Here is an interesting statistic, “Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) is the leading killer of women in America, accounting for over 1/3 of all deaths. This is more than the combined death rates of breast, ovarian, and cervical cancer”.
In a recent study conducted on women who had experienced a heart attack, each was surveyed on the early symptoms they overlooked in the days or weeks prior to their episode. Here are the 6 most common early symptoms you should pay close attention to:
- 71% reported unusual fatigue - pay attention to any excessive fatigue out of the norm
- 48% had sleep disturbances – most of us experience trouble with sleeping, however pay attention to any prolonged and unusual patterns
- 42% experienced shortness of breath – shortness of breath during normal daily activities that were not so hard before may need special concerns
- 39% had severe indigestion
- 35% reported raised anxiety levels
- 30% reported chest discomfort
Most of these symptoms are experienced by stressed out moms and women everyday, making them extremely easy to be overlooked. Do not ignore how you feel! Warning signs can occur as early as 1 month prior to an attack. This time can be crucial in saving your life!
Here are a few dietary and lifestyle tips to help you reduce your risks of a heart attack:
- Check your blood pressure regularly. If you are on medication, take it exactly as your Dr prescribes, even if you feel fine.
- Stop smoking.
- Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low fat dairy.
- Choose healthful unsaturated fats and AVOID saturated fats.
- Reduce your stress level (as much as possible).
- Limit your alcohol intake to no more than one glass per day.
- Get at least 30 min of exercise everyday.
- Keep your weight within a healthy range.
Estelle L. Benoit, RD, LDN