You may wonder why I’m talking to people with migraine disease about Wear Red Day, heart disease, and stroke. Of course, I’m going to tell you. There are a few reasons:
- Migraine increases our risk of heart disease.
- In rare cases, migraine can cause a stroke, so we need to know about modifiable risk factors.
- Three-quarters of migraineurs are women, and heart disease and stroke cause lone in three deaths among women each year.
- Eighty percent of cardiac events can be prevented with education and lifestyle changes.
Friday, February 5, is Wear Red Day for 2016, the 13th annual Wear Red Day. It’s sponsored by Go Red for Women, part of the American Heart Association. It’s also the start of American Heart Month.
Know the Signs of Heart Attack and Stroke:
A heart attack occurs when the blood flow to a part of the heart is blocked, usually by a blood clot. If this clot cuts off the blood flow completely, the part of the heart muscle supplied by that artery begins to die.
Signs of a Heart Attack:
- Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
- Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
- Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
- Other signs such as breaking out in cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
- Women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.
Stroke is the number three cause of death of America. It’s also a major cause of severe, long-term disability. Stroke and transient ischemic attack (TIA) happen when a blood vessel feeding the brain gets clogged or bursts. The signs of a TIA are like a stroke, but usually last only a few minutes.
Signs of Stroke and TIAs:
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body.
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding.
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause.
What does it mean to “Go Red?” One way to explain that is through this short video:What We Need to Do:*First, don't panic over migraine increasing the risks or over how many women die from heart disease. Panic won't help.*Educate ourselves about heart health and heart disease.*Have a discussion with our doctors about our risks and reducing modifiable risk factors. Remember, 80 percent of cardiac events can be prevented with education and lifestyle changes. See [7 Modifiable Heart Disease Risk Factors for Women](http://www.healthcentral.com/heart-disease/cf/slideshows/7-modifiable-heart-disease-risk-factors-women). * Love ourselves, and show that love by taking care of ourselves as best we can.
Spread the Word!
- Wear red on Friday, and tell people why you’re wearing red.
- Share information with others, especially women. You can find a great deal of information on Go Red for Women and You’re the Cure.
- Become a You’re the Cure Advocate. Each of us can make a huge difference with as much or as little time as we have to spend on it.
Additional Information on Migraine and Heart Issues:
_Reviewed by David Watson, MD. _
Teri Robert is a leading patient educator and advocate and the author of Living Well with Migraine Disease and Headaches. A co-founder of the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy and the American Headache and Migraine Association, she received the National Headache Foundation’s Patient Partners Award and a Distinguished Service Award from the American Headache Society. Teri can be found on her website, and blog, Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+.