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Posts Tagged ‘Go Red for Women’

DebbieMy family had a scare this week. My sister recently had breast reconstruction surgery from breast cancer. After the surgery she was instructed to wear a compression bra for 3 weeks, only taking it off to shower. It was uncomfortable and perhaps a little tight. She thought the bra and surgical site were causing her discomfort. She didn’t think it was a heart attack. She said the pain was strong but thought it was related to her recent surgery. When she called the surgeon’s office, they asked if someone could take her to the ER, she said yes and then drove herself to the ER.

Many women have symptoms of a heart attack and/or a stroke and don’t recognize them. Don’t be one of the statistics that misinterpret your symptoms. According to the American Heart Association, the symptoms a woman experiences may be very different from the ones that a man experiences.

Heart Attack Signs in Women

  1. Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
  2. Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  3. Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
  4. Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or light headedness.
  5. As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.

If you have any of these signs, call 9-1-1 and get to a hospital right away.

What is the take-a-way from my sister’s experience? If you have symptoms, don’t hesitate to seek medical help. Go to the nearest ER room and get checked out. My sister isn’t the only one to miss symptoms, read this blog posted on the American Heart Association about a 38 year old woman who had a stroke and didn’t know it! Don’t become a statistic because you are afraid to inconvenience your family or doctor.

Source: American Heart Association, http://www.heart.org

Photo credit: Nancy Harris

Author: Michelle Treber, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, treber.1@osu.edu

Reviewer: Jenny Lobb, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County, lobb.3@osu.edu

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Join me in Going Red this Friday. I wear red to increase awareness about the dangers of heart disease and to honor my parents. Heart disease is very personal to me as I lost both my parents in their 50’s to this disease. Heart disease continues to be the number 1 killer of men and women in the United States.

Did you know that heart disease and stroke kill 1 in 3 women, yet it’s 80% preventable?

At your next meeting, family gathering or social event, look around you and count the number of women in the room. If there are 21 women in the room, 7 women will die from heart disease and stroke. When I think about an office where 6 women work, realizing that 2 women will die from heart disease and stroke is sobering. What about at our family holiday party where there are 15 women in our immediate family? 5 of us will die from heart disease. These numbers bring it home to many of us. 

What can you do to reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke? These suggestions are not just for women, they are for men, too. The American Heart Association website shares tips to encourage all of us to be heart healthy:
Be Active – aim for 150 minutes of physical activity each week. This can help you lose weight as well as lowering your risk of heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure and other health problems. Talk with your health care professional about your activity level before beginning a program. Get their advice and get moving!
Manage your Weight – if you need to lose weight, set goals and begin this journey by adding more vegetables and fruits to your diet. Eating a diet high in fresh vegetables and fruits may help you achieve a healthy weight. Drink water, move more and eat those veggies.
Stop Smoking – if you are a smoker, make this your year! It is never too late to quit. Gather your support and make the change.
Know Your Numbers but Manage Your Risk – According to the American Heart Association, these are the ideal numbers for the general adult population:

Total Cholesterol – less than or equal to 180 mg/dL
Body Mass Index (BMI) of less than or equal to 25 kg/m2
Blood Pressure of less than 120/80 mm/Hg
Fasting Blood Sugar of less than or equal to 100 mg/dL

Show your commitment to living a healthier lifestyle by wearing Red this Friday. Visit  https://www.goredforwomen.org for more information on how you can begin to make positive lifestyle changes.

Do you like to cook? Want some new heart healthy recipes? Check out these heart healthy snacks: https://www.goredforwomen.org/live-healthy/heart-healhty-snacks-and-eating-on-thego/heart-healthy-snacks-for-kids/
For fast family dinners, visit: https://www.goredforwomen.org/live-healthy/cooking-heart-healthy-for-the-family/fast-family-weeknight-meals/

This is why I will Go Red on Friday.

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Family Photo: Debbie Klinger, sister of author, Brandy Harris, niece of author, and Michelle Treber, author.  Monument photo: my parents monument.

Author: Michelle Treber, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, Heart of Ohio EERA, treber.1@osu.edu

Reviewer: Beth Stefura, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Mahoning County, Crossroads EERA, stefura.2@osu.edu

 

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