Happy Valentines: during the month of February it is important to pay attention to your heart health, whether you are a woman or a man. Changing your lifestyle right away to ban smoking, walking, managing stress, and adding a plant-based diet can reverse problems before they attack your health or life. To borrow from Ben Franklin, an ounce of prevention (plus a bowl of kale) is worth a pound of cure. It is critical that heart disease be diagnosed as early as possible because there are many dietary and medical treatments that can help reverse the issue.

Heart disease is the leading killer of women in America. Symptoms of coronary heart disease and heart attack present differently in women than men. These signs can include symptoms such as neck, jaw, shoulder, upper back or abdominal discomfort, shortness of breath, pain in one or both arms, nausea or vomiting, sweating, and unusual fatigue.

Men are more likely than women to break out in a cold sweat and to report pain in the left arm during a heart attack. In men, angina often feels like pressure or squeezing in the chest. This feeling may extend to the arms. Men have a built-in warning system for silent coronary heart disease. When achieving an erection is difficult or impossible, it can be a sign of clogged arteries in the pelvis that presents before a heart attack happens. There are, on average, three to five years between the onset of erectile dysfunction and the finding of coronary heart disease, which is plenty of time to detect and to work on preventing heart issues.

Broken Heart Syndrome can feel like a heart attack. The most common signs and symptoms of broken heart syndrome are chest pain and shortness of breath. In this disorder, these symptoms tend to occur suddenly in people who have no history of heart disease. Arrhythmias or cardiogenic shock also may occur. Some of the signs and symptoms of broken heart syndrome differ from those of heart attack. For example, in people who have broken heart syndrome (National heart, Lung & Blood Institute) symptoms occur suddenly after having extreme emotional or physical stress, EKG is normal, blood tests show no signs of heart damage, and recovery time is quick within days or weeks.

To prevent heart disease and complications you should know your numbers (blood pressure, cholesterol, fasting glucose). Asking your doctor for an EKG or a coronary calcium CT imaging is wise, whether you are a woman or man. Some simple tips to keep your heart healthy include diet, core nutritional supplements (CoQ10, D-Ribose. Acetyl L-carnitine), regular exercise, detoxification, earthing and mind body balance.