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Because I started my life off as a Registered Nurse, I can’t help but want to educate people around health. February is heart health month. Thereis a myth that heart disease mainly effects men, but the truth is 1 in 3 women die from heart disease each year.

We have come a very long way in the fight against breast cancer. I commend all of our strides in bringing this disease to the forefront, but the fact is, heart disease is robbing us from our families at a much faster rate. It is a silent epidemic in women.

It is important to know that the signs and symptoms of a heart attack can show up very differently in women than in men. For women, the initial symptoms of a heart attack are: nausea, back pain, pain between the shoulder blades, shortness of breath, or even jaw line pain. We can also be predisposed to heart disease from our family even if we are in the best shapes of our lives.

Our heart is a muscle. It has the capability to warn you of impending trouble. If you or someone you love has experienced any of the above symptoms, it is important to see a cardiologist. Ask for a coronary workup. This will include blood work (lipid profile, cardiac risk factors and possible enzymes), EKG, stress test and/or a cardiac cauterization if warranted.

As women, we spend so much time working on our outer appearance that we can forget to keep up with the medical side of things. Take heed in the staggering statistics and listen to your body. Get the physical. Make sure you are taking care of your ticker! You have beautiful work to do in this lifetime.