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Valentine's Day and Heart Health

Posted on 02/14/2012

Happy Valentine's Day!  As it so happens, today being February 14th it also happens to fall smack in the middle of the American Heart Month. So, what a better way to celebrate Valentine's Day than with information about keeping your old ticker healthy!

Last week I provided statistics about the cost of heart disease and provided a few ways to prevent the disease. Today, I thought it would be nice to focus specifically on women and heart disease since it is often called a silent killer in women. As you know from last week's blog, more women die from it than all forms of cancer combined, according to the American Heart Association.

You may have viewed that video clip I posted with my blog that showed the "super mom" taking care of everyone else in the family but herself. All too often that is the case and that's why women's heart health can be so tricky to diagnose...especially when women look healthy by all outside appearances.

So, what's a busy working mother to do in this non-stop, go-go-go society we live in these days? Realize the risk factors and forget what you thought you knew about heart disease being a man's disease.

Say good bye the stereotypical classic signs of heart attacks of pressure or squeezing in the chest called angina. For most women, they do not experience this when having a heart attack. Many women show the following signs: shortness of breath, sweating and nausea. Because of these different signs, many women are diagnosed much later on than men or misdiagnosed.

The telltale signs of high blood pressure, being overweight or obese, elevated cholesterol levels and other risk factors including family history of heart disease, smoking, sedentary lifestyle can often clue doctors early. But the more difficult cases are younger women, those without the usual signs, who unfortunately ignore their body's warning signs.

Remember women, listen to your bodies. If you do not feel like yourself, but are otherwise healthy, go with your gut instinct and push the issue. Especially if it can be a matter of life or death, like with heart disease. Don't become a statistic and don't disregard it as a "little heart attack" like the young woman in the video I shared with you last week.

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Seattle Sutton's 2012 Slim Down Contest update: Since it kicked off a mere 5 weeks ago, our 10 amazing contestants have lost a total of 254.75 pounds to date. One of our contestants, Bob H., has not only lost weight but his blood pressure is continuing to drop each and every week. Way to go, Bob! You've managed to lower your blood pressure from 181/118 at the start of the contest to 122/84. At this rate, you will be well below 120/80 in no time!

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Seattle Sutton, BSN, RN

She made healthy eating her mission in life long before anyone else did, in hopes of helping her own obese father. A registered nurse by training and entrepreneur at heart, she lives, eats and breathes everything about healthy eating and helping to improve people’s eating habits and overall health. She enjoys never having to bother with grocery shopping, cooking and counting calories. Her favorite SSHE meal, although it’s hard to pick just one, is the Potato Gnocchi with Basil Pesto Sauce.

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