The American Heart Association and fitlosophy have proclaimed today Blog Your Heart Out Day, and have asked bloggers to blog about heart disease.
I have many reasons to blog my heart out today.
First and foremost, there’s my Dad,
who died suddenly from heart failure almost two years ago.
Then there’s my own experience with deep vein thrombosis (DVT)–blood clots in my calf–
that taught me not to ignore any warning signs.
I’ve also learned a lot about heart disease from my years running in and supporting the Lawyer’s Have Heart 10K in Washington, D.C.
The good news is that many risk factors for heart disease are preventable, and pretty much boil down to taking care of yourself by not smoking, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, eating well (including five or more daily servings of fruits and vegetables) and drinking moderately (or not at all!).
Just in case, it is good to know the warning signs of heart attack and stroke–which generally include chest pain/discomfort/tightness, shortness of breath, or sudden numbness, weakness, dizziness, confusion, or other sudden symptoms.
Also, remember that the warning signs for women can be different and include:
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.
As with men, the most common heart attack symptom in women is chest pain or discomfort. But it’s important to note that women are more likely to experience the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.
Never hesitate to call 9-1-1 at the first warning sign.
I can’t emaphsize this enough. A friend’s boss died of a heart attack last week. He was in his mid-40’s, relatively active, and had no known health problems. He woke up in the middle of the night with chest pains, brushed them off as heart burn, and didn’t wake up again. So, please, never hesitate to call 9-1-1 at the first warning sign.
Did you know that heart disease is the number one killer of women?
Did you know the warning signs for women?