Perimenopause Symptoms You Might Not Realize You’re Experiencing
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The most common form of heart disease, and the leading cause of death for women, is coronary artery disease, caused by plaque in the walls of the arteries. While heart disease can affect women at any age, post-menopausal women are at a higher risk of CAD due to hormonal changes. Depression, PTSD, autoimmune disorders, and even past COVID infection can also increase your risk.
Unfortunately, gendered bias prevents many women from getting the care they need for their heart health, since their complaints are often dismissed as mental health issues or menopause symptoms. On a larger scale, gender imbalance in clinical studies has led to a proliferation of heart health information that is geared towards men’s experiences and men’s physiology.
February is American Heart Month, which is the perfect chance for all of us to learn more about our own heart health and pass it on. That’s where these 11 books come in. These titles — from comprehensive overviews of women’s heart health to guidebooks for those with heart disease and memoirs of heart surgeons — will offer you critical information to help you take control of your cardiovascular health — and may even warm your heart.
Cardiologists Jennifer Mieres and Stacey Rosen revised their bestselling Heart Smart for Women with Lori Russo and Marissa Licata to invite a new generation of readers into their six-week program for healthier living — and to integrate new information in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The book walks you through the work of a healthy heart, risk factors for heart disease, and signs and symptoms to be aware of. It also guides you through the Doctors’ S.T.E.P.S. in Six Weeks program, which offers practical nutritional information for heart health and advice about managing stress, keeping your physical activity up, and finding a healthcare provider on your heart health journey. The book will even provide you an overview of heart medication, treatments, and tests, and a glossary of terms to know. It’s the perfect reading material to bring to the doctor’s office along with any questions about heart health — and a powerful way to learn about your health at home.
$11 $15.99 31% Off
Cardiologist Angela Maas is an award-winning expert in women’s heart health, leads a center for women’s heart health, and is a UN Women representative — and A Woman’s Heart is her rallying cry. Frustrated by the failures of the medical sector to properly address heart health in female patients, she leveraged decades of international research to write this book. Inside, she offers information on how the female heath functions and ages differently than a man’s, how menopause and breast cancer impact women’s heart health, what heart attacks in women look like, and how women can prevent heart disease.
National Book Award nominee and feminist writer and editor Evette Dionne chronicles a lifetime of cultural and health challenges she faced as a Black woman in her memoir — including a diagnosis at 29 of heart failure. Speaking as well to medical sexism, racism, and sizeism, she also zooms out of her own experiences to address the larger failings of our healthcare industry and the norms we’re steeped in. Weightless is an inspiring journey of perseverance, told with a lot of heart.
$13 $26.99 52% Off
Cardiac researcher Sian E. Harding explores new scientific developments in understanding and tending to the heart — from imaging, microscopy, and stem cells to AI — and unpacks what they mean for our lives and our health in The Exquisite Machine. Along the way, she also breaks down how our hearts have changed through evolution, what challenges we face in poor heart health, why repairing the heart is such a challenge, and how we can avoid heart disease.
$14 $28.95 52% Off
Nutritionist Grace Garner’s cookbook for heart health offers a wide selection of quick, budget-friendly meals. Inside its pages, she also offers advice on heart health nutrition, tips on reading food labels and making heart-healthy choices when you’re not cooking at home, and guidance on conditions like high blood pressure. Her list of pantry essentials and outline of an 8-week meal plan will only further simplify heart healthy-eating — and make preparing the right foods at home easier than ever.
After surviving a heart attack that was originally misdiagnosed as acid reflux, Carolyn Thomas found herself driven to share information about heart health with other women. After applying and being accepted to the Mayo Clinic’s WomenHeart Science and Leadership training, she started the Heart Sisters Blog, where she attempted in her own way to smash the gender gap in cardiology and heart health information. After 19 million views, she published A Woman’s Guide — sharing her own challenges of living with the “invisible illness” of heart disease alongside medical information that can help women learn how to manage the same diagnosis.
Twenty-six years after a heart transplant, Amy Silverstein needed another. In this memoir, she tells the story of what that took: a cross-country move in the company of nine incredible female friends, and a calendar spreadsheet between them that kept Silverstein alive. From foot rubs to girl talk to “death-distracting decorations,” this look inside the life of one woman’s fight for a third chance at life — and the village of women who made it not only possible, but as loving and comfortable as they could — is a celebration of empathy, heart, and friendship.
$8 $26.99 70% Off
Dr. Guarneri’s research found that the heart possessed intelligence, memory, and decision-making abilities — and in this memoir, she explores its multi-faceted mysteries. Tying together her family’s stories of heart disease, her own work on cardiac emergencies, and her journey to understand how to heal the heart, The Heart Speaks explores a holistic way of thinking about heart health. Published while Dr. Guarneri was Co-Founder and Medical Director of the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine, she is now the Co-Founder, Medical Director, Integrative Cardiologist of Guarneri Integrative Health, Inc. at Pacific Pearl of La Jolla in California.
$12 $16.99 29% Off
Pulling from her own experience as a breast cancer survivor with a genetic predisposition to heart disease, this book by Harvard-trained academic cardiologist Malissa Wood shares the lessons of her own study finding that heart health is about physical, emotional, and spiritual health. In Smart at Heart, she lays out a “mind-body approach” to heart disease through ten “bridges” to heart health, each representing a different area of life — from exercise and stress management to mindfulness, communication, and relationships. In its pages, she prescribes more than just a healthy diet and exercise to combat heart disease, combining instead the power of self-care, a nurturing environment, and the power of small changes to make big differences.
Dr. Kathy Magliato’s memoir comes from the rare perspective of not only one of the few female heart surgeons in the world, but one of the even fewer surgeons trained to perform heart transplants. This memoir — which inspired the show Heartbeat on NBC — takes us into the high-pressure and male-dominated world in which she works. It also explores the health of her patients, and along the way she shines a light on how women can recognize the symptoms of heart disease and heart attack and combat them. From the eyes of a pioneer comes a book that will inspire all of us to take care of our hearts — and each other.
Most of the patients Dr. Mark Menolascino treats at his holistic health clinic are women working on their heart health. Heart Solution for Women explores how our heart and overall health are connected, how symptoms manifest, and what tools women can use to take better care — incorporating research on gut, brain, and hormone health along the way.
$14.79 $17.99 18% Off
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