Enjoy Your Menopause!

January 24, 2009

What is Your Heart Telling You?

Ever since being diagnosed with congestive heart failure, I’ve made it my business to read all I can and to follow the instructions given by my Cardiologist. 

Heart disease is the nation’s number one killer for women. The well-known heart attack symptoms – acute pain, tightness, burning and a dull ache in the chest – describe what men typically experience during an attack. For many women the signs of a heart attack are completely different and can go unrecognized

Nausea, shoulder pain and exhaustion can be the only signs a woman experiences during an attack. Heart disease tends to come later in women than in men, on average 10 years after menopause. Women are more likely to die from their heart attacks.

Most people know to get to an emergency room immediately when they’ve identified that they’re having a heart attack. However, research shows that women go to the hospital on average one full hour later than men do after experiencing an attack. Most benefits of medical treatment occur in the first six hours after an attack, so delayed medical treatment reduces chances of full recovery. This could be due to a lack of education about onset and symptoms.

Doctors say clot-buster drugs may be immediately given to break up the clot and allow blood to get through to the heart. If necessary a balloon or a stent can be placed in the clogged artery to open the artery and strengthen the artery wall. Sometimes surgery and other procedures are required, depending on the situation.

You’ve heard the old saying:  “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Prevention is the best medicine.  That means doing your part to keep your heart healthy and strong. 

1)  Maintain low cholesterol levels.

2)  Exercise.

3)  Quit smoking.

4)  If you have diabetes, keep it under control.

5)  Monitor your blood pressure, and keep it in check.

6)  Know your family medical history. If there’s a history of heart disease, start earlier and be even more diligent about prevention.



  1. My two brothers both had heart attacks. One of them died.
    My doctors have told me I have overcome my own family history, due to my diligence in exercise and maintaining my weight. Exercise is so important to everyone’s good health.

    Comment by Archer Pam — January 24, 2009 @ 7:42 am | Reply

  2. Beverly,

    This is such important information, thank you! I know that women experience very different symptoms from men when they’re having a heart attack but I wasn’t sure what they were. Now I know what to look out for. I do try to follow your suggestions for prevention but one never knows what might happen.

    Comment by Eileen Williams — January 24, 2009 @ 3:26 pm | Reply

  3. Excellent information! We can always use some real-life explanations about a sometimes complex subject. My ekg’s have shown some “compromise” in my heart tissue, which is a little scary. That says to me that I may have suffered some minor form of heart attack without ever knowing it. I really pay attention these days. Thanks for the reminder.

    Comment by Debra Stokes — January 24, 2009 @ 11:42 pm | Reply

  4. My 48 year old sister recently had a stroke. She doesn’t smoke, is not overweight, nor does she have diabetes. To my knowledge there is no history of heart disease in my family – we’re all small built and if overweight, only slightly. But she has an extremely stressful job and woke up one morning with a pounding headache to one side of her head, and her left arm was weak and she had problems trying to clench her first or grab things. She got herself to the doctors but then was taken to the hospital and stayed for a few days. She lives in another state from me and has a daughter and son in their 20s and a couple who live nearby who are long-time friends. Scary to think my younger sister had a stroke.

    Comment by Kathie Thomas — January 25, 2009 @ 5:17 am | Reply

  5. Keep in mind that heart disease is not the only issue. I’ve lead an extremely healthy life, have low blood pressure, low cholesterol etc., but was just diagnosed with Pulmonary Hypertension. The moral: Check all symptoms and test when needed.

    Comment by Lisa Marie Mercer — January 26, 2009 @ 1:19 am | Reply

  6. I agree with many of the previous comments, I have a healthy lifestyle and when I went to my doctor’s a few years ago he gave me a blood test and the results came back with high cholesterol levels (5.7) which he said was to high. I swim, and walk a lot each day and couldn’t really understand why I had this dilemma. He put me on a drug to lower the levels and last time I had a blood test it was only (4.2,) I have now taken to doing more walking etc and hopefully my next test will be ok. Quite honestly I think my raised levels is to do with the menopause which can make the levels go up I have read recently. It is strange really I know people who don’t look after their health and eat lots of junk food and smoke and drink quite heavy and their levels were lower than mine these things don’t always go hand in hand in my opinion, But this information on this site is very good for people to read to help them keep healthy.

    Comment by Carole Heath — July 24, 2009 @ 4:16 pm | Reply

  7. Your blog is so informative … ..I just bookmarked you….keep up the good work!!!!

    I’m Out! 🙂

    Comment by online stock trading advice — January 11, 2010 @ 1:42 am | Reply

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