Ok, ladies. It is time for a little heart to heart here. I just finished a book called Take it to Heart by Pamela Serure. I picked it up because heart disease runs in my family. I thought it would be an interesting read. I have never thought that I had anything to worry about. I mean, my grandmother died at 62 and my aunt was in her 40’s, but they were not very healthy people. I don’t smoke and I drink only occasionally. I am not much into exercise, but I am in the normal weight range for my height. I thought that this meant that I would be in the clear.

Nope.

Did you know that heart disease kills more women every year than all the cancers combined? Did you know that stress can be harder on your heart than smoking? Did you know that pain in the jaw can be a sign of heart disease? Did you know that those who suffer from depression are four times more likely to have a heart attack? I didn’t know these things.

This book has been a huge eye-opener for me. She had a couple of pages of yes or no questions. I answered yes to many of them. This made me a little nervous, but as I continued to read I became angry. The book is full of stories of woman who have had heart attacks. Young women and middle aged women. Women who exercised every day and ate very healthy. Isn’t that what we are supposed to do? Yet, they still had heart disease. Many times women are overlooked or blown off because heart disease is still seen as a man’s disease. This is frustrating!

Well, I have many risk factors. I had Pregnancy Induced Hypertension which increases my risk. If you had pre-eclampsia in pregnancy the risk is even greater. I also suffer from depression which increases my risk. Who would have thought that?  I also have heart disease in my family. Yep, another strike against me. My blood pressure is on the high side of normal. That is not so good with my risk factors. Ok, I have decided not to get all worked up about it, but I have decided that I need to be a little more proactive when it comes to my health. I am just going to make some small changes. I am starting with more fruits and veggies, and less processed foods. Oh, I am not getting rid of it all. I still need to live (hahaha) but I am making some changes.

I would like to encourage you to read this book, or just do a little research on heart disease. Knowledge is power, after all.

So this ends my monthly public service announcement. 🙂 Back to our regular scheduled programming.

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