Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Don't Be A Gladys, Don't Do as She Has Done

Gladys was not raised with much discipline. Much yelling and screaming, although, not much follow through. She knew her family was filled with love even if it was not voiced. There was not always enough money though her parents paid the bills and bought what healthy groceries they could.  Her father brought home an abundance of sweets from the huge bakery in which he worked. They were a typical low income family. Her father was not college material and her mother and been taught to be a stay at home mom. She did receive her nursing degree after Gladys was on her own. She is proud of her for that and proud of both her parents for living through thick and thin, with each other, for over fifty years of wedded bliss! Until death parted them. They are together once again in heaven.

As Gladys grew up she used no self discipline. She ate whatever she pleased, drank whatever she pleased, gained weight without losing much, and was not compliant with medical issues as they arose. They weren't big issues, therefore, she mostly ignored them. Her mother's side of the family is full of heart disease, obesity, diabetes and COPD but, even though her mother had all four she thought she'd worry about that when she became old.

I am Gladys, fifty four year old obese, diabetic, COPD and heart patient, to name a few. Here to discuss February as National Heart Month. I am a statistic who does not want others to follow in my footsteps.

I am writing this post now as February is National Heart Month and with Valentine's Day being in February it is a reminder to love ourselves and others by taking care of ourselves and showing them how (in the case of children and teens.) I am NOT any form of medical personnel. This is just my two cents and information from The Heart Foundation Website. Prevention is better than any treatment or cure.

The information below was found on The Heart Foundation Website

How to Reduce Your Risk:

  • Choose a Heart Healthy Lifestyle.
  • Engage in regular moderate aerobic exercise for at least 30 minutes five days a week or more vigorous workouts at least 20 minutes three times a week.
  • Adopt a diet low in salt, saturated and transfats and high in unsaturated fats (fish, avocado, etc.) like the Mediterranean Diet.
  • Maintain a normal body weight with caloric adjustment.
  • Take fish oil supplements.
  • Avoid smoking and recreational drug use.
  • Imbibe no more than ½ to 1 alcoholic beverage per day.
  • Know and review your risk factors with a trusted physician.
  • Your physician may recommend medications to control cholesterol, hypertension and diabetes.
  • High-risk individuals should consider taking a daily aspirin.
  • Avoid hormone replacement unless you have severe menopausal symptoms.
  • In selected cases, it may be necessary to conduct non-invasive or even invasive tests to determine the nature and severity of the heart disease.
  • Sometimes angioplasty/stenting or even bypass surgery may be needed if you have severe and symptomatic arterial blockage.
  • Learn CPR.
  • And as Dr. P.K. Shah always recommends, CHOOSE YOUR PARENTS WISELY!

    Common Risk Factors for Heart Disease


    Heart disease can occur at any age. However, four out of five people who die from coronary heart disease are aged 65 or older.
    The risk of stroke doubles with each decade after the age of 55.


    Men and women are equally at risk for heart disease, but women tend to get coronary artery disease an average of 10 years later than men. The risk for women increases as they approach menopause and continues to rise as they get older. Death rates from heart disease and stroke for women are twice as high as those for all forms of cancer.

    Family History (Heredity)

    Presence of heart disease in a parent or sibling, especially at a young age, increases your risk of developing heart disease.


    Smokers are twice as likely to suffer heart attacks as non-smokers, and they are more likely to die as a result. Smoking is also linked to increased risk of stroke. The nicotine and carbon monoxide in tobacco smoke damages the cardiovascular system. Passive smoking may also be a danger. 46 million Americans (25 million men and 21 million women) smoke. Women who smoke and take the oral contraceptive pill are at particularly high risk of heart disease and stroke.


    The higher the blood cholesterol level, the higher the risk of coronary heart disease, particularly if it is combined with any of the other risk factors. Diet is one cause of high cholesterol – others are age, sex and family history. High levels (over 100 mg/dl) of LDL (low-density lipoprotein), or “bad cholesterol”, are dangerous, and low levels (under 40 mg/dl in men and under 55 mg/dl in women) of HDL (high-density lipoprotein), or “good cholesterol”, increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. High levels (over 150 mg/dl) of triglycerides (another type of fat), in some, may also increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. Nearly 40 million Americans have high cholesterol levels.

    High Blood Pressure

    High blood pressure (over 140/90 mmHg and over 130/80 mmHg in diabetics) increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, aneurysm, and kidney damage. When combined with obesity, smoking, high cholesterol or diabetes, the risk increases several times. High blood pressure can be a problem in women who are pregnant or are taking high-dose types of oral contraceptive pill. 72 million Americans over age 20 have high blood pressure.

    Physical Inactivity

    Failure to exercise (walking or doing other moderate activities for at least 30 minutes five days a week or more vigorous workouts at least 20 minutes three times a week) can contribute to an increased risk of coronary heart disease as physical activity helps control weight, cholesterol levels, diabetes and, in some cases, can help lower blood pressure.


    People who are overweight are more likely to develop heart disease and stroke, even if they have none of the other risk factors. Excess weight causes extra strain on the heart; influences blood pressure, cholesterol and levels of other blood fats – including triglycerides; and increases the risk of developing diabetes. 66% of Americans over age 20 are obese.


    Small amount of regular alcohol consumption (1/2 to 1 drink per day for women and 1-2 drinks per day for men) can reduce risk of heart disease. However, drinking an average of more than one drink a day for women or more than two drinks a day for men increases the risk of heart disease and stroke because of the effect on blood pressure, weight and levels of triglycerides – a type of fat carried in the blood. Binge drinking is particularly dangerous.

    Drug Abuse

    The use of certain drugs, particularly cocaine and amphetamines, has been linked to heart disease and stroke. Cocaine can cause abnormal heartbeat which can be fatal while heroin and opiates can cause lung failure. Injecting drugs can cause an infection of the heart or blood vessels.


    The condition seriously increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, even if glucose levels are under control. More than 80% of diabetes sufferers die of some form of heart or blood vessel disease.

    Previous Medical History

    People who have had a previous heart attack or stroke are more likely than others to suffer further events.

    Stress, Depression, Anger/Hostility

    Stress, depression, and negative emotions have also been linked to an increased risk of heart disease.

    Please use these preventative measures and if you have symptoms you are not sure about call your physician. It is too late for me, although, it doesn't have to be for you!

    1. It's so important to stay active and have a healthy heart! Thanks for the important info.

    2. Kristine Nicole AlessandraFebruary 28, 2018 at 5:04 PM

      Pretty scary come to think of it. I am diabetic too. My family has a history of heart disease and cancer. I know I must start living a healthy lifestyle and set a good example to my kids. Thanks for this reminder and I wish you the best of health.

    3. This is terrible. Haveing a disease like these is something that I don't want to experience. Gladly they are foundation that give support awareness for the victim of these dideases.

    4. This is all so important to keep in mind. I am trying to be proactive now :)

    5. Heart disease is a killer, especially for women. While you can't always do much about your genetics, you can makes dietary and lifestyle changes to help reduce or eliminate your risk.