The most likely way to die…

heart health Feb 03, 2022

So here you go. This month, and just this month, peer into your email inbox every week  to unveil a tip about how to maintain your health and treat your heart. We don’t hold big marches or wear ribbons for it. 

Heart disease is the number one cause of death for women. 

The symptoms of a heart attack in women are different than they are in men. In women, heart attacks are often misdiagnosed and undertreated partly because of how we, as women, tend to dismiss our pain. 

Heart attacks are the leading cause of death for men too!

Not just in the US,[2] but worldwide![3] Why are we not up in arms and doing more about this? Is it because the treatments are overly simple? 

If there were a “heart march,” this would be the wristband slogan for protecting the physical heart: LOVE, BREATHE, MOVE, and EAT PLANTS! 

Stress is also a huge factor in heart disease. In fact, I was worried about causing you to go into cardiac arrest when I realized how much I wanted to share with you! But don’t worry, my loving husband has your back. He took one look and said, “Make it a series.” 

We all have 3 ‘hearts’. Yup-3.

There is the physical heart

At its most simple, its a pump with a bunch of tubes,  that is controlled by an electrical charge. Not too scary is it? That ought to be easy to fix like my old 1967 Volkswagen- right? More on that later. 

The emotional heart 

Well this is bit more complicated for some of us. 

We can die from a lonely heart, or we can learn to fill ourselves with love. 

Did you know that one of the known risks of heart disease is feeling lonely? This is different than being alone. The studies are clear: connection with others improves the health of your physical heart.[4], [5] 

The energetic heart

This one is a bit more obscure, but I personally find it fascinating! 

Heart Math institute did a study on heart-mind showing by measuring electrical impulses  the heart processes intuitive information and sends the signal to the brain! WHAT! So crazy and cool or what?  Here is the paper: https://www.heartmath.org/assets/uploads/2015/01/intuition-part1.pdf

Body picks up information and sends it to the brain

We know it does this all the time through our senses. What I love about this paper is its more evidence about how the body processes more subtle inputs- it helps verify that we do indeed have an ‘energy body’. 

The more risk factors you have, the more at risk you are.[6] And if you have a strong family history of heart disease, it’s really, really in your interest to focus on prevention—please don’t put it off!! 

What can you do about it? A comprehensive blood test panel, an exam, and a thorough history from a trained medical professional will give you a good idea of your risk. Some follow-up exams may also be a good idea. 

Assessing our heart health

I know we can prevent a lot of deaths and disease. It isn’t hard to figure out your risk for heart disease. I have always believed that knowledge is power, and looking at our heart risk can be very motivating!

By taking a good history and having a few blood tests, you can see if you’re at increased risk. 

When I sit with a patient doing a heart assessment, I know that together we have the power to change the future. We are potentially preventing a disease that could be much harder to treat 10 to 20 years down the line. Given the high likelihood of heart attacks, we should get checked out and take action to care for our hearts! 

LOVE, BREATHE, MOVE, AND EAT PLANTS

In the next few weeks we will cover common heart issues and learn why LOVE, BREATHE, MOVE, AND EAT PLANTS is the order of the decade. 

AND I hope this intro to a month of good heart health finds you well. 

In good health, 

~ Dr Jenny Tufenkian ND

 


RESOURCES:

[1] “Women and Heart Disease,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, last modified January 31, 2020, https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/women.htm

[2] “Heart Disease Facts,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, last modified December 2, 2019, https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm

[3] Hannah Nichols, “What are the leading causes of death in the US?” Medical News Today, September 30, 2014, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/282929

[4] “The health benefits of strong relationships,” Harvard Women’s Health Watch, last updated August 6, 2019, https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/the-health-benefits-of-strong-relationships

[5] A.V. Christensen, K. Juel, O. Ekholm, et al., “Significantly increased risk of all-cause mortality among cardiac patients feeling lonely,” Heart 106, no. 2 (January 2020): 140–46. 

[6] “Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Stroke,” National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/preventing-problems/heart-disease-stroke.


READ MORE IN THE HEART SERIES

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