Jun 1, 2011

Awareness Empowers Prevention

The 5 Biggest Mistakes Women Make
So, just as any other day, I'm watching The Dr. Oz Show (which is my favorite show to watch in the morning) and it seems like everything he's talking about, I can relate to. Especially today. I've been wondering what's wrong with me lately. For example, I'm constantly feeling tired/exhausted/sluggish, forgetful, sad/grumpy/cranky, pains and pressure in my chest, and suffering from frequent headaches. And like alot of people, I don't think to go to the doctor to get checked out simply because I hate going to hospitals. But after watching the show and reading up on the symptoms and warning signs, I'm thinking I'll be making an appointment as soon as possible.
With all of the information that was given today on the show, I felt the need to share it.

Every 2.5 minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer.
Every 60 seconds a woman has a heart attack.
And every 23 seconds a woman is diagnosed with diabetes. 
Awareness empowers prevention.

Health Mistake #1:Ignoring Exhaustion
Warning Sign: Heart Attack
*While generally construed as a man's disease, more women die every year of heart disease than men.*
A normal, healthy heart is able to pump more than 5 liters of blood per minute. Lifestyle choices such as a poor diet, no exercise or smoking all weaken the heart, which makes it more difficult to get blood flowing to the rest of the body. Your heart tuckers out and so do you.
Many people imagine a heart attack victim grabbing at their chest and collapsing to the ground. While this dramatic version of a heart attack can happen, symptoms are usually less obvious, particularly for women. Sure, women feel the pressure in their chests, but many experience vague symptoms that not immediately attributed to a heart attack.
Factors that up your risk for heart disease include smoking tobacco, sedentary lifestyle, high blood pressure, Low HDL & high LDL cholesterol, diabetes, overweight & obesity, and stress.
Symptoms of a heart attack that women should never ignore:
  • pressure, tightness, squeezing pain across the chest
  • pain radiating down the arm, shoulders, jaw, neck, and back, particularly on the left side
  • shortness of breath
  • dizziness, sweating, weakness, overwhelming fatigue
  • feeling of impending doom
  • headache, blurry vision, lightheadedness, feeling faint
  • gastrointestinal symptoms such as indigestion, nausea, and vomiting
  • coughing & palpitations
A National Institutes of Health study showed that women often experience new or different symptoms for as long as a month or more before having a heart attack. What's more, the major heart attack symptoms in women often differ compared to those in men. Exhaustion ranks as the top symptom in women prior to their heart attack. If you wake up unusually tired, have difficulty getting through the day, or have trouble falling asleep - another symptom more common in women- see your doctor to get an echocardiogram (EGG), an ultrasound test used to examine the heart.

Health mistake #2: Ignoring Unexplained Weight Gain
Warning sign: Breast cancer (also colon, ovarian, and uterine)
Many times women ignore unexplained weight gain, chocking it up to not enough physical activity or indulging in too many fattening foods. But putting on extra pounds can also be a serious warning sign related to breast cancer. When breast cancer cells spread, they can stick to the abdominal wall and secrete chemicals that cause fluid to accumulate and the belly to expand. Unintentional weight gain can also be a sign of other cancers, including colon, ovarian, or uterine.

Health mistake #3: Ignoring a Frequent Urge to Urinate
Warning sign: Diabetes
If you have to urinate all the time, it could be a sign of diabetes. Frequent urination occurs in cases of undiagnosed diabetes because of high blood sugar levels. Your kidneys start working overtime to draw in water from the body so they can help flush out excess sugars. This process also results in your feeling very thirsty.

Health mistake #4: Taking All of Your Medication in the Morning
Warning sign: Blood Pressure Complications
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is regarded as a "silent killer", a disease many people are unaware they have until it's too late. Of the millions of Americans who have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, most are prescribed ACE inhibitors. These work by widening or dilating blood vessels to improve the amount of blood your heart pumps, subsequently lowering blood pressure. New studies based on the body's biorhythms have determined that when people ingest ACE inhibitors in the morning, they may actually be less effective.
Understanding our internal clocks give us the power to do everything we can to stay healthy, and, in some cases, alive. Here are three reasons heart attacks are three times more likely to strike in the morning than the evening:
  1. Blood pressure is highest in the morning because it rises quickly to get you ready for the day. In fact, your heart needs 50% more blood to go from being asleep to being awake, and as that blood pulses through your blood vessels, the increased pressure can tear the vessel lining.
  2. Blood vessels are thicker in the morning. Just as our muscles and joints feel stiffer when we get up, our blood vessels are thicker and more rigid. It's harder for them to bend and flex, which makes them more likely to build up plague; combine that with high blood pressure, and it's a recipe for artery rupture.
  3. Blood is thicker in the morning. The platelets in our blood, which help it clot, are stickier in the morning and more likely to stick to blood vessel walls, plus the system that combats blood clots is not as active in the am. And when stickier blood hits the scars and tears caused by high blood pressure and stiff arteries, clots form, and the stage for a heart attack is set.
Health mistake #5: Ignoring Loss of Sense of Smell
Warning sign: Alzheimer's Disease

One of the first areas of the brain to be affected by Alzheimer's is the part responsible for your sense of smell. There's a simple test you can try at home to determine if your memory loss could be a warning sign of Alzheimer's. Click Here to take the test.
To protect yourself against Alzheimer's, look to omega-3 fatty acids, believed to ward off this deadly disease and boost memory. Increase your intake of algae oil. Take it in pill form, 350mg a day. Or saute 3.5 ounce servings of salmon (or other fish such as sardines) in olive oil, for added monounsaturated fat, and eat twice a week. Try French maritime pine bark, 150mg supplements daily.

*all of this information provided by Dr. Oz Site*


FAMEDS said...

Hi Shontae. Great to stumble on your blog! Best of luck with everything! Have you heard of FAMEDS? Freedom of Access to Medicines is leading the effort against the FDA from disproving Avastin this month, which is the drug working for 17,500 women surviving with Metastatic Breast Cancer! Please sign and share the urgent petition: http://fameds.org/petition.php

Diane @ OhDiane said...

Thank you for the great health tips.

Marie Noelle said...

Wow that's a very well documented post here! I'll bookmarking to read the entire thing after #commenthour!

Elizabeth said...

great post - Need to come back and reread and digest it all! #commenthour

The Spaghetti Westerner said...

Great tips. I look forward to reading more after stopping by for #commenthour

Making It Work Mom said...

Great post! Very informative. And you are right woman usually ignore their own health.

Unknown said...

I had no idea loss of sense of smell was sign of Alzheimer's. Great post! As a cardiology nurse I see too many women ignore symptoms and suffer for it.

Branson said...

Interesting information! Thanks for sharing this! :)

Miranda | Mangoes and Chutney said...

Isn't Dr. Oz great?! Could watch and learn all day. #commenthour

april marie said...

wow- I had absolutely no idea lose of sense of smell was from alzheimers either! great info! I'm glad I found your blog

Anonymous said...

Excellent post. Women's health has been on the back burner for so long. It's great to see information coming out more and more. #commenthour

The Reason You Come said...

It's always advisable to go to the doctor anytime there are symptoms. If anything's wrong, it's always best to have it diagnosed early.

Here from #commenthour. :)

Alyssa said...

This is great information. So many of us neglect our bodies and they are the only ones we have!! #commenthour

Handy Man, Crafty Woman said...

Great post! Came over from the SITS comment hour.

Unknown said...

Very interesting. I never knew that losing your sense of smell could be a sign of alzheimers. I need to start watching Dr. Oz. #CommentHour

Stephanie in Suburbia said...

Ahhhh! People who don't go to the doctor make me nervous. Go now! Now that I am on a high-deductible insurance plan, so I am definitely more cautious about when I go. But still, those symptoms are definitely worth a visit!

TheProDiva said...

Wow!!!! Thanks for sharing this info! It is so important for adults, women in particular, to stop avoiding the doctor when things just don't feel right. We have to take better care of ourselves, and take control of our health. This means having a team of doctors, and keeping up with routine health screening. Awesome post!

Jami Graham said...

Visiting from #commenthour...Ill be back to dig in!! :)

Shontae said...

thank you all for visiting and leaving 'comment love'. :)

Kelly Krewson said...

I am terrible about going to the Dr for myself. Yet, let my Hubby complain about the littlest thing and I'm nagging him to go see the Dr. Double standard? Maybe.

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