Today, I stumbled upon a video from a mom who has a son who is on the autism spectrum, and has been for many years. She was talking about an email she had recently received from a mom who was in the thick of a new diagnosis. Her child was recently diagnosed and the mom was struggling, as most people do when they receive the diagnosis of a chronic condition. She asked the seasoned mom if it gets better. She wanted to know if life gets easier at some point. As I watched this woman explain her answer it made me think about how I would answer this question if I was asked. What would I say to someone who was newly diagnosed as someone who has lived with a chronic illness for seven years?Read More
Living with a chronic Illness can be hard, plain and simple. Living with an invisible illness, one that causes chronic pain, is harder. It has become such a common practice for people to quickly judge another person based on their condition or based on their use of narcotic pain meds. It has even become true within our healthcare system and within the government. Sadly it is not uncommon for a patient to be looked upon as an “addict” simply because of a medication that they take. Much of this has happened in response to the media coverage of the Opioid Crisis and how the government is handling the crisis.Read More
Living with a chronic invisible illness is HARD! When you live with a condition that can’t be seen you have to deal with so much. Not only because the daily suffering isn’t easily explained to others, but because every where you go someone seems to be judging you. People always assume that just because you don’t appear disabled that you are just lazyRead More
Heart disease is the NUMBER ONE killer of WOMEN in the United States. The American Heart Association states that nearly 1 of every 3 deaths in women each year is caused by heart disease. If we break that down a little further, heart attacks alone claim the lives of 3.3 million women annually, while strokes claim 3.2 million annually. The good news in all this is that 80 percent of all cardiac events (strokes included) can be prevented with education and lifestyle changes.
That being said women of all ages should be paying attention to their risk factors for heart disease. Especially women who are under the age of 65, and especially women with a family history of heart issues, need to pay close attention to their own personal risk factors.
Many risk factors for heart disease are the same in women and men like obesity, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. But there are a few that are specific to women. Due to the number of women who suffer from heart disease and strokes every year I think it is a fair assumption to say that there are a LOT of women who don’t know, or don’t pay attention to their risk factors. Sadly, many women in general DO NOT CONSIDER THEMSELVES AT HIGH RISK for developing heart disease and are less likely to pay attention to and make changes for any risk factors they may have. This may be the cause for older women seeing less significant reduction in heart disease rates than older men.
So let’s jump in talk about the risk factors for heart disease in women. We need to do all we can to spread the word about risk factors for heart disease in women, so we can decrease the rates of women dying annually from heart disease or stroke.
RISK FACTORS FOR HEART DISEASE IN WOMEN:
• Diabetes - This is not a condition that only impacts women, but women with diabetes are at a greater risk of developing heart disease than men who deal with Diabetes.
• Mental stress and depression - While mental illness impacts both genders, women’s hearts are more affected by stress and depression than men’s hearts. Those who suffer from depression often find that depression and mental illness can make it harder to keep up with recommendations and continue living a healthy lifestyle. That being said if you feel like you are dealing with depression or mental illness, please call your doctor.
• Inactivity - Leading a lifestyle that has a lack of physical activity is a HUGE risk factor for heart disease! Some research has actually found that women are often more inactive than their male counterparts , thus increasing risk for developing heart disease.
• Nicotene/Smoking - Reaserch has found that smoking puts women at greater risk for developing heart disease than men who smoke.
• Menopause - Women who are post-menopause are at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease in small blood vessels due to low levels of estrogen.
• Broken Heart Syndrome - This sounds like a fake issue, but it is real in fact. Broken Heart Syndrome is often brought on by stressful situations, like the loss of a partner or child, and can cause severe, but temporary heart muscle failure. In geberal this condition is seen most commonly in women who are post menopausal. It also may be called Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy, Atypical Balloninh Syndrome, or Stress Cardiomyopathy.
• Chemotherapy and radiation for cancer - Certain treatments that are used for cancer like chemo drugs or radiation therapies increase risk for heart disease. The therapies that are used to treat breast cancer increase the risk more than other cancer treatments.
• Pregnancy Complications - Any woman who develops high blood pressure or gestational diabetes during their pregnancies may increase their long-term risk of high blood pressure and diabetes. Which in turn increases the risk of developing heart disease in mothers. NOTE: Some research has also found that if women had complications in their pregnancy like high blood pressure or diabetes that those babies may have an increased risk of heart disease in the future
• Inflammatory Diseases - The research on this risk factor is ongoing. But some early research has found that women who have conditions like Rheumatoid Arthritis or Lupus may also have an increased risk of developing heart disease.
The risk factors discussed are just that, risk factors. Just because you have any of the conditions or issues noted above does NOT necessarily mean that you will develop heart disease. But you do have a higher risk of developing heart disease. That being said most of the conditions noted above are modifiable. Meaning that the risks can be changed. You can become more active, you can work to lower your blood pressure and you can quit smoking. I hope that by sharing the major risk factors for heart disease in women that some of you will take action and change some of your habits. Please share this post with all the women you know so we can start increasing knowledge and decreasing deaths from heart disease.
Why is it that today women (and men) feel that it is okay to sit behind a screen and a keyboard and saw awful things to people online? When did it become socially acceptable to put down another female simply based on her appearance? When did it become acceptable to say nasty things about another woman’s character, when you’ve never met her? And why did it become okay for each of us to put stock into what others say about us?!Read More
One of my main goals for 2019 is to spend more time in the kitchen. And no not necessarily eating, but cooking as well. So I’ve been looking for and trying new recipes. In fact I made a couple really good dishes recently and thought I would share them and the stories behind them with you.Read More
Disability......Has almost become a dirty world for those who are trying to gain disability due to some life altering condition and have been denied. Filing for disability is a long and arduous process at bestRead More
Have you ever heard of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or the winter blues?!? Do you or someone you know get depressed in the colder months of year? If you do are you definitely not alone. In fact it is estimated that nearly 10 million Americans are affected by season depression every yearRead More
I realized sometime last year that I have lost myself over the last few years. I am not the person I was seven years ago before I got sick. It didn’t happen all at once, but slowly somehow I disappeared. I no longer do the things that I used to love. And I would rather stay at home any day rather that going out.Read More
My words of the year are: STRENGTH & SELF LOVE. This is going to be the year I find my STRENGTH and find a way to LOVE MYSELF. And my mantra is from Joyce Meyer. It says: ITS NEVER TOO LATE FOR A NEW BEGINNING!! That’s how I feel about 2019.Read More
How many times have you felt the need to validate yourself and/or your condition this week? Or even this month? How many times have you found yourself explaining your health to someone who probably has no reason to know what’s really going on? Or found yourself explaining why you can or can’t do something or go somewhere? Now let me ask another question..... Why do you feel like you have to validate yourself and your condition?Read More
This time of year it seems like everyone is sick. Colds and stomach bugs and even the FLU. But sometimes it’s hard to differentiate between a cold or the full blown flu especially for those of us with weakened immune systems.Read More
Just like many of you I have trouble coming up with a list when asked for one by my friends or family. And just like everyone else I know, I would love to get away with giving gifts that are less than $30. But when you look at what’s available, it seems an impossible task.
So, I went through the things I love that I’ve either gotten as gifts, purchased for myself, or have in my cart at Amazon. And I put together a great list for anyone on your list who may deal with a chronic illness (and those who don’t).Read More
When a person is dealing with a chronic illness holidays can almost be more work than they are worth. That being said there are ways to make the holidays easier for spoonies and I would like to share a few ways that this can happen. This is not geared toward one condition or another and can be tailored to fit just about any condition.Read More
It is so easy to get stuck focusing on the bad things in life and focus solely on how things haven’t turned out the way you had in mind. It’s easy to list off the things you have missed out on or didn’t get to do because you…Read More