What You Should know About Heart Disease As A Woman
When you hear of someone been overweight, you just think of someone who has a lot of fat covered round her body, or the stomach protruding out and falling to the ground. Well, lets look at some few things you need to know about your heart.
90 percent of women have one or more risk factors for heart disease or stroke.
Some underlying heart conditions includes birth control pills, smoking, a poor diet, and a lack of exercise can all contribute to heart disease striking at a young age. Combining birth control pills with smoking can increase your risk by 20 percent, according to the AHA.
In fact, a small study published by the Heart and Stroke Foundation in Canada found that almost half of participants who were young with no known heart disease risk factors already had signs of blood vessel thickening known as atherosclerosis, which is often one of the first signs of cardiovascular disease.
So, if you are likely to have thickening blood vessels: measure your waist and hips. Participants with early signs of heart disease tended to have hip measurements that were smaller than, or almost the same as, their waist. But whether you do or not, you are never too young to start making the lifestyle changes necessary to ward off heart disease. Try to reduce stress and watch what you eat.
Keep fit always
A common myth is that heart disease doesn’t affect women who are fit. But even if you’re very athletic, your risk for heart disease isn’t 100 percent eliminated. Sure, things like overeating and a sedentary lifestyle increase your risk, but you can be thin and have high cholesterol everything from your eating habits to being a social smoker can cancel out other healthy habits you have on lock down.
Monitor your hormones
Managing your hormones is an important move in keeping your heart healthy, says Arizona-based functional medicine specialist Westin Childs, D.O. Estrogen is cardio protective, meaning it protects against heart disease—hence why a woman’s heart disease risk increases significantly post-menopause. “This drop in estrogen is managed genetically, so you can determine when your risk of heart disease increases based on when your mother went through menopause,” he says.
Additionally, out-of-whack thyroid hormones can cause an uptick in cholesterol, and in turn, lead to heart damage. Everyday habits like eating healthy, exercising regularly, and scoring plenty of shuteye can go a long way in keeping your hormones balanced. You can also consult with your physician about having your hormone levels tested, then work together to set (and reach) heart-healthy goals, says Steinbaum.