Many of you know that heart attacks are the number one killer in both men and women in the U.S.; but did you know that many fatalities can be prevented if you learn to recognize the symptoms of a heart attack and get medical attention fast? Also, did you know that women experience different symptoms than men?
According to the American Heart Association, the most reported symptom of a heart attack in men and women is chest pain. The difference is that women are also more likely to present symptoms such as anxiety, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain, as well as shortness of breath, back and jaw pain. Other symptoms of a heart attack experienced more frequently by women include fainting and breaking into a cold sweat.
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Many more people could recover from heart attacks if they received help faster. Of the people who die from heart attacks, about half die within an hour of the first symptoms, and before they reach the hospital.
If you think you or someone you know is having a heart attack, it is essential to call 911 within minutes – experts say no more than 5 – to increase chances of survival. As always, prevention is best. Keeping cholesterol levels and high blood pressure in check is crucial to cardiovascular health.
In general, cholesterol is associated with obesity, but that is not always the case. Although obese people have a greater risk of high levels of cholesterol in their blood, many people who have a healthy weight have high cholesterol, too. The same can be said for diabetes and hypertension. The bottom line for prevention is to follow a heart-healthy lifestyle.
The Ins & Outs of Healthy Hearts
Stop smoking: Many people think that smoking causes mainly respiratory problems, but smoking damages the arteries and is a major cause of atherosclerosis, a build up of fatty substances in the arteries.
Detoxify the liver: Crucial to heart health, a healthy liver metabolizes fat and keeps cholesterol levels in check. Milk thistle has been used for over 2,000 years to promote liver and gallbladder health.
Eat your oatmeal: Oats are another of nature’s cholesterol-reducing wonders. In addition, oats have a calming effect on the nervous system, which can in turn assist in soothing stress and anxiety, as well as helping to regulate sleep patterns.
Take a break: Healthy stress management can make or break heart health. We all have to face stressors in our daily lives; learn to manage it with deep breathing, daily exercise, and meditation.
Get enough sleep: Healthy sleep routines will go a long way in promoting your emotional and physical health, which is priceless to your heart.
Maintaining body weight within a healthy range and exercising at least an hour daily should be part of your heart-healthy plan. Also, following a balanced diet with approximately 30 percent of calories from monounsaturated fats such as olive oil, canola oil, fish and nuts and limiting saturated fats is recommended. Managing stress levels, anxiety and depression should also be incorporated into your plan.
Holistic medicine teaches us that all systems in the body are interrelated, so with this in mind, it is necessary to make sure all organs are supported and working properly. For our hearts to be healthy, focus should also include liver, gallbladder and pancreatic health, as well as nervous and circulatory system health.
Herbal and homeopathic remedies can provide effective, safe relief without compromising health or risking serious side effects. Natural remedies have been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years to support heart health.
With so many resources available in nature to assist us in our quest to well-being; it is up to us to make good use of them and start reaping the benefits of good health today.