February: Healthy Heart

"Almost two-thirds (64%) of women who die suddenly of coronary heart disease have no previous symptoms. Even if you have no symptoms, you may still be at risk for heart disease." - Center for Disease Control & Prevention

Me & My husband in Brazil 

My family and my husband’s family has a history of heart disease.
It’s difficult to answer “Do you have a family history of _______ disease in your family?”
Truth is that unfortunately we do and we never really thought it through.

The most life changing moment in my life was when my cousin Anise passed away from blood cancer (lymphoma cancer) at only 23 years old. 
Although seeing him in the hospital was too painful for me that did not prevent me from having some of the worst nightmares in my life about him suffering.

Unfortunately, I had never taken my health so seriously until he had passed away.  Of course growing up in a Balkan home we always ate healthy traditional meals and snacks. I had been physically active throughout my lifetime but it’s not the same.

Now I am a lot more conscious and informed about my health and eating habits. I honestly think that it is especially important that as we grow into womanhood to be more self informed about our own individual bodies. I think that women are especially fragile beings because we are emotional and feel pains that no man ever will: periods, hormones, pregnancy, motherhood, mood swings, etc… I’m not saying that men don’t have feelings, they are just as sensitive but I feel as though us women feel more because that’s just the way we were made. We are simply very emotional.

On that note, it is especially important for us to take care of ourselves and not just our appearances and bank accounts but our internal health.

Heart attacks and other diseases don’t care about your career, family, bills, goals, dreams or your life. A disease is a disease and it’s purpose is to make you ill. Isn’t it much better to be safe than sorry? We can’t leave our internal health for the last minute. It should be a priority before anything else. We really do only live this life once and it really is enough, when you’re healthy enough.

What is healthy enough:
·       Get Informed
Receive as much information about your health as possible, take notes while you're at the doctor; you can even bring your own check-list here's an example: Checklists to take on your visit
·      List your family’s history of disease
(ex: uncle T’s stroke, aunt M’s lung cancer, sister's eczema, grandma's asthma....anything and everything…)
·      Get your routine physical check-up with a trusted doctor once a year or every 3-6 months
(health care providers recommend once a year but some doctor's suggest every 6 months, it depends on what you can afford and your own unique health)
·      Keep a Health Journal & Record any major health concerns
(ex: ate bread, began coughing - possibly celiac disease?, ate peanuts broke out in hives, applied dead sea skin cream broke out in hives, had a cut yesterday today it's a round hard thing - possibly a wart, period lasted for three days, usually lasts for eight but not pregnant, two hour headache after a work-out - it's possible that you either didn't sleep well or you're not breathing right or something else that's why it's important to keep notes on what goes on with your body)
·  Keep a 'Wallet Card' in your daily hand bag or wallet
(link is under More Information - scroll down)
·  Change Your Lifestyle: Eat Healthy Natural Foods in accurate  portions & Walk as much as you can or find a work-out you enjoy 
(More Information on a Healthy Heart Lifestyle: The Heart Truth Tips Sheets)

More Information:

 ·   Infographs

I hope you my blog post has informed you & inspired you.
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  • "Women and Heart Disease Fact Sheet." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 22 Aug. 2013. Web. 09 Feb. 2014.
  • "Campaign Materials." The Heart Truth , HHS, NIH, NHLBI. The Heart Truth Campaign, HHS, AHA, Jan. 2014. Web. 09 Feb. 2014.
  • "Getting the Most of Your Doctor Visits." Getting the Most of Doctor Visits. United Health Care, n.d. Web. 09 Feb. 2014.

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