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The Heart of a Woman

Heart Disease: Why It's Different for Women


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    I recently had open heart surgery. I had a valve replaced. Other than that, I have a healthy heart. I am truly concerned about my heart, especially now. However everything I read is about heart disease or heart attack or by-pass surgery. How can I find what I need and that is geared to my problem?
    This article was pretty informative--particularly enumerating the actual symptoms of a heart attack for women.
  • I also was well aware of my family's history of heart disease. At least aware enough to stop and 'watch' myself whenever I had a chest pain. Finally, I went to a cardiologist and told him of my chest pains. His reaction was not good -- he wouldn't speak to me (only spoke to my DH), decided I was a nervous nellie and many women in my age group would have this same type of nervous reaction. This visit was a b-day present to myself to try and work to a higher level of leath (I had lost 120 lbs a year previously). Instead, a month after my b-day I had my first heart attack at 40 (for my DH's b-day). Since then I have had 2 stents put in place, had numerous tests on my coronary arteries, had one more heart attack (I coded 2-3 times), and recently had another check up to be told one artery was completely blocked just past a stent, and another was extremely blocked but they were very small and I should be okay. I was also told I needed to have gastric bypass done or I would have maybe 10 years of illness and physical problems but with the bypass I could conceivably have 40 years. Guess which option I chose -- yup, bypass. So now I'm waiting for this.

    At my original cardiologist visit, I was just turning 40 in a few weeks, I was a heavy smoker, about 90 pounds overweight, had been on birth control pills for a number of years, was a diabetic not in good control, and had a father who died at the age of 42 from a massive coronary. Hmm. I had every risk factor yet the doctor still said it was nerves.

    We women have really got to watch ourselves. Now that we are striving to break the glass ceiling and working too many hours, eating improperly, etc. we have landed right in the center of coronary city. Please watch out for yourselves.

    jo ann
  • I am aware of my own family's history of heart disease, and am working with my doctors to reduce my own risk. I have reduced my sodium intake, my cholesterol is ok, and my blood pressure is well controlled. One tool in the fight is, of course, SparkPeople! I get daily encouragement to get moving, to record what I eat, and perhaps most importantly, stay in contact with my SparkTeams, to receive, and to give, encouragement from others, and to others.

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