You know how much you weigh but how high is your blood pressure?

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women over 50 in Canada. The damage usually begins between the age of 25 and 45 so now’s the time to start thinking about your heart.

You may not be aware that arteries are damaged until you have a heart attack. The blood vessels act as a highway for the transport of nutrients and oxygen and the removal of wastes from the body. Without clear highways, problems begin to arise. Blood vessels can become lined with plaque that reduces blood flow. Insufficient blood flow to the heart can cause angina or a heart attack while the lack of blood flow to the brain can result in a stroke.

Women often mistake a heart attack for indigestion

Symptoms of a heart attack can be very subtle in women. Instead of sharp stabbing pain that radiates down the arm, women can experience squeezing or burning pain. This may be accompanied by fatigue, shortness of breath, clammy skin or nausea. Often, women mistake these warning signs as indigestion and delay seeking medical attention. The longer treatment is delayed, the more damage is done.

Symptoms of heart disease in women:

  • Fatigue with exertion
  • Weakness or dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sleep disturbances or waking at night with shortness of breath
  • Needing to sit or stand to be comfortable
  • Indigestion
  • Anxiety
  • Aching, tightness of pressure in the chest that may be worse with activity

Think about prevention:

  • Learn about your heart health. Most women know exactly how much they weight but do you know your blood pressure or cholesterol levels. Go for a yearly physical and be sure your heart is in check.
  • Cut back on the java. Women who drink 4 cups of coffee per day almost double their risk of heart attack.
  • Skip the sweets. The more sugar you eat, the more insulin your body produces and the more LDL (bad) cholesterol your liver produces.
  • Maintain a healthy weight and exercise one hour per day.
  • Take time to relax, meditate and laugh. Depression is correlated as a major risk factor for heart disease.
  • Drink more water. 2-3 litres of water daily will help to prevent constriction of blood vessels associated with dehydration.

Heart health is very important! At Bronte Wellness Clinic, our team of Naturopathic Doctors can help you learn more about heart health and what you can do to help prevent heart disease.

To learn more, please contact our Oakville clinic, located in the heart of Bronte Village, for details.