In case you haven’t heard yet, heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in the United States. To put it in more concrete terms, 306,000 women died of heart disease in 2007, more than the number of those who died from breast cancer, the flu, or in motor vehicle accidents.
It’s a staggering number that means we need to look at what happens that increases the risk of heart disease in women as they age.
There is a simple connection between heart disease and menopause. Estrogen, the hormone women have in abundance before menopause, is a major protector of the heart and once that disappears, women catch up with men and even surpass them in having more heart attacks, strokes, and cardiac disease.
There are 52 million women older than 50 today who should run to get prescriptions for bioidentical hormones, which would immediately decrease their risk of heart disease by more than 60 percent.
Let me explain how.
When we are in our 20s and 30s, we are full of hormones. By that I mean we are full of estradiol (estrogen of youth), progesterone (the hormone that balances estrogen), and yes, even testosterone. We are full of energy, want to have sex, and don’t have wrinkles. Our skin glows and weight loss is easy with diet and exercise.
Hormones are the root reason we are healthy when we are young.
They also support our immune function so we get over a cold in 48 hours and eliminate inflammation so we don’t suffer with arthritic joints.
In our 40s, things change. We manufacture fewer hormones, ovulate irregularly, and hormone quality diminishes until we stop making hormones altogether at menopause.
On the outside, wrinkles appear, midriff bulge spills over, and energy drops. What’s more, sleep becomes a nightmare and is accompanied by hot flashes, night sweats, palpitations and, of course, anxiety.
Inside, the loss of hormones increases bad cholesterol levels, plaque in our arteries, and incidents of shortness of breath.
Complicating the picture for women is the fact that they do not experience or manifest heart disease like men. Chest pain may not be the presenting symptom. Heart disease in women can be a nagging toothache, jaw aches, arm pain, and often exhaustion and persistent cough.
Too many women who die are misdiagnosed because studies on and treatments for heart disease have been conducted with men.
If women would learn not to fear bioidentical hormones — which are manufactured to look identical to their own hormones — and take them before menopause, heart disease would claim fewer women’s lives.
Let’s start today, shall we?
1. Become aware that hormones are your saviors and protectors.
2. Start taking bioidentical hormones as soon as you begin experiencing symptoms of premenopause.
3. If you have a family history of heart disease, start taking bioidentical hormones as early as possible.
4. By age 40, change your diet and eat foods that are low in carbohydrates and animal fat, and enjoy lots of fruits and vegetables.
5. Cut down on alcohol, caffeine, soda, and sugar substitutes.
6. Increase the amount of cardio exercise and strength building you do to 30 minutes a day.
7. Sleep eight hours every night.
8. Eliminate fear and anxiety from your life. They are dangerous to your heart.
9. Work with doctors who support and encourage you, not fear mongers.
10. Don’t fear heart disease or cancer. Take control of your life and enjoy every minute. Stay young and full of hormones forever.