Keeping Women’s Hearts Healthy


February is National Heart Health Month
and many people are working to spread awareness of the number one killer in
women: heart disease. According to the American Heart Association it causes one
in three deaths every year. That’s about one woman every minute. ABC 2 News Shannel Pearman has more on what you should be doing to make sure that your heart isn’t
just happy on this Valentine’s Day, but that it’s also healthy. Keeping a healthy
heart is something 50-year-old Kim Winder has been mindful of her entire life,
especially since it impacted her life at an early age. When I was a little girl, I
was diagnosed with a heart murmur. Growing up she took the necessary steps
to stay healthy. As an adult she says she felt fine, that was until she didn’t. It
was a gripping pain. It was one of those types of pains that would come,
significantly grab you, kind of get a hold on you and then it would just go
away. Winder didn’t quite know what was wrong, but she did know something wasn’t
right, a common factor for many women. One thing which is very common is that I
know that they know something is wrong but can never sort of pin it down.
Dr. Momina Mastoor with MedStar Hospital has spent years working with women with
heart disease. She knows firsthand how difficult it can be for women to know
something is wrong. And the symptoms can range from feeling tired to not feeling
right to having a fluttering sensation in the chest or feeling short of breath.
Thankfully, Winder acted quickly. She discovered she had other heart issues
outside of her heart murmur. That was very scary for me. So I didn’t want to
play any games. Dr. Mastoor stresses the importance of women knowing their bodies
and thinking of heart health. It’s not too early to start when you’re in your
20s. That’s when it’s I think important to establish your baseline and, you
know, your numbers in terms of your blood pressure and your cholesterol, also your
BMI. You know, focus on that and then try to establish good eating habits. Once
you’ve established a good foundation in your 20s, Dr. Mastoor says you should
be mindful of stress in your 30s. When you’re in your 30s, I
feel that most people, you know, have a job, they have a family. So, you know,
stress — you know, which is I think really part and parcel of our lives.
And stress has — plays a very important role. She recommends exercising and staying
active to help balance stress. If it becomes a way of life, then your chances
are that you’ll stay like that. And as you get older these are things you should continue to
keep in mind, knowing your numbers, having good eating habits, staying active, and, of
course, if you feel like anything is wrong, go get checked out. I appreciate
when patients do come forward, you know, with vague symptoms and and then, you
know, we can go over their history and risk factor stratification and try to
figure out what’s wrong. After being proactive and catching her heart issues
early, Winder says she’s doing well. I was determined to make sure that I would be
healthy, that I would follow the advice of my physician, and that we would
collaborate and make this a team effort so that I could live a healthy life. Just
because you feel fine doesn’t mean you aren’t at risk for heart disease. If you
feel like something is wrong, even if you can’t pinpoint exactly

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