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We all know someone (or know someone who knows someone) who is suffering from especially heart disease. With the typical American’s “busy” lifestyle and fast food habits, heart disease is becoming a more prevalent health issue in both men and women.
So what are the warning signs of heart disease and how do they differ between men and women? Dr. Tim Doyle explains the difference in symptoms that both men and woman can have.
Men who are developing heart disease usually have the most common symptom: chest pain. However, woman could have heart disease for a significant amount of time before they ever experience chest pain! Women have been reported to experience pain between the shoulder blades, inability to get a deep breath, sudden sweating and even nausea.
Dr. Doyle insists that the best way to detect heart disease is through an annual physical exam. Dr. Doyle advises that your doctor should be checking the following:
- Height - Weight - Body Mass Index - Blood pressure - Cholesterol - Blood sugar
Heart disease isn’t the only disease that can come with close to no symptoms - diabetes, elevated cholesterol and high blood pressure can creep up on you silently, so keeping up on your regular check up’s is very important.
How is heart disease prevented? Here are some tips for maintaining a heart-healthy lifestyle.
1. Don’t smoke or use tobacco. Smoking significantly increases your risk for heart disease. The chemicals found in tobacco can damage your heart and blood vessels which can lead to heart attack and stroke. 2. Exercise for 30 minutes most days of the week. Engaging in regular, physical activity can greatly reduce your risk of fatal heart disease. When you combine physical activity with other lifestyle changes, the resulting healthy weight will pay off in the long run! 3. Eat heart healthy foods that are low in fat, cholesterol and salt. Add more fruits, vegetables and Omega’s 3’s to your diet. 4. Maintain a healthy weight. Carrying around that excess weight can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Maintain your weight by exercising and eating a smart, well-balanced diet.