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Celebrate National Heart Month this February

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Throughout the month of February, we celebrate American Heart Month. While we should always put our heart health first, this is the perfect time to examine ways to be healthier and learn signs of potential problems. After all, heart disease is among the leading causes of deaths in the U.S., according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

While signs of heart disease are well known, many of those common symptoms are experienced by men, not women. Women are more likely to experience fatigue, nausea, neck pain and shortness of breath and are twice as likely to die from a heart attack than men, especially if they’re under the age of 50. 

Metabolic syndrome is a complex combination of several health issues like high blood pressure, high triglycerides, high blood sugar and excessive abdominal fat. Women with metabolic syndrome under the age of 45 have a much greater incidence of coronary artery disease than men.

The good news is, there are plenty of steps women can take to combat heart disease. Here are three to get started.

  1. Be vigilant about weight and diet. Carbohydrates store more easily as fat than proteins and fats do. Beware especially of simple sugars and processed food and make conscious decisions to consume fewer.
  2. Be wary of belly fat. That fat can lead to heart problems. Increasing aerobic activity and decreasing empty calories help reduce belly fat significantly.
  3. Listen to your body. Heed the signals from your body. If it’s telling you something is wrong, see your general practitioner and, if necessary, a cardiologist.

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