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How Heart Disease in Women Can Be Different
What Can You Do To Prevent Heart Disease

What Can You Do To Prevent Heart Disease

Recently we have seen an increased emphasis by health care professionals on Heart Health, especially heart disease in women. There is good reason for this. Somehow the perception has been heart disease is a man's problem and not so prevalent in women. Not so! In women heart disease can act differently, but certainly is just as serious. 

We all know about the classic symptoms of a heart attack--crushing chest pain, pain radiating down into the left arm. But did you know these classic symptoms are more common in men than women? Although chest pain is still a very common symptom in women, health care professionals have come to recognize women often present with other symptoms, such as extreme fatigue, shortness of breath with or without chest pain, pain in the upper abdomen or back, or nausea or vomiting. These symptoms may be different but no less important. They need immediate attention as well. 

Because heart disease can present so differently and can go unrecognized, women must take special care to change their lifestyle and risk factors years before they reach menopause. 

Important Statistics About Heart Disease 

Heart disease has long been known to be the number one cause of death in men, but it is important that women also recognize how big a risk cardiovascular disease is for them as well. Consider this:
  • About 500,000 American women die each year from cardiovascular disease.
  • This means more lives lost to heart disease and stroke than the next six causes of death combined!
  • Each year about 435,000 women have heart attacks.
  • The annual death rate from heart attacks in women is six times the death rate from breast cancer
  • 8,000,000 American women are currently living with heart disease - 10% of women aged 45 - 64, and as much as 25% of women 65+ years of age.

Who Is At Risk
Several risk factors play an important role in the development of cardiovascular disease. They are:

High blood pressure - abnormally high blood pressure causes damage not only to the heart as a pump, but also to the blood vessels themselves. One third of the adult American population has high blood pressure, and a third of those with high blood pressure don't even know they have it. Untreated high blood pressure will lead to cardiovascular disease.

Obesity - being overweight, it stands to reason, will put an extra stress load on the heart. Obesity will lead to high blood pressure and diabetes as well. Keeping your weight under control will reduce the risk of heart disease.

Diabetes - having diabetes is now recognized as conferring the same risk for a major heart event (such as a heart attack) as someone who is known to have coronary heart disease. Women with diabetes are 2-3 times more likely to have a heart attack than someone who does not have diabetes.

Smoking - if you smoke you have a chance of having a heart attack as much as 19 years sooner than you otherwise might.

Ethnicity - The rate of heart disease in African American women is much higher than for Caucasian women. Their heart attack rate is twice that of Caucasian women between the ages of 55 - 64. Pacific Islanders, Latinos and American Indians have a higher rate to diabetes and therefore heart disease as well.

Cholesterol - high cholesterol levels is a major risk factor in cardiovascular disease. It contributes to the build-up of plaque on the inner wall of blood vessels, leading eventually to heart attacks and strokes. 

Getting Risks Under Control 

Weight - keep the weight under control. Set weight loss goals realistically. Even losing a pound a week could be a real step forward. After all, a pound a week means 52 pounds a year. Now that's real weight loss! 

Walk - walking is a vital step. Even someone not used to exercising can benefit from walking. It is not expensive, and takes no special equipment. Even if you are living in the cold climates, don't use weather as an excuse. Walk in the mall, even go early when there are less people there. You would be surprised at how many other people are doing the same! Aim for 30 minutes of brisk walking 5 times a week. The Diabetes Prevention Program trial demonstrated that keeping weight under control and a regular exercise program directly related to a reduced rate of developing diabetes.

Screening - visit your health care professional regularly for screening of your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar. If you have these risk factors you must find out early and begin immediately to get them under control. We can't change our heritage, but knowing if you are at greater risk with screening is the first step.

Blood Pressure - keep blood pressure well controlled. The target blood pressure should be 120-125 systolic and 80-85 diastolic. The Hypertension Optimal Treatment (HOT) study confirmed those who achieved lower blood pressures on treatment fared better than those whose blood pressures remained higher on treatment.

Diet - eat a diet high in vegetables, fruits and grain products. Eat smaller portions of meat and poultry, and include fish high in omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, tuna are good examples).

Fiber - and don't forget the fiber! Current recommendations are for 25-30 grams of fiber a day (some say even higher). The average American eats only 10-15 grams a day. Whole wheat breads, cereals, and soluble fibers such as barley grains increase the dietary fiber intake. Soluble fiber also slows the absorption of sugars from the intestine. This can help diabetics control their blood sugar.

Help From A Natural Supplement
It's really hard in our fast-paced life style to achieve 30 grams of fiber daily by diet alone. Over 15 years ago Unicity introduced Bios Life 2, the only natural product in North America with 2 U.S. patents for lowering cholesterol without a prescription. The original studies done by the Cleveland Clinic (one of the nation's premier heart institutes) clinically proved Bios Life 2 to be both safe and effective. Unicity then identified three additional approaches to lowering cholesterol that built on the effectiveness of Bios Life 2. 
Bios Life C is the only natural substance to combine four mechanisms in reducing cholesterol. And it carries none of the side effects of statin prescription medication. This is how it works:
Soluble Fiber-the soluble fiber blocks the re-absorption of cholesterol from the intestinal tract. Millions of Americans over the past 16 years lowered their cholesterol with Bios Life 2 by this mechanism alone.

Phytosterols-are in Bios Life C. These plant sterols have a chemical structure similar to cholesterol, but are poorly absorbed in the intestinal tract. With its similar structure it interferes with and therefore reduces the absorption of cholesterol from the foods we eat.

Polycosanols-Bios Life C contains polycosanols, a natural compound that blocks an enzyme essential to the production of cholesterol in the liver. Statin drugs act by this means as well, but polycosanol, a natural substance, does not have the side effect of liver toxicity that statin drugs do.

Chrysanthemum morifolium-Bios Life C contains this natural extract that stimulates the enzymes responsible for the breakdown of cholesterol in your body. Consequently, cholesterol is broken down at a more rapid rate. The faster the breakdown, the lower the cholesterol.

Statin drugs usually work on one of these four mechanisms alone (although some statin drugs use combinations to work on two mechanisms). This explains why in clinical studies Bios Life C taken in combination with a statin drug, achieved an additional 20% reduction of the cholesterol level. It also works to increase the HDL (good) cholesterol as well as lower LDL (bad) cholesterol. Most statins work only to reduce the LDL cholesterol. Amazingly, it also works to lower the triglycerides.  This combination approach in a natural form really is very unique. And there are no serious side effects to worry about, like muscle pains and elevated liver enzymes as with statin drugs.

Click here for more information on Bios Life C.

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