Cardiovascular disease, also known as CVD, is the number one killer of men and women of all ethnic groups in the United States. Cardiovascular diseases include such ailments as high blood pressure, arrhythmia, valve disease, congestive heart failure and stroke. Though worries of more “high profile” diseases such as breast cancer are on the forefront in many women’s minds, the hard truth is that one in four women are affected with some form of cardiovascular disease.
Risk factors for cardiovascular diseases are things such as high blood pressure, obesity, abnormal blood glucose, and even the use of tobacco, among other factors. When caught at an early age, these risk factors can be muted to help prevent manifesting themselves as cardiovascular disease later on.
Altering your lifestyle can help to lower your chances for cardiovascular diseases. Such alterations as eating a diet that is low in fat and cholesterol, adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet, drinking enough water daily, and exercising for half an hour a day are all ways that physicians suggest can assist in lowering your chances for cardiovascular disease.
Cardiovascular diseases are known as silent killers, as they often have no symptoms. If you think you may be having any symptoms of heart disease, you should speak to your doctor about the many tests available. Doctors often begin with simple tests, the results of which can lead to tests that are more complex.
In connection with cardiovascular disease are “extra” heartbeats, which typically happen when there is an irritation in the lower part of the heart’s pumping chambers. They interrupt the normal heart rhythm, which can feel like a missed beat. This can actually be a harmless “quirk” of your body’s functions, or can lead to problems that are far more serious.
If a woman has these palpitations or any other symptoms such as dizziness, blurred vision, or shortness of breath, she should contact her doctor right away. A complete medical history, physical exam, and other tests will be run to determine the cause of these behaviors, which can be anything from stress-related behavior to something far more dangerous. The advice and consultation of a physician where heart disease is concerned is the only way to go.
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