Marla Ahlgrimm | Heart Disease Basics

Marla AhlgrimmMarla Ahlgrimm, a veteran women’s health expert and retired compounding pharmacist, says heart disease isn’t what happens when you lose your first love. It’s the #1 killer of women and should be taken seriously from an early age. Here, Ahlgrimm answers a few questions about the condition.

Q: What is the most important things women should know about the heart?

Marla Ahlgrimm: I would encourage young women to take steps to keep their heart — and their entire body – healthy. Heart disease kills more women than any other health condition but it may be thwarted by a lifetime of healthy eating and the right amount of exercise. And women who do eventual develop heart disease can stave off many of its symptoms by modifying their lifestyle.

Q: Why are some people more prone to heart disease than others?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Many factors that control who gets heart disease and who doesn’t are genetic. Family history plays a major role. Other health conditions, such as diabetes and obesity, also increase a woman’s risk. Stress and age contribute as well. Unfortunately, while doctors can warn a woman of her risk factors, no one can predict who or when heart disease will hit.  

Q: How can women who have trouble with change adopt a heart-healthy lifestyle?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Simply start with one good decision! Take it day by day and meal by meal if you must. Avoid pressure to make drastic alterations to your lifestyle since that can cause stress and will do little to help you keep pace.

Q: When should a woman discuss heart health with her doctor?

Marla Ahlgrimm: There is no wrong time to bring up the subject, especially if your mother or grandmother had a heart attack at an early age. Don’t be embarrassed by asking questions or taking his or her advice on ways to improve your overall health.

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