healthy living beach heart    We’ve all heard this before.  Stop smoking.  Lose weight.  Make better food choices.  Exercise more.  If you haven’t been exposed to these ad nauseam, not sure where you’ve been.   If lulled into a deep sleep by their repetition; WAKE UP.

THE BATTLE OF THE SEXES

Women have been neglected woefully so, when it comes to heart disease–especially risk factors.  Clinical trials as well, are usually based upon white males.  That’s changing–but not soon enough.  Being non-white and non-male, this is a topic I choose to spend time on.  You may ask “what place does this have on a fitness blog?”  I could respond in many ways; but I’ll set aside my sarcastic self, at least temporarily.

As a dialysis nurse, I was confronted daily with the effects of diabetes and hypertension.  These two respectively, are the number one and two contributors to kidney failure.  If you are African-American, possibly Hispanic, start with high blood pressure.   But what does this mean to women specifically? How does this affect women and heart disease?  Does weight play a role?  Short answers–more than you know to the 1st and 2nd question; yep to the third.  If you’re up for more in-depth info, read on.

According to one study, women face obesity challenges more than our male counterparts.  When I first read this, I was skeptical.  However think about what we as women face, that men don’t.  Onset of puberty accompanied by menstruation, pregnancy and childbirth (often more than once or twice), and menopause.  Some of these are controllable, others not so much.  Now the add-ons.  Stress, depression (diagnosed more often in women), and food choices; perhaps lack thereof.  Clearer picture of why we face weight issues?  One more–allowing societal images to dictate how we should look–most likely male driven.  Ok, scratch most likely.  Darn that old sarcastic self–it rears its ugly head again.

OUR UNIQUE STRESSORS

WOMAN, perhaps mother, wife, entrepreneur, breadwinner, and caregiver, not to mention the expectation of being a size 2 five minutes after childbirth…you get the idea.  Again, these are the add-ons.  Think these are major contributors to elevated blood pressure?  What about diabetes?  Obesity?  Is it any wonder why statistically, women are more at risk for heart disease?  We haven’t even touched on ethnic differentials, sleep deprivation and effects on BP, alcohol consumption, and metabolic syndrome–to name a few.   All of which have far different ramifications for women, than men.

Other stories though, for another time.

So what is the factor, minus the risk?  Time for some more short answers.  You, choice, and targeted education.  Short enough?

All for now. Keep up and keep at it.

Questions?  Comments?  Contact me at serrenity.c@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

meditating beauty  In order to renew a license as a registered nurse, you are required (at least in the state of Illinois) to complete CEs.  This refers to continuing education.  While completing this requirement, a topic surfaced I confess, I thought little about–WOMEN & HEART DISEASE.

As most of you know by now, my career has taken a different turn.  I started out as most do, working in a hospital.  From there, caring for chronic renal failure patients, is where I headed next.  In this field, I’ve worked as a staff nurse, charge nurse, educator, and clinical liaison.  I have taught and written classes.  To students, fellow nurses, and physicians I have explained the ins and outs of dialysis, as well as the possible causes of CKD (chronic kidney disease).  All the while reminding those who needed it, that dialysis is not a cure–or substitution for functioning kidneys.

Now my full-time endeavors are geared towards prevention.

Renal nursing taught me two things–very early on.  Diabetes & hypertension are the #1 and #2 contributors to CKD.  They both wreak havoc on the kidneys; but the latter is particularly heinous–and rampant among women of color.

Women, and particularly those who share my background, are almost non-existent when discussing symptoms, and undergoing clinical trials.  If you are discussing heart disease, men are always the standard. Ladies, if your symptoms don’t match up to your male counterparts having a heart attack–you may be SOL.

With that in mind, keep these questions in mind.  Hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes–a little extra weight–what’s the big deal? I exercise, but the weight (and the scale) just aren’t moving.  Now what?  Can’t I just pop a pill to fix it?  For the answer, stay tuned.   But fair warning, it’s going to be a bumpy and startling ride.

CHUNKING IT OUT

I once had a boss who coined this term.  She used it often; when our cup was overflowing with work–yet she was about to fill it more.  “CHUNK IT OUT,” she would say.  Well, that’s what I’m going to do here.

This material wasn’t easy for me to assimilate; or even hear.  Yet I believe it relevant enough in which to devote a few posts.  I hope you agree.

Depending upon how this goes, I will be addressing other topics like this; but fitness and nutrition remain my focus.

The intention of this blog is not to diagnose, or serve as a substitute for medical advice.  My main objective is prevention through lifestyle intervention and modification.  As a nurse, personal trainer, and educator, I do believe however, it is my duty to inform.  In upcoming posts, I will be doing just that.

All for now.  Keep up and keep at it.

Questions? Comments?  Contact me at serrenity.c@gmail.com