Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of women.
That’s why the American Heart Association is trying to raise awareness, especially on Go Red for Women Day.
News Center 7’s Katy Andersen reports what the organization is doing and the alarming trends.
It can happen to anyone at any age.
“It was discovered my heart was enlarged,” Taryn Lacy said.
At 27, Lacy never thought she would be diagnosed with heart disease. But two months after giving birth, doctors told her she has postpartum cardiomyopathy.
“It was terrifying so after speaking with my doctors we put together a plan of action,” she said.
That plan included a long list of medications and frequent checkups with her cardiologist. She also had to make lifestyle changes including eating healthier and more exercise.
“I have to be here for my baby so, therefore, had to push and make sure I survived,” Lacy said.
Her experience is why she now volunteers with the American Heart Association, and she said education is key.
“They’re finding that younger and younger women are suffering from heart disease and strokes so I think really trying to understand what we can do to prevent it and start at an earlier age is only going to help us in the long run,” Lacy said.
It’s been 15 years since Lacy was diagnosed. Today, her heart is back to normal.
But she’s wearing red to encourage women to make their health a priority.
“We as women tend to push and push and try to be superwomen for everything so take a moment. Your body speaks to you. If you are feeling something you definitely need to pay attention,” Lacy said.
- Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of the chest. If lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
- Pain or discomfort in one of both arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach.
- Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
- Breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
- Sudden trouble seeing or blurred vision in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause
WHAT TO DO?
Do not wait to call for help. Dial 911 and make sure to follow the operator’s instructions and get to a hospital right away.
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