Brandy Zwicker, RN has served in the hospital and medical system setting for over a decade, within numerous departments and specialties including medical, surgical, oncology, cardiac telemetry, critical care step-down, primary care, Director of Nursing, and Quality Assurance Manager to name a few. Because men and women’s symptoms are different, Brandy wants women to understand their warning signs of an impending heart attack or other cardiovascular issues.
“Heart disease is the narrowing of the arteries over time, due to a build-up of plaque that can in some cases cause a complete blockage of the blood vessels or coronary arteries, and it’s the number one killer of women, taking 1 out of 3 women’s lives each year.” Brandy Zwicker explained, “With so much focus on other diseases that affect women, like breast cancer and autoimmune disorders, heart disease is often overlooked and underestimated. One woman dies every minute of cardiovascular disease.”
Heart Symptoms in Women
• Excessive sweating
• Sleep disturbances
• Shortness of breath, fatigue
• Pain in the jaw
• Shoulder pain
• Upper back pain
• Neck pain
• Abdominal pain
Brandy Zwicker continued, “Many factors play a role in how heart disease affects women; a leading culprit is hormonal changes. When hormones are out of balance, additional factors such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and weight gain arise, and all of these symptoms contribute to heart disease.”
Linking hormonal changes to the increase in women developing heart disease is also marked by risk factors such as having had hypertension or diabetes in pregnancy. Along with menopause and the related hormonal fluctuations, eating an unhealthy diet, having uncontrolled hypertension or high cholesterol, having diabetes, being overweight, mental anxiety or unresolved stress, and smoking or previously smoking all play a considerable role in heart disease. For men, many cardiac issues are brought on by stress and unhealthy dietary and lifestyle habits.1
Brandy Zwicker is an advocate for living a healthy lifestyle. She is involved in community outreach, yoga for stress management, various exercise, and sports to keep her physically fit as well as a healthy eating plan that works for her and her family.
“Not everyone’s body will act and react the same. I’m a firm believer in personalized care and tailored-made plans for individuals,” said Brandy Zwicker. “It’s important to make the right lifestyle choices for the best health outcomes and always include your healthcare provider in the decision-making process. Living your healthiest life now will enable you the optimal longevity in your future. You and your family are definitely worth it.”
If you experience any heart condition symptoms, call 911. Regular check-ups with your practitioner are critical to staying healthy and for early diagnosis.
1. Barrett-Connor E, PubMed, “Hormones and heart disease in women: the timing hypothesis.”Division of Epidemiology, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, School of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, CA, USA., Am J Epidemiol. 2007 Sep 1;166(5):506-10.