February is Heart Health Month, and we are ready to bust the myths surrounding women’s heart health. Knowing the facts, symptoms, and risks surrounding heart health are crucial to diagnosing and preventing this disease!
Myth: Heart disease only happens to men, and women should be more worried about cancer.
Heart disease is no longer considered a man’s disease. Almost as many women die from heart disease as men each year. Breast cancer affects around 4 million women per year, and heart disease affects around 50 million women each year. It is important to understand the risks and symptoms of both and be vigilant in preventing these diseases.
Myth: Only old people are affected by heart disease.
Women of all ages can be affected by heart disease. A combination of smoking and taking birth control pills can increase your risk of heart disease by 20%. Even though these habits can result in problems later on in life, leading a life of unhealthy habits can result in heart disease at an even younger age. Practicing healthy eating and staying active each day can keep your body from developing clogged arteries.
Myth: Women who are active do not get heart disease.
Just because you are super active, does not mean you are safe from getting heart disease. You can be in shape and still have high cholesterol. Things like diet, and smoking can affect your cholesterol and can lead to heart disease. Be sure to visit your doctor regularly and speak to them about any concerns you may have.
Myth: I already have heart disease, and I can’t do anything about it.
If you have already been diagnosed with heart disease, it is important to know that you can do things to reduce your risk. It is important to practice good habits to keep your heart healthy, including exercising regularly, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, limiting your alcohol consumption, and knowing where your cholesterol and blood pressure numbers should be. Knowing the risks you have, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, can allow you to understand and control your disease.
Myth: I can’t have heart disease – I don’t have any symptoms.
Many women fall ill from heart disease because they do not know what symptoms to look for. The symptoms women experience varies drastically from the symptoms men experience. Typically, signs of heart disease in women include shortness of breath, nausea, back pain, dizziness, and fatigue. It is important to listen to your body and visit your doctor to discuss concerns and pains.
It is important to know the risks and symptoms of heart disease – and your physician at Greenville Women’s Care is here to help. If you have any concerns or questions regarding heart health, please give us a call to schedule an appointment at 252-757-3131!