Today, I’m here with my son Drew Sinatra, a naturopathic doctor, to shed light on what every woman needs to know about her heart.
Steve Sinatra: The heart of a woman is different than a man's. First of all, it’s smaller. So, the architecture of a woman's heart puts her behind the eight ball, so to speak.
Drew Sinatra: Some women come into my practice with hypertension or high blood pressure. Others don't even know it, until I take their blood pressure and it's really high. Then, we have a whole conversation about high blood pressure.
Steve Sinatra: High blood pressure in women is the most serious risk factor. So, when I see a nonsmoking woman in my practice who has high blood pressure, I really focus on cardiovascular risk.
Drew Sinatra: When I'm treating a woman with high blood pressure, three things I like to do include making sure she's eating the right foods. Number two would be exercise. And number three would be looking at other factors in her life that could be contributing to the hypertension. If it is something like stress, we want to really want to work on that and address that.
Steve Sinatra: A lot of doctors focus more on male issues when it comes to heart issues. I realize that when it comes to heart health in women I have to be much more aggressive. When I see a woman with heart issues, sometimes it's much harder to diagnose. The symptoms are different. The risk is different.
Drew Sinatra: For the women in my practice, their top heart health concerns include obesity or being overweight, hypertension or high blood pressure, and fatigue.
Steve Sinatra: So how do I summarize a talk like this? When it comes to a woman, I like her to check in with her doctors, and go over the risk factors. Basically, what she needs to do is really work with her doctor, look at her risk, and really get that she is a candidate for heart disease. I think denial is the biggest Achilles' heel in women; thinking that she's not a candidate because she is a woman.