Heart health seminar for women

Marie Milleage

Over 50 women gathered in June to learn how to maintain a healthy heart. Heart attack symptoms in women differ from those of men. With less likelihood of chest pain, signs in women include neck, jaw, shoulder, upper back or abdominal discomfort of sensations of “heartburn.” Other symptoms may appear in both genders as shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting, sweating, dizziness, or unexplained fatigue.

While many people are aware of these symptoms, not all acknowledge the possibility of a heart attack occurring when experiencing one or more of these signs. Heart disease is the nation’s number one killer. Over one-third of American women die yearly of heart disease. More women die of heart disease than breast cancer, with the risk of heart attack and stroke increasing with age.

Dr. Saritha Dodla, Cardiologist, Excel Cardiac Care and The Heart Hospital Baylor Denton, gave a detailed educational presentation concerning the anatomy of the heart, describing the heart’s function, the cardiovascular system, interaction with other of the body’s organs and the disease process. She discussed how a heart attack occurs when a blood clot blocks the blood’s flow through a coronary artery that supplies blood to a part of the heart muscle and how this interrupted blood flow damages or destroys a part of the heart muscle.

How do women protect themselves? By reducing the risks of heart attacks by discussing with a healthcare provider any history of heart disease in the family, having appropriate annual physical exams and suggested medical tests, having blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked, becoming active on a routine basis, quitting smoking, drinking alcohol in moderation and eating a healthy, well-balanced diet.

To clarify nutritional information, Elizabeth Stasny, Registered Dietitian, Baylor Denton, gave an overview of heart-healthy eating, outlined the daily requirements of various foods categories, emphasized fruits, vegetables and fiber as necessary staples in a daily diet and reviewed food label reading. Studies associate a high consumption of fruits and vegetables with lower blood pressure and a reduced risk for heart disease. Elizabeth advised limiting or eliminating salt, sugar and fast foods.

Preventing or controlling heart disease means changing one’s lifestyle, maintaining a healthy heart by making a personal action plan, having a medical checkup with necessary tests and treatments, reviewing risk factors and eating a healthy diet.

DATCU credit union provides seminar refreshments and door prizes. Living Well seminars are free and open to Robson Ranch residents. Advance registration at www.rrlwc.com is required to ensure sufficient seating and refreshments.

All content within presentations sponsored by the Living Well at Robson Ranch Committee is intended for general information only. It should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of a professional health care provider. Neither the Living Well at Robson Ranch Committee, Robson Ranch Denton HOA, nor Robson Communities is responsible or liable for the content and do not endorse any commercial product or service mentioned or advised in any presentation.