RAPID CITY, S.D. — Go Red for Women serves as a reminder for females to be more aware and accountable for their health. Friday, Feb. 5, serves as the American Heart Association‘s, Go Red for Women Day.
Health experts say get into the mindset of heart health — know the risk factors and the symptoms of heart disease.
Typically, women experiencing cardiac arrest have different symptoms then men.
Kelly Brandsted, Monument Health Nurse Practitioner, says, “A lot of women have different symptoms, lightheadedness, dizziness, nausea — vague symptoms — discomfort between their shoulder blades — so a lot of times this gets missed or ignored and felt that it will just go away.”
Don’t write off symptoms as something else, like heart burn or stress. Women tend to not act on their symptoms, however time is critical to saving your life. When in doubt — get checked out.
Brandsted says, “Time is muscle and the longer that you ignore these symptoms, the greater the chance that you are going to have some irreversible damage to your heart.”
You can’t outrun genetics, but there are preventable lifestyle, risk factors you can modify.
Diet is often emphasized to decrease cardiovascular disease, so eat smart and move more. Mental health is also related to heart health. Controlling stress and anxiety is important for overall wellbeing.
Listen to your body, and if you have a nagging feeling that something is wrong, play it safe and be evaluated right away.
High blood pressure, often called the “silent killer,” is a contributing symptom to heart disease. Get screened and pay attention to your numbers (cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar). Nearly 80 percent of cardiac events can be prevented.
“Don’t die of doubt, so many people have been avoiding or ignoring their problems because of the COVID-19 pandemic. They are scared or nervous to come to the emergency department and we’d just encourage people, don’t sit at home with these symptoms, the emergency department and the hospital is still the safest place to be if you are experiencing of acute cardiac lines,” says Brandsted.
Make the commitment to healthy behaviors today.
Brandsted also says to talk with your medical provider regarding your risk factors and what you can do to reduce them.