What Every Woman Should Know About Heart Disease

Did you know that heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death for African American and white women in the United States? Only slightly more than half of women in the country are aware of that statistic.  

At Monarque Health & Wellness, we use functional medicine that focuses on preventing heart disease — and other diseases — from occurring. We urge women to have regular annual physical examinations that include regular blood pressure screenings and extensive lab tests to detect disease early. 

We offer nutritional and weight-loss counseling as well as sleep studies as part of our functional medicine approach. These strategies help you engage in healthy habits that prevent heart disease and other diseases from gaining a foothold in your body. 

Know the symptoms of heart disease in women 

Some of the symptoms of heart disease in women are different from those in men. Sometimes women have no symptoms until a major health event such as a heart attack, which is why it’s so important to have regular physical exams. That way, if blood work or your blood pressure is abnormal, your provider can work with you to correct the issue led to the abnormal reading. 

Common symptoms of heart disease in women include:

The following symptoms indicate that you are having a heart event. If any of these occur, call 911:

Steps to prevent heart disease 

Below are common-sense steps to take to help prevent heart disease. 

Know your blood pressure

Monitor your blood pressure. Normal blood pressure is more than 90 over 60 (90/60) and less than 120 over 80 (120/80). High blood pressure doesn’t have symptoms, so the only way to know is by taking a reading. That’s why it’s called the “silent killer.” 

Control your weight

Being overweight or obese increases your risk of stroke and coronary heart disease. It also increases your risk of high blood pressure or hypertension. 

Eat healthy foods

A big part of controlling your weight is establishing healthy eating habits. There are many online sources and tools to help you know which foods to buy at the grocery store and which to avoid. 

Eating fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, poultry without the skin, fish, and lean cuts of meat are the building blocks of a healthy diet. Limit or eliminate the following to control your risk for heart disease:

Limit alcohol

If you and your husband drink the same amount of alcohol, you will have a higher level of alcohol in your blood than he does, and the effects last longer. Women metabolize alcohol less efficiently than men, and your brain is more at risk if you drink excessively. Drinking while pregnant increases the chance of losing the baby and the child having developmental delays. 

Moderate alcohol use for a woman is defined as one 5-ounce glass of wine per day or one 12-ounce beer. If you’re a wine lover, you may be pouring much more than 5 ounces of wine into your large red wine glass. You can buy glasses with a 5-ounce mark to help you know when to stop pouring. 

Stop smoking 

If you smoke, you’re up to four times more likely to contract heart disease than nonsmokers. That risk increases when you’re on birth control pills. Did you know that secondhand smoke can also cause heart disease? In other words, your habit can hurt those around you. 

Your Monarque Health & Wellness provider can connect you to a smoking cessation program and follow up with you to ensure you’re on the right track. 

Call or book an appointment online with Monarque Health & Wellness for a functional approach to medicine that focuses on prevention. 

You Might Also Enjoy...

How to Choose Your Ideal Birth Control Method

With a wide range of birth control options available, finding the right one for you may take some time. It’s important to gather as much insight as possible from a qualified health care provider so you can decide what fits your needs the best.
5 Ways to Prevent Age-Related Disease

5 Ways to Prevent Age-Related Disease

Aging is the main risk factor for a wide range of diseases. However, getting older doesn’t decide your fate. Healthy habits can extend your life, delay the onset of impairment, and improve your quality of life and how you function as you age.
How Your Diet Impacts Your Overall Health

How Your Diet Impacts Your Overall Health

Nutrition plays a key contributing role to overall health. Recognizing the connection between diet and well-being can transform your approach to eating, turning each meal into an opportunity for immediate nourishment and long-term wellness.