HOTFLASHES | February 2022

Signs of a Heart Attack in Women 

While the signs of a heart attack may seem obvious, the signs can actually be different than what most people typically associate with a heart attack for women. It’s important to know all the possible signs of a heart attack to be fully prepared in case one happens.

  • Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back
  • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort
  • Breaking out in a cold sweat
  • Nausea
  • Lightheadedness

As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. However, women are more likely than men to experience some of the other symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.
What is a Heart Healthy Lifestyle? 

During American Heart Month every February, we get a lot of messages about heart health and the importance of living a heart healthy lifestyle. But what exactly makes up a heart healthy lifestyle? Below, we break down seven key factors of living a heart healthy lifestyle.

  • Know your health history. It’s important to learn more about your family health history in order to know whether you are at a higher risk for conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and congestive heart failure.
  • Eat a healthy diet. This step doesn’t have to be difficult. Just work on incorporating more whole grains, vegetables, and fruits into your diet; opting for more lean protein sources and low-fat dairy products; and reducing your salt, saturated fat, and sugar intake.
  • Be more active. The CDC recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week, plus muscle-strengthening activities at least 2 days a week. While that may seem like a lot to squeeze into your already busy schedule, try squeezing a quick walk in on your lunch break or make it fun by taking a trip to the park with your family.
  • Quit smoking. Quitting smoking can make a huge difference in your heart and overall health. If you are struggling with how to quit, you can call 1-800-QUIT-NOW for free support.
  • Keep your annual check ups with your provider. Having your annual check up with your healthcare provider helps to catch problems like high blood pressure or high cholesterol before they get out of hand.
  • Take medicines as directed. If your provider prescribes you any medication at your annual check up, be sure to follow their instructions on how often to take it and anything you should avoid while taking it. Always ask questions if you don’t understand something. Never stop taking your medicine without talking to your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.
  • Monitor your blood pressure at home. Just as your annual check ups help you to catch any issues before they become bigger problems, checking your blood pressure often at home can help you to catch higher blood pressure before it becomes worse. Self-measured blood pressure monitors (SMBPs) are easy and safe to use and your doctor can show you how to use one if you need help.

Taking these steps to live a more heart healthy lifestyle is not only good for your heart, it’s good for your overall health as well. Choosing healthy habits like these can also help prevent other serious chronic conditions like type 2 diabetes and some kinds of cancer in addition to lowering your risk for heart disease.
Loaded Zucchini Skins 

½ lb bacon
4 large zucchini
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp. chili powder
¼ tsp. ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup low fat sour cream for garnish
2 green onions, thinly sliced

Step One: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook bacon until crispy, about 8 to 10 minutes, then transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain and chop into small pieces.

Step Two: Cut zucchinis in half lengthwise. Using a large metal spoon, scoop out seeds from the inside, then cut each half crosswise into two pieces.

Step Three: Transfer zucchini pieces to a large baking sheet and toss with olive oil. Season with chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper.

Step Four: Bake zucchini until slightly tender, about five minutes. Top each piece of zucchini with cheese and bacon.

Step Five: Return zucchini to the oven and bake until the cheese is bubbly and zucchini is tender, about ten more minutes.

Step Six: Garnish with sour cream and green onions before serving.