my story.
I always knew I had what the doctor’s called a Heart Murmur. No big deal, just an extra thump now and then. So nothing more was done.
I applied to be a police officer and went through their physical and medical testing. They knew I had a Heart Murmur so they even ran extra tests on my heart. I passed everything and got the job.
Then when I was 33 years old, I started getting migraines a lot. I had always been a migraine sufferer, but they increased to almost one a week when I was having them a few times a year. I also started to notice that my chest and neck was pounding and I was feeling stressed even though nothing was bothering me.
I had gone to my family doctor a lot and nothing was ever noticed or said. Then one day I just could not take it anymore. I went to the doctor’s office again and this time a fill in doctor was there. Right away this doctor noticed that my heart was not beating properly and rushed me to have testing done.
I went for a few tests across the street at a lab and they would not let me leave without consulting a cardiologist first. Now I was scared! I was even more scared when the technician came out and told me that if I started having trouble breathing or pains in my back or chest to get to the hospital right away. I was 33, fit as a whistle and could not believe that this was happening.
I got to see a cardiologist right away and luckily I got a good one. Tests were run. I had to wear a heart monitor all the time because my heart was hitting over 200 beats a minute at times and I was blacking out/seeing stars.
So the overall outcome is that I am at an increased risk of a stroke. I was on medication for awhile, but manage now without medication, eating healthy and trying to stay in shape.
I want women to take control of their health. At the time of my diagnoses, I was running 10 miles a week, an avid mountain biker, played hockey, did karate. I was active to say the least. I was also pretty young.
The most interesting part of my heart conditions is that they have always existed and were just never found over the years until I started to feel the symptoms.
So please remember this Heart Month and every month, that heart conditions and heart disease do not just happen to an out of shape male as the stereotype often goes.
Getting informed is part of making sure we are taking care of ourselves and our hearts. Saving Women’s Hearts is a great resource with information that will keep you making sure you are thinking about your heart’s health.
Some of the topics you’ll read about in Savings Women’s Hearts include:
o Women and Heart Disease: Myths and Misconceptions
o Heart disease is only an issue for elderly women
o Risk factors for heart disease are the same in women as in men
o Nuts can raise cholesterol levels
o 9 Simple Ways to Save Your Heart
o Eat more fish, garlic and green tea.
o Choose whole grain bread/pasta and brown rice over white rice.
o Don’t sweat the small stuff.
To help make sure my readers are taking care of their hearts, we are giving away one Saving Women’s Hearts book.
Leave a comment on this blog post about why you would like the book to be entered.
Contest closes on March 9th, 2011. A winner will be randomly drawn from the comments and contacted on March 10th, 2011 via email, so please keep an eye on your junk mail just in case the email goes there.
Disclosure – I am participating in the Saving Women’s Hearts program by Mom Central on behalf of Wiley Publishing. I received a copy of the book to review and gift card as a thank you for my participation. The opinions on this blog are my own.