Many of us do not know that heart problems have killed many women and even though it was really alarming, we still do not notice and consider it as a critical factor in our mortality. According to Dr. Richard Forogan’s research about women’s health problems, heart disease was considered to be the #1 cause of death of modern women. It was also discovered that heart problems were more often and crucial to women than on men. The common miscalculations and misinterpretations of women and their doctors was that women are less likely to have heart disease as compared to men and the signs are the same with men. The wrong thinking that heart diseases on women behave pretty much like it does on men is wrong. Women’s heart diseases are often quite different than it is on men. Failing to understand that heart diseases is often to women and that it was quite different when it was on women leads to a lot of preventable deaths and disabilities.
Of all the women’s health problems, heart diseases were considered as the top killer. A recent survey by the American Heart Association discovered that 6 out of 10 women said that the major threat in their health was breast cancer and not heart diseases. Only 1 out of 10 said that it was heart disease. In the year 1999, while cancer was killing about 264,000 American women (41,000 of this were of breast cancer), cardiovascular diseases killed almost twice as many, and it was the same story every year. Since 1984, more women died of heart disease, but doctors still don’t get it, a recent survey found out that less than half of the doctors considered that heart diseases are the major threat to female patients. The worst of it was that less than half of all women receiving regular medical care said that their doctors never talked to them about reducing their risk to heart diseases.
Symptoms of women’s heart problems vary differently and profoundly if compared to men’s. The problem is that some doctors fail to recognize heart diseases when they see it in their female patients. It was because medical textbooks often use and describe “typical” heart problems, the kind that men get. Doctors and women often underestimate and misunderstood these heart problems even though it was too common. It was really important for us to know the basics of heart problems.
Among all the women’s health problems, heart diseases were considered to be the leading cause of cause of death. Women must be educated and informed about all the types and classification of different heart problems. Symptoms of heart problems must also be known for us to be able to examine and determine for ourselves what is with our heart. Different heart problems and its symptoms were included with this article.
1. Coronary Artery Disease (CAD); this heart disease was one of the most common and was considered the leading cause of heart attacks. Your arteries become hard and narrow when you have coronary artery disease. Because of that your blood flow becomes affected, therefore the supply of blood that was needed regularly was lessened resulting to various life threatening complications like the following:
- Angina; it is the result when your heart does not get that much blood supply. When you have angina you feel a tight feeling of pain and discomfort in the chest or sometimes in the neck, jaw, in the back, or in the arms. You may also notice to women with angina that they are experiencing nausea, anxiety, abnormal sweating and dizziness. Angina may also be likely to lead to heart attack. The pain you fell when you are having an angina was described as a stabbing and sharp form of pain in the chest. There is also an unstable angina of which the pain in the chest occurs even at rest and even when you have taken your angina medication still the pain remains, this may also be the symptom of a heart attack. If the chest pain does not go away even you have taken your angina medication, and the symptoms last longer, it may be a sign of heart attack. If this happens to you call an emergency medical help, call for an emergency transportation, and when there is nothing to resort with, you may drive for yourself to the nearest hospital available.
- Heart Attack or Cardiac Arrest; this happens when the arteries were completely blocked, resulting the blood flow to stop. Because the arteries were completely blocked, the heart does not get the enough blood supply needed for 20 minutes. Unlike men, women may have a heart attack without chest pressure. Instead of chest pressure, women may feel shortness of breath, pressure in the upper abdomen, dizziness, light-headedness, and extreme upper back pressure. Even if the symptoms are not that severe and felt, the consequences can be deadly if we do not get the proper medical care. If you are experiencing a heart attack, you may feel an uncomfortable pressure in the center of the chest that may continue for a few minutes and goes away and then come back occasionally. You may also feel a painful pressure in both arms, in the neck, jaw, in the back, more often in the stomach, and shortness of breath without chest discomfort. You may prevent heart attack by consulting your doctor or health care provider about several heart health risk that you may have. You must also quit smoking, did you know that you may cut your risk to heart problems after a year when you have just stop smoking. You must also regulate your food intake and undergo exercise routines like walking everyday for 30 minutes and better if you will turn to running and jogging for a specific amount of time.
2. Heart Failure; it is a condition of which the heart does not pump enough blood throughout the body than the regular and required way that it should be. It means that other organs that used to get the proper blood supply needed, is now affected because there is a lack of blood supply to the system. This does not mean that the heart stops. When you have a heart failure you feel tired and week at all times, you are limited in the activities that you could take, you may have chest congestion that makes you cough often, and also you may have endema which is the condition that makes your ankle, legs, feet , and belly swollen. You may also experience shortness of breath while walking, lying, and doing simple activities. If you still experience chest pain even though you have taken 3 tablets of nitroglycerin, you must immediately call for an emergency transportation and go to the nearest hospital.
3. Heart Arrhythmias; it is an irregular beating of the heart. It means that the beating of the heart may be too fast, or too slow or may skip beats at a time. The cause of this heart problem may be stress or another heart failure. It may not be really crucial to your health but having this heart problem may be a sign that you have an underlying heart disease which if not discovered, may cause death, and unexpected disability. These changes in your heart beat may or may not be harmless but still you must keep an eye if it worsens your health condition. It was also often to get arrhythmias as you get older but you must not worry if it was just a change in the race of your heartbeat. Call 911 immediately if you experience dizziness and chest pain as you have arrhythmias.
When you experience those women’s heart problem you must immediately know its symptoms and the solution for you to be able to prevent yourself from experiencing its painful outcome. These women’s heart problems were curable and preventable to early distinction and prevention. Medical discoveries led to the treatment of these diseases, medicines have been manufactured to cure and treat these heart problems.
What can you do to prevent yourself from getting these heart diseases? Basically, you may be able to fight your way to a healthy heart by keeping a healthy and active lifestyle. That means you must not smoke, you must be physically active, you must know what your blood pressure is, and you must eat healthy. You must quit smoking for you to help your lungs get the right amount of oxygen which helps and feeds your body. If you are having a hard time quitting smoking these are the ways recommended:
-try nicotine patches and chewing gums instead of cigarettes
-support anti-smoking groups
-try entering sports activities
-join programs and communities which will help you in quitting your vices
You must also know your blood pressure. Knowing it may help you in informing yourself if you are having a heart problem or if you are currently in a healthy heart status. If you have a high blood pressure or a low blood pressure may be a symptom of heart attack or heart failure. Blood pressure has something to do with the heart because it is the measurement of the force your blood makes as it pass through the arteries. So when your blood pressure is above 140 over 90, you may have an abnormal heart condition, meaning you may have a heart problem. And also if your blood pressure is very low (lower than 90/60) it was also considered a heart problem so you must call your doctor immediately.
You must also eat healthy and live active to keep yourself from heart attacks. Eating less fatty foods may help you to lower you blood cholesterol (blood cholesterol is harmful for it blocks the arteries, resulting to heart problems). Entering into sports like running and biking may really help your heart’s functionality and health. Making yourself physically active increases the activity of your heart and body, thus resulting to healthier and fitter you.
The heart is one of the most important organs to all animals. So we must care for our own heart if we consider our life to be happy and worry-free. Living a healthy and active lifestyle is the sole solution to solving heart problems. We must know that heart problems are really crucial to our health and to ourselves.