What should a heart doctor talk about on the this wear-red-for-women’s-heart-disease day?
(It’s sunny out this Friday afternoon, so I am keeping it brief.)
Promoting women’s heart health is important. Even though pink made the bigger news this week, heart disease kills far more women than breast cancer. Wait, that’s a terrible line of reasoning; impacting both diseases is important, no one more important than the other.
Preventing heart disease knows no gender. Women, too, should sweat each day that they eat, eat less bad stuff, check their blood pressure, cholesterol and sugar. And certainly smoking hurts each sex equally.
Those two paragraphs don’t offer anything too novel. Sorry.
Here’s a gender-specific nugget: How about gender-specific issues in atrial fib?
I now believe strongly that women should pay extra attention to heart rhythm issues. Women have a tougher time with AF, having a higher risk of stroke and lower rate of success from ablation. We don’t know why, but one thought holds that we let the disease progress further before intervening. Another is that female hearts are more apt to form atrial scar tissue. And maybe male-dominated cardiologists refer women for treatment differently? No, this could not be so. We heart doctors are good listeners.
Though it’s important not to over-worry about AF, I think female gender is an important input in the AF-treatment equation. My message to women with AF: pay attention to your symptoms, take charge of your lifestyle choices and help your doctor listen. Know that female gender increases your stroke risk. Know that AF responds better to treatment in its early phases.
The final thing that strikes me about February as the GoRed month pertains to the power that women hold. Women run stuff: households, businesses, nursing units, schools and of course…men.
It seems obvious that putting women out front in the charge towards better health is a grand idea.
2 replies on “GoRed Friday!!!”
A lot of disease causes are off put with the strength of the pink ribbon campaign. Seriously, even I walk around the stores in October and make jokes about all the pink ribboned items that I see. The one that I get the biggest laugh over is Sutter Wine. But the truth is that you will find many of the same women who are walking through the pink balloon arch of the survivors walk are the same women who were out handing out red dress pins this morning and inviting people to the Healthy Hearts Lunch and Learn. The reason; those chemicals they poured into our bodies to kill our cancer are cardiac toxins. They can cause cardiomyopathy years after the treatment was given. Here’s the skinny on this, I can’t undo the damage that can happen because of chemo. I can’t change the congenital abnormality that prolongs the resting phase of my heart. The only thing that I have control of is living a healthy lifestyle to control my diabetes, high blood pressure and high lipid profile by diet, exercise, not smoking; taking my medication the way they were prescribed and showing up for my medical appointments. So I will put on a pink tee shirt and go for a walk and dress in a little red dress and red pumps so that maybe I can help others to not have to go through this.
…”The only thing that I have control of is living a healthy lifestyle to control my diabetes, high blood pressure and high lipid profile by diet, exercise, not smoking; taking my medication the way they were prescribed and showing up for my medical appointments.”
People helping people.
Wearing colors, supporting a cause, be it slightly flawed,
That’s a good thing.
…maybe I can help others to not have to go through this.
This is good.