How to Prevent a Silent Heart Attack

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Many women put too much pressure on themselves to make the holidays perfect for everyone. This can add a lot of unnecessary stress and anxiety that can lead to serious heart problems. But many women will ignore the mild symptoms of a silent heart attack. Following healthy lifestyle tips can help prevent heart disease.

Keys to Managing Heart Health for Women

Most of the time people who are experiencing a heart attack will have pain in the chest, shortness of breath, etc. Silent heart attack symptoms might be as simple as indigestion, flu-like symptoms, or feeling discomfort like a pulled muscle in the chest or back. It ls important to have these symptoms checked as soon as possible to avoid scarring or damage to the heart.

Stress-induced cardiomyopathy is also a concern for women around the holidays. This occurs when women are under great amounts of stress for a short period of time and that stress is compounded with another traumatic event such as a death in the family, a car accident, loss of money, etc. If it is ignored it can be fatal.

Stress-induced cardiomyopathy is a weakening of the left ventricle, the heart’s main pumping chamber. It is brought on by the release of stress hormones that shock the heart, causing changes in the heart muscles that then cause the left ventricle to not work properly. The vast majority of people who are affected by this condition are women in the late 50s to mid-70s.

Someone experiencing this condition might develop chest pains or shortness of breath after severe stress, either emotional or physical, she said. In most cases, it is treated with medication such as beta blockers or ACE inhibitors. It’s important to have an echocardiogram as soon as possible if you are experiencing any symptoms.

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A spike in blood pressure is also common during the holidays. Many women end up in the ER with chest pains or palpitations and, in the most severe cases, can suffer a stroke. If a woman has a history of high blood pressure it’s important to monitor it closely, especially during those times when the stress level rises.

Symptoms of Women’s Heart Disease

Heart problems in women are not usually as recognizable as they are in men. Some of the symptoms for women include:

  • Extreme weakness, anxiety, or shortness of breath.
  • Discomfort, pressure, heaviness or pain in the chest, arm, below the breastbone, or in the middle of the back.
  • Sweating, nausea, vomiting, dizziness.
  • Fullness, indigestion, a tightness in the throat area.
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeats.
  • Women also have an incredible amount of power over their own health and can prevent heart disease and manage heart health by practicing healthy behaviors. We have put together recommendations and tips for preventing heart disease in women:

   4 Tips to Prevent Heart Disease in Women

Diet: Following a healthy diet is one of the best ways to prevent heart disease. While nutrition guidelines often vary, some foods are well understood to help you to live a healthy life and prevent chronic diseases.

Exercise: Being physically active is important for maintaining good heart health and treating heart disease. Exercise can strengthen heart muscles, help maintain a healthy weight, prevent other health conditions that strain your heart (i.e. high blood pressure).

Sleep: Good quality sleep plays a vital role in how the body functions. Sleep is important for fighting off illness, improving your mood, helping you think, and keeping you active. Nearly 30% of adults get less than the recommended 7 hours of nightly sleep.

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Stress Management: Balancing competing obligations in life can be difficult and the associated stress can negatively impact your health. For many people, stress may result in poor health behaviors, such as over-eating or smoking cigarettes, which further increases risk for heart disease.

It’s important to take time for yourself during the holiday season and do things that will help relieve your stress. Exercise, either walking or running, yoga, meditation, a nice walk with a loved one, whatever it takes, make it happen. The holidays should be a joyous time spent with family and friends at home, not with doctors in an emergency room.

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