Your husband is the one at risk, not you. He is the one most likely to have a heart attack and therefore the one most likely to have cardiovascular disease. So a little bit of chest pain every once in a while doesn’t concern you. Besides, it only comes when you over-exert yourself, fading with rest. And it’s not like it’s an overwhelming, blinding pain; it’s a mild pressure, a burning ache, a discomforting heaviness – nothing to be melodramatic about. You’ll tell your doctor if it gets more severe.
Would you like to know what he is going to tell you?
You have angina, the most common symptom of heart disease. It is caused by a decrease of blood flow to the cardiovascular system, which prevents oxygen and vital nutrients from reaching the heart. The pain you are feeling is your body attempting to find what it needs and secure enough oxygen to continue working. When you rest it will go away, but that doesn’t mean your condition has disappeared. It’s still there. You are still at risk, regardless of whether you are male or female, regardless of whether your doctor has previously alerted you to the dangers of cardiovascular disease.
If you experience angina, see your doctor immediately. He will assess your condition, determine the causes and treat it accordingly. It’s most probable that you will be given medication and told to adjust a few of your more harmful habits. You’ll have to eat well, exercise regularly, quit smoking, lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, and monitor your heart, all of which are things you should be doing anyway.
Heart disease doesn’t just affect men; it affects men and women. In fact, certain forms and symptoms, angina being one of them, are more common in women. So don’t ignore anything. It’s not nothing. It’s something – it’s your heart, your life.
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