Know The Warning Signs for Heart Disease and Stroke
Cardiovascular diseases and stroke kill more women than men. But 80% of cardiac events in women may be prevented if women made the right choices for their hearts involving diet, exercise and abstinence from smoking. Don’t ignore heart problems. It’s a matter of life and death!
For example, you should know the warning signs so you can get help right away, either for yourself or someone close to you. Acting quickly can save lives!
Some heart attacks are sudden and intense, and no one doubts what’s happening. But most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Often people aren’t sure what’s wrong and wait too long before getting help. Here are signs that can mean a heart attack is happening:
- Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
- Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
- Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
- Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
- As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.
If you have any of these signs, don’t wait! Call 9-1-1. Get to a hospital right away.
If you or someone you’re with has chest discomfort, especially with one or more of the other signs, don’t wait longer than a few minutes (no more than five) before calling for help.
Spot a Stroke F.A.S.T
- F – Face Drooping
- A – Arm Weakness
- S-Speech Difficulty
- T- Time to Call 9-1-1
CALL 9-1-1 … GET TO A HOSPITAL RIGHT AWAY
Calling 9-1-1 is almost always the fastest way to get lifesaving treatment. Emergency medical services (EMS) staff can begin treatment when they arrive – up to an hour sooner than if someone gets to the hospital by car. The staff are also trained to revive someone whose heart has stopped. You ‘ll also get treated faster in the hospital if you come by ambulance. If you can’t access EMS, have someone drive you to the hospital right away. If you’re the one having symptoms, don’t drive yourself, unless you have absolutely no other option.
Know Your Numbers
Five numbers, that all women should know to take control of their heart health are:
- Total Cholesterol
- HDL (good) Cholesterol
- Blood Pressure
- Blood Sugar
- Body Mass Index (BMI)
Knowing these numbers can help women and their healthcare provider determine their risk for developing cardiovascular diseases. It’s time for all women to learn the most critical numbers in their life- their hearts depend on it.
- Understand Risk Factors
- There are some you can control like blood pressure, smoking, cholesterol, lack of regular physical activity, and some you can’t control like age, gender, and family history.
- That’s why it is important to Know Your Numbers, learn your Family History and discuss all risk factors with your healthcare provider.
- “Know Your Numbers”
- Five numbers can change your life- Total Cholesterol, HDL (good) Cholesterol, Blood Pressure, Blood Sugar and Body Mass Index (BMI).
- Take Action and Manage Your Numbers
- Schedule a separate visit with your healthcare provider to learn these numbers and commit them to memory.
- Work to improve your numbers, if necessary.