The Biggest Killer When It Comes To Women's Health
By: Shera Raisen, MD
1 January, 2014 by
The Biggest Killer When It Comes To Women's Health
Sun Chlorella USA

As an integrative doctor who specializes in women's health, I'm thrilled to see the growing campaign for breast cancer awareness. Having known so many women who have struggled through this disease, it's a welcome sight to see everyone from elementary school kids to football players wear pink ribbons.

But I have to admit, sometimes I'm a little worried, too.

Because as bad as it is, breast cancer is not the biggest killer women face. In fact it's dwarfed by a health problem that unfortunately doesn't get nearly as much publicity.

Heart disease kills more women than any other disease. In fact it kills more women than all cancers combined. And it kills more older women than it kills older men.

Unfortunately, not enough women take this threat seriously enough. While it's slowly gaining more recognition, it's not on our radars . . . and it's not on enough physicians' radars as well.

As one of my colleagues, a thoracic surgeon with a great sense of humor, said in a speech I recently attended, "I wish doctors would stop giving women the bikini treatment, focusing only on breasts and reproductive organs" 

Indeed, there's a lot more of you in between that needs care. Chief among these parts of your body is your heart.

How To Keep Your Womanly Heart Healthy

Now, certainly some women have the odds already stacked against them if they have a family history of heart disease.

But for most of us, protecting your heart is a matter of lifestyle changes.

Eat lots of veggies and fruits to get lots of fiber and antioxidants.

Move your body - sweat!

Take care of your emotional health. Minimize stress and maximize your relationships.

You've probably heard this advice but I'll repeat it. Because here's the thing that you may not hear from your doctor . . .No medical intervention - surgery or drugs or special medical devices - none of these can fix a broken heart.

Sure, we can patch things together a bit to help your heart limp along. But it's not the same as having a healthy heart.And here's another story you may not hear very much about. Many of these interventions may even make things worse.

Several studies have shown certain statin drugs offer no benefit to women at risk for heart disease. And there is some evidence that it may even increase women's risk for heart attacks and death. [1]

In 2012, the Archives of Internal Medicine published a study showing that statins increased the risk for diabetes in post-menopausal women by 71%. [2]

I'm not saying this because I don't value the technology western medicine offers. I've seen firsthand how conventional medicine can save lives.

But the best cure is prevention. And the best doctor is you.

Take Heart: Staying Healthy Doesn't Have To Be An Impossible Task

Now you may be gritting your teeth as you read this, thinking that it will be too hard to change how you eat and fit fitness in.

And I won't lie and tell you it won't take some will power and intention. It will.But there are two points of comfort I want to offer you right now . . .
1. Even just small changes can make a tremendous difference when it comes to heart health. As New York Times health journalist, Gretchen Reynolds wrote in her groundbreaking book, The First 20 Minutes, the biggest health gains are made in simply moving 20 minutes a day more if you've been sedentary.

So while moving more than 20 minutes is even better (although too much exercising, like running marathons, can also be bad for your heart), don't put activity off because you can't get yourself to exercise for an hour. Just do 20 minutes and you've already changed your fate.

2. You don't have to make these changes or get the exercise in all at once. Use small bites.When it comes to exercise, do 10 minutes in the morning and another 10 minutes in the afternoon.

When it comes to improving nutrition, you don't have to start eating only tofu and broccoli cold turkey. Make shifts like snacking on fruit, rather than chips. Start changing out your white flour pasta and bread for whole grains.

Add a salad to every meal and an extra serving of veggies and eat those before you dig into everything else.

One of my favorite ways to get more heart-healthy vegetables in is to take Sun Chlorella either as a tablet or as powder you can mix right into your food. Chlorella not only gives you powerful heart-healthy antioxidants like chlorophyll and beta carotene, but it also gives you vitamins essential for heart health like vitamin D and B12.

And it gives your heart the essential mineral, magnesium.

Finally, research indicates chlorella may help make a difference in maintaining healthy cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure levels. [3,4,5]

Take it step by step. Before you know it you'll have made big changes you never thought you could make! Heart disease is a very real threat. Medicine can't cure it. Surgery can't fix it.

But you can eliminate the risk simply by putting one foot in front of the other and making healthy choices starting today.

About Dr. Shera Raisen, MD
Dr. Shera Raisen provides outpatient care integrating Western medicine with complementary therapies by utilizing nutritional counseling and therapy, herbal and functional medicine, hormone replacement, and guided meditation. Her practice emphasizes preventative medicine, women's health, and optimal health in mind, body and spirit. She is also an esteemed member of the Sun Chlorella Advisory Board, which helps guide the medical innovation behind Sun Chlorella products.

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[1] Boudreau D. Study: Expressing Love Can Improve Your Health. Arizona State University website. Feb 8, 2013. Viewed 1/12/14 at 
[2] Holt-Lunstad J et al. Is there something unique about marriage? The relative impact of marital status, relationship quality, and network social support on ambulatory blood pressure and mental health. Ann Behav Med. 2008 Apr;35(2):239-44. doi: 10.1007/s12160-008-9018-y. Epub 2008 Mar 18. 
[3] Gallo L et al. Marital Status, Marital Quality, and Atherosclerotic Burden in Postmenopausal Women Psychosomatic Medicine November 1, 2003 vol. 65 no. 6 952-962 
[4] Divorce can have serious impact on men's health study finds. Huffington Post. Sept 30, 2013. Viewed 1/12/14 at 
[5] Helgeson VS. The effects of masculinity and social support on recovery from myocardial infarction. Psychosom Med 1991; 53: 621-633. 
[6] Kiecolt-Glaser et al. Hostile marital interactions, proinflammatory cytokine production, & wound healing. Arch Gen Psychiatry, 2005; 62:1377-1384. 

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