One of the main causes of death in women is estimated to be cardiac diseases. Although it is true that it affects both genders equally, women have particular characteristics that you should keep in mind, which may help you prevent them. Would you like to find out more?
Cardiac diseases aren’t just something for men. Studies say that they are growing even more in this gender, up to the estimate of every 90 seconds, a woman suffers from a heart attack in a western country. What can you do? What changes should you make in your lifestyle to prevent cardiac diseases?
Cardiac Diseases that Affect Women More
- It is definitely the most common disease in women. It happens because of an accumulation in the tissue and cholesterol that obstructs the arteries little by little, which are in charge of transporting blood to the heart. Over time, they not only become rigid but also barely leave any space for blood to come in, much less gets there, and lastly, the heart suffers what’s called ischemia. If blood does not get to the heart, you will suffer from a heart attack. You must keep it in mind.
What Symptoms do Women Have?
- The problem that women have is that cardiac problems can sometimes be confused with other things. You feel fatigue, have back or neck pain, your stomach hurt, you get tired… while men may feel a subtle pain in their left arm, women have symptoms of a cardiac disease in a much more widespread way: dizziness, extreme fatigue…
- Another important sign is seen when looking at your neck veins. If your ankles are swollen and your neck veins are also swollen, immediately see your doctor.
Broken Heart Syndrome or Cardiomyopathy from Stress
- It is definitely one of the most characteristic cardiac diseases in women. It is associated with a very strong emotional stress level. It is common for women to have daily lives full of responsibilities and obligations. Work, home, children, and even taking care of a sick family member. All of this makes stress have a much more intense impact on them.
- In cardiomyopathy, what happens is that left ventricle of the heart is overstimulated and swollen, which causes a slight disfunction. It is not mortal in every case, nor is it as serious as a heart attack, but you have to keep it in mind in order to know of it and treat it on time. It generally has good odds.
What Symptoms Do Women Have?
- The symptoms are very similar to a heart attack. You should be aware of your overall health. Are you extremely tired and don’t know why? Do you have nausea and pain in your stomach and low part of your abdomen? If so, and you are also going through a very stressful time period, see your doctor.
How Are Cardiac Disease and Menopause Related?
The relation is very close. You have to think about the estrogen in women, this has an excellent functionality. It protects you from cardiac diseases. But when you go through menopause and the level of estrogen drops, the following happens:
- Changes in the walls of blood vessels. They harden, atherosclerotic plaques form, and blood clots appear.
- Cholesterol changes. Bad cholesterol, known as LDL, increases.
- A substance called Fibrinogen increases, which causes blood to clot as well as heart attacks and brain hemorrhages.
Heart Attacks in Women Are Different
- As we saw before, the arrival of menopause causes changes in you that makes you vulnerable to cardiac diseases. The decrease in estrogen levels is a determinant factor in these changes happening.
- The probabilities of developing a cardiac disease in women happens during menopause. But the most important part of all, is that, according to studies, women have worse recovery after suffering from a heart attack because they generally tend to take longer to recognize the symptoms and see a doctor. They associate fatigue with other things, muscle or stomach pain with other diseases, without knowing that it is their heart that is asking for help.
Prevent Cardiac Diseases in Women
- Eat fruit and vegetables every day. Try to eat five pieces of fruit and vegetables a day, plus orange or lemon juice. Avoid canned vegetables because they contain salt. We recommend steaming vegetables and seasoning with olive oil.
- Limit salt.
- Grains should be whole: especially rice, wheat, and rye.
- Nuts: the experts recommend eating nuts regularly. These will help your cardiovascular health. Why don’t you eat three walnuts for breakfast?
- More fish and less red meat: sardines, mackerel, tuna, and salmon have healthy Omega-3. Therefore, you should reduce the amount of red meat you eat and increase the amount of fish.
- Avoid tobacco, alcohol, and sugary beverages.
- Always eat five meals a day: a good breakfast, a light dinner, and avoid snacking between meals.
- Take care of your blood pressure.
- Take care of your blood sugar levels.
- Do an hour of exercise a day.
- Avoid gaining weight.
- Get periodic check-ups.
- And, above all, take care of your emotional life by reducing stress and anxiety.