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Saturday, February 21, 2009

What have you done for your heart?

February has almost come to an end, but I can't let the month pass without talking about Heart Awareness Month. One way that I recognize the cause is by wearing red because it's a lighthearted way to acknowledgement the month, but heart disease is anything but lighthearted. (I also wear my Red Dress pin!)

Though the emphasis has been put on men's hearts, we are starting to realize that a woman's heart health is equally at risk. It's especially scary to think of how the disease affects women and how it is often misdiagnosed. A woman's symptoms can include: Unusual pain in the chest, stomach or abdomen; nausea or dizziness; shortness of breath and breathing difficulties; unusual anxiety, loss of strength or fatigue;
heart palpitations, cold sweat or a pale appearance.

Symptoms most talked about are:
-Pressure, fullness or squeezing pain in the center of your chest that lasts more than a few minutes or that goes away and then returns
-Pain that extends to the shoulders, neck or arms
-Chest discomfort accompanied by dizziness, fainting, sweating, nausea or shortness of breath.

If you experience any of these symptoms you should see your physician or go to the doctor immediately because prompt treatment can increase your chance of survival.

There are ways to reduce your heart attack risk. Do your research like checking out the American Heart Association website to find out what applies to you. You are the best advocate for your heart health - and your overall health, for that matter - so do something for your heart.

What have you done for your heart health lately?
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