Cardiovascular Problems and Women

by Dr. Stephen Sinatra
Filed Under: Heart Health, Women's Health
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

I worry about the fact that so many women still think that cardiovascular problems, like heart disease and stroke, is primarily a problem for men. The truth is that heart disease is a major health risk for women, but many physicians did not realize this until recently, so they’ve done little to encourage their female patients to take steps to protect their heart health.

I also worry because much of our knowledge about heart disease describes how the condition affects men. This leads many physicians, including some holistic practitioners, to diagnose and treat women as if heart disease affected them the same way. Nothing could be further from the truth. Heart disease affects men and women very differently and I’ve written about that here in this in newsletter articles, books, and here in this blog.

For example, if a 45-year-old woman and a 45-year-old man both come into the emergency room with chest pain, most physicians will probably admit the man and tell the woman her symptoms are due to stress and anxiety. Not many physicians realize that the incidence of coronary events among women quadruples as they reach middle age.

What You Can Do About It

I want you to understand that much of this, in both women and men, is related to lifestyle and the choices you make.

  • Choose to seek natural ways to lower blood pressure if that’s a problem for you.
  • Choose to adhere to good cardiovascular nutrition, which may include increasing the amount of fresh vegetables you consume and lowering the amount of breads and other starches you eat each day.
  • Choose to do what you need to do to maintain good cholesterol levels, improve blood circulation, and healthy triglycerides.
  • Choose to exercise so that you can more easily prevent blood clots and maintain a healthy weight.

In short, while it may be difficult at the start, choose to live a healthy lifestyle.  Choose life.

For more information on women and cardiovascular problems or tips for good cardiovascular nutrition, visit Dr. Sinatra's Web site.
 

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