Heart disease is a disorder of the blood vessels of the heart in which a waxy substance called plaque builds up in the coronary (heart) arteries. This condition is called atherosclerosis and can lead to a heart attack.
A heart attack usually occur when an artery becomes blocked, preventing oxygen and nutrients from getting to the heart. If blood flow isn’t restored quickly, the section of heart muscle begins to die.
Heart disease in women is similar in many ways to that of men. Like men, women can have high blood pressure and heart attacks. In fact, these are more prevalent in women than previously thought heart attack deaths each year, almost half occur in women, according to healthcare providers deaths from high blood pressure are at a similar ratio. Women can also suffer the same inborn (congenital) malformations, diseases of the heart valves, heart failure, and heart rhythm disorders as men, enough differences exist between male and female heart disease, however, to warrant consideration of the aspects that specifically apply to women.
These aspects include both uniquely female experiences with diseases such as atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and hypertension, which affect both men and women, and uniquely female life experiences, such as pregnancy, which produce profound cardiovascular changes.
The most common warning symptoms of a heart attack for both men and women are:
Chest pain or discomfort
Upper body discomfort
Shortness of breath
Breaking out in a cold sweat
Feeling unusually tired for no reason, sometimes for days (especially if you are a woman)
Feeling sick to the stomach and vomiting
Light-headedness or sudden dizziness
Causes Of Heart Disease
Smoking is a major risk factor for heart disease in men, and it is probably the most significant risk factor in women, because it reduces a woman’s two best protectors, estrogen and HDL. For every cigarette smoked the risk of heart attack rises. Studies show that smoking one to four cigarettes a day doubles a woman’s risk, and smoking more than 25 a day can raise it 5 to 15 times.
It has been known for years that obesity and heart disease go hand in hand in men, being even mildly overweight can increase heart attack risk dramatically, perhaps more than in men. For example, a woman 5 feet 4½ inches tall who weighs 137 to 145 increases her risk by 30 per cent over a woman the same height who weighs less than 125 pounds. In women approximately 30 per cent or more over ideal weight, 70 per cent of all heart attacks could be traced to obesity.
A higher percentage of women than men have diabetes. In both sexes, diabetes is a risk factor for heart disease because high blood sugar speeds up hardening of the arteries and, thus, the development of heart disease.
As more and more women have entered the work force, researchers have wondered if the stress of working would harm their hearts. Female clerical workers have a higher rate of heart attack than homemakers.
How To Manage Heart Disease
Quit smoking, and sit in no-smoking sections in Public places.
Maintain ideal weight.
Cut the amount and kinds of fat and cholesterol in the diet.
Have blood cholesterol checked at least once every five years.
Monitor and control blood pressure.
Take active steps to gain a sense of control in life.
Move to plant based foods
Minimize refined grains, added salts and sweeteners
Include some nuts and seed i.e avoid oils
Avoid saturated trans fats
Supplement with vitamin B12
Lastly, always know your weight, waist circumference, blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol to avoid the attack, also figure out what’s stopping you from making or sticking to healthy lifestyle changes.