All About Heart Disease | Dr. Sharon Thompson, MD

All About Heart Disease | Dr. Sharon Thompson, MD


All right it’s National Women’s Health
Week and we’re talking to a doctor about the number one threat to women’s health
and what women need to be on the lookout for. In your health watch this morning it
is National Women’s Health Week and when you hear women’s health you likely think
about breast or ovarian cancer risks or other gynecological issues but in fact
the number one threat to women’s health is heart disease and that should be top
of mind. Dr. Sharon Thompson of the Central Phoenix Obstetrics and
Gynecology Center is here to tell us more about the number one killer of
women and after all of these years why that message still doesn’t seem to be
resonating. Yeah only 54% of women realize that heart disease is the number
one killer for women and I think it has to do with the effectiveness appropriate
effectiveness of breast cancer awareness so that’s top of mind first but heart
disease really is our number one health threat. And the statistics are
fairly significant right one in every thirty one women? One in every three
women is affected by heart disease. Three? Mm-hmm yeah in terms of heart disease
more in terms of mortality, okay one in three women die from heart disease. We
want to talk about some of the common symptoms so that you would know that
you’re having a heart attack and those are the same both for men and women in this case. The classic symptom of a heart attack is that crushing pressure in your
chest okay and men and woman both get that but women can get symptoms that are
not so common in men, extreme fatigue, nausea, pain in the jaw or arm, those are
more common in women than in men. What would the jaw have to do with with
the heart it’s complicated the way that our nerves are connected
so some of the nerves that go to your heart also go to your neck and your jaw.
Okay so I want to put that up as well so that we can kind of take a look and
digest that a little bit so some of those risk factors of women. Heartburn I
mean can let you know that there’s a lot of things going wrong but
how do we know a common case of heartburn versus something very severe
and it is hard to tell, part of what can help you is knowing your own history.
Okay so knowing your family history, knowing your risk factors, is your blood
pressure normal? Is it high, do you have diabetes, those are sorts of things that
can help you distinguish symptoms that for you and me may be
benign but for someone with that history may be more serious and caused you to go
see your doctor. And when we talk about heart disease and the risk that it puts
on your overall health are we talking just about putting you at
risk for a heart attack or what other risk factors elevate with that? That’s an
excellent question so the the same risk factors that can cause you to have a
heart attack in class you have a stroke as well and in fact in the medical field
we think of heart heart attacks and strokes as a similar type of disease
because it affects your vessels and your heart. So what about prevention what can
we be doing to make sure that we are minimizing our risk of heart disease?Prevention is key
because many of the factors that can lead to heart disease are modifiable.
Okay so one know your family history so important and if you have issues in your
family like high blood pressure, diabetes, you want to make sure you talk to your
doctor about those things. Exercise exercise is free and easy
but many of us don’t do it enough. Take your blood pressure medicine if you
need it. Watch your diet so those healthy fats, staying away from the sugars,
getting enough vegetables, which I know I have to focus on too are key things that
we can do to decrease our risk for heart disease. And also getting tested for
diabetes that is a big factor it’s all connected right? Absolutely
diabetes is a big risk factor for heart attack and stroke so you definitely want
to talk to your doctor and get tested. Do you have any direct advice just as we wrap
up for a woman who’s seeing her doctor and wants to make sure that their
medical professional is making sure that they are at in good cardiovascular
health? Raise the the issue, okay, talk about it. What’s my risk doctor, what do
you think, how do you think heart disease will affect me given my family history,
given what you know about my health? Ask the question ask the questions thank
you so much so great to see you here, how do people get in touch with you? I’m at Central Phoenix OBGYN we have a
website centralphoenixobgyn.com thank you, Scott.