08
Feb

Heart Attacks Give Me a Headache…

           Heart - Sky

What do psoriasis, migraines, arthritis, and gum disease all have in common? They are all newly-discovered risk factors for heart disease. If I had my two heart attacks today, I could no longer answer “No” to every heart disease risk factor question. Why?

Because I have had migraines for nearly 47 years and they don’t appear to be permanently going away any time soon. But, they, in and of themselves, are a huge risk factor for heart disease now. The kicker is that one of the meds I was taking to prevent migraines in 1999 actually increased my risk for heart attacks! In fact, several medications that I was taking back then for various “routine” health conditions were all huge problems for someone at risk for heart attacks!

Those who experience auras with their migraines are much more at risk for heart attack than those who don’t. So, if you are a migraine sufferer with auras, that means you need to eat right, exercise regularly and talk to your doctor NOW. You might be on a medication that could throw you into a heart attack just like me, since this is a relatively new finding!

Also, not getting enough sleep can increase your risk! What?! Yep, that’s right. Why? Because a lack of sleep increases your stress level and stress can increase the inflammatory response of the body. So, knock off the coffee in the afternoon and choose decaf or better yet, simple little water.

What else does this mean? We should all be brushing and flossing our teeth regularly. Such a simple thing to do, but how many of us slack on this? And if your arthritis is out of control or your psoriasis is out of control, you need to be talking to your doctor as well. Why? Because these are all inflammatory diseases and there is now a link between inflammation in the body and the potential for having a heart attack.

In addition, you should know the heart attack symptoms and get yourself to an ER or doctor’s office immediately if you experience these symptoms. Lastly, you need to be eating right, taking your vitamins, and exercising regularly, not only to prevent heart attacks, but also to increase your chances of surviving one, should you have one. A woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every 2.5 minutes; a woman has a heart attack every minute. Heart attacks are the # 1 killer of women and I came ridiculously close to being a part of that statistic in 1999.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking you are too healthy to have a heart attack like moi. Be smart. Be the hero. Do your job for those you love–take care of you!

Point to Ponder Challenge # 1: Visit this link to learn more about how migraines (and taking certain contraceptives) can increase the risk for heart attacks. 

Point to Ponder Challenge # 2: Are you getting enough sleep at night? (Preferably 7-8 hours per night) What can you do to change that pattern, if not? No more caffeine after 3 pm? Yoga or pilates before bed? Drinking warm milk (has tryptophan and is actually pretty tasty with some sweetener and Mexican vanilla!) before bed? Turning off the TV? Reading a book? Praying? Singing (Probably best to do this in your head, if you have “roomies”!)? Taking a warm shower? Lavender Pillow Spray? Make a “sleep log” and see if any of your interventions are working.

Point to Ponder Challenge # 3: Psoriasis sufferer? Visit this link and then make a visit to your doc if new meds may be warranted.

Point to Ponder Challenge # 4: Bad about brushing/flossing your teeth regularly? No? Visit this link to learn why it’s important. Then, get busy and brush those teeth and keep that floss handy!

Point to Ponder Challenge # 5: Arthritis bringing you down? Visit this link and learn what you can do to reduce your risk for heart disease by curbing arthritis’ impact on your life. Then, go exercise! Yes, exercise. It actually reduces arthritis over time. And I highly recommend a Tempur-Pedic bed, if you can afford it…my arthritis is almost 100% gone because of exercise and that cushy bed. And I sleep a whole lot better, which just took care of Challenge # 2! Boom! I love it when a plan comes together. 🙂

Tomorrow’s Post: The Man of Misdirection

This entry was posted on Friday, February 8th, 2013 at 6:55 am and is filed under Lessons Learned. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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