Hi everyone! Happy Valentine's DAY!!!!! Today, we're going to have a TON of fun, and learn some things too.
Oh, and did I mention prizes and prezzies? Grins.
We'll have those too. Make sure you get your pencil sharpened and your mind in gear, because it's WACKY SAPPY LOVE POEM DAY! (there are some terms and conditions for winning, so you have to wait for the next bit to see how to play....)
As most of you know, it's alllll about the HEART around the Lair. Broken hearts are mended, singed ones (watch out for Ermingarde!) are healed, and there's always a happily-ever-after in our favorite romance novels and in the Lair.
That's what happens when you're a Romance Bandit or Bandit Buddy! Grins.
But in "real life" hearts are not always hurt by love, bad boys, rakes, dangerous dames or rambling roues.
Sometimes, it's genetics. Or maybe in some cases, it's our lifestyles that do damage to our hearts.
Here to talk to us today about HEARTS and heart health is Dr. RoseMarie Robertson, Chief Science Officer for the American Heart Association!
WELCOME, Dr. Robertson! (Dr. Robertson will be joining us LIVE at 11 a.m. ET, USA, to answer YOUR questions!)
I first heard Dr. Robertson speak at RWA National last year. And her advice and information about women and heart health bowled me over. There were so MANY things I didn't know about heart disease.
For instance, did you know, heart disease - NOT breast cancer! - is the NUMBER ONE killer for women, at any age? Oh. My. Goodness! I certainly didn't know that! And did you know that women's symptoms are totally different than men's?
None of that sterotypical chest-clutching for the ladies, thank you very much. It's more about dragging fatigue and upper abdominal indigestion.
Subtle, just like most of us ladies prefer - but dangerously subtle in this case, right, Dr. R?
Dr. R - That's right, Jeanne. Most heart attacks are NOT what you see in the movies! They're usually not so painful that you fall to your knees, clutching your chest. They're quite often "pain you feel you could put up with" - especially if, like many women, you've had other episodes of pain that eventually went away and didn't do you harm - like severe cramps or even childbirth.
But both men and women most often have typical sypmtoms. Those include: discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, tightness or pain. It can also involve one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or abdomen. Shortness of breath is also a symptom, with or without chest discomfort. Other signs - some of them the subtle things you referenced - are breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, or lightheadedness.
As many as 1 in 4 heart attacks may occur withouth ANY pain, especially in patients with diabetes or older people. Since women, on average, have their heart attacks at an older age, as I mentioned, the're more likely to have one of these "painless" heart attacks, with just unexplained shortness of breath, nausea, lightheadedness or a cold sweat. Or even just unusual and sudden fatigue.
But these can happen in younger individuals too, so don't ignore these symptoms!!! The big difference is that the symptoms of a heart attack tell you that you're losing heart muscle every minute they go on. They mean "CALL 911! NOW!!"
Dr. Robertson, isn't it true that women are more likely to die from their first heart attack? Why is that?
Dr. R - Over the past decade we've done better in preventing or delaying heart attacks, and both women and men who have them have a much better chance of surviving, especially if they get to the hospital early so we can stop it in its tracks. However, if you look at all the deaths that occur over the year after a first heart attack, it's true that women are at higher risk. About 26% of women will die, as compared to 19% of men. That's at least in part due to the fact that women are older on average when they have their first heart attack, by somewhere around 6-10 years. The risk is always greater when you're older.
Eating a great diet and keeping the chocolate, wine and rich foods in moderation are all heart-smart things to do, but what are some good heart-healthy foods TO eat?
Dr. R - A heart-healthy diet is full of delicious foods! I start my day with strawberries, raspberries adn blueberries, or sometimes a banana on my whole grain Cheerios or eat that fruit alongside some whole-wheat toast or a whole-grain bagel. Some smoked salmon on that bagel is delicious and gets me half a serving of omega-3-rich fish too! If I want something warm on one of these wintry days, I'll substitute oatmeal for the Cheerios or I'll toss some egg whites or egg substitute in a pan with some low-fat shredded cheese (with just a pinch of double Gloucester or parmesan on top for some intense flavor!) and some mushrooms and spinach or other green veggies, grated or in small pieces. If I put it under the broiler, it's a frittata, if I fold it up, it's an omelet! Since it's hard to predict meals when I travel, I always take a plastic baggie or two of cereal, usually with some dried fruit, so I can have a healthy snack and NOT be tempted by the mini-bar! And that's just for breakfast!
Of course you should get your veggies too - that spinach I mentioned - or dark greens like kale or broccoli, or even lovely red beets. You can go to http://www.heart.org/ and search Nutrition for more tips!
YUM!!! All foods I love...well, maybe not the beets, but hey, that's just one that I won't eat. The rest? Yum. Gotta say I love the chocolate and wine, of course, though I prefer white. Grins.
(For those who love lists, WebMD has a list of the Top 25 Heart Healthy foods here: http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/25-top-heart-healthy-foods )
They say laughter is the best medicine, and we do love to laugh around here. Which is why, of course, we’ve got Wacky Sappy Love Poem Day going for Valentines, and we want Dr. Robertson to be the judge for us.
Dr. Robertson, feel free to jump in and comment on the mayhem when you sign in!
Besides keeping a great sense of humor (and visiting the Romance Bandit’s Lair) what are some of the most important lifestyle changes that people should consider to be heart healthy? I’m sure stopping smoking is one…
Dr. R - Absolutely! Stopping smoking is the top of the list, since it's a huge risk factor. That's especially true if you use birth control pills - the combination raises your risk 35 times normal! Quitting can make an equally dramatic change for the better.
One simple thing to do, especially now that spring is finally on the way, is to get moving. Walk for 15 minutes a day, then move it up to 30 minutes. Make healthy food choices - a diet rich in fruits, veg, whole-grains, two servings of fish a week, cut back (or cut out) high-fat, high cholesterol foods, get lean protein with sodium no more than 1500 mg a day if you can. Portion control is key! You can check on how you're doing, and get great hints from the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women program at http://www.goredforwomen.org/
Thanks for these top-tips, Dr. Robertson! We’re so happy to have you with us today. Are there other things you’d like to have our (mostly) female audience know? What about our guys?
Dr. R - Our guys are very important to us! And we've got some help for them as well. In fact, the AHA's MyLifeCheck is a great tool for both men and women. Try it out at http://MyLifeCheck.heart.org/ and see what you can easily change to improve your odds of living a strong and healty life, free of cariovascular diseases and stroke!
(Remember, Dr. Robertson will be with us LIVE at 11 am, so post your questions along with your poems...)
And now...Da RULZ for Wacky Sappy Love Poem Day! Give us a poem, haiku, cantrip, rhyme or verse using the following:
It has to have: Heart, Love, Healthy
And one or more of the following: Go Red, Red Dress, vegetables, fruits, (or named fruits or vegetablesm i.e. strawberries)
SO, the other thing is....GO RED!!!
At the end of the day, Dr. Robertson will pick FIVE winners!
Oh, you want to know about the PRESENTS?
That would be a GO RED Backpack filled with GO RED and Romance Bandit goodies, for one poster, AND cool magnets, heart-healthy cook books, and other prizes for the other four.
So rock on you Valentine's Poets, rock on!