3 posts tagged “walking”

How Heart Attack Warning Signs Differ in Women

Posted February 21st, 2012 by

A heart attack is unmistakable, right?  Not exactly.  And especially not if you’re a woman.

Elizabeth Banks in "Just a Little Heart Attack"

We kicked off February by recognizing National Wear Red Day and sharing a hilarious video created by actress Elizabeth Banks for American Heart Month.  In the short piece, a harried working mother begins having strange symptoms one morning, including tightness of the jaw, dizziness, nausea, shortness of breath, muscle pain and pressure on her chest.  Despite all of this, she remains more concerned about getting her husband and kids off to work and school, respectively.  Her son is the only one to recognize what’s going on, saying “Mom!  I think you’re having a heart attack.”

Part of 2012 Heart Month message is that the warning signs of a heart attack for women can be different than for men.  Unlike the stereotypical image of a man clutching his chest and falling down, heart attacks may appear less dramatic in women.  For example, a woman can experience a heart attack without severe chest pressure (“an elephant sitting on my chest”).  Also, women are somewhat more likely than men to report more subtle symptoms such as back or jaw pain, shortness of breath and nausea/vomiting.  The danger is that even when the signs are subtle, the consequences can be deadly.

The Key Statistic Behind This Year's American Heart Month

Would you be shocked to have a heart attack?  That’s what many women report – that they never thought it could happen to them.  As a result, they assume their discomfort must be something more routine like the flu, acid reflux or normal aging.  They also may downplay it in order to put their family’s needs first.  Don’t make this mistake.  A heart attack strikes someone every 34 seconds, and heart disease is the number one killer of women.  So if you think you or someone you love might be having a heart attack – even if the symptoms are subtle – don’t wait more than five minutes before calling 911.

Beyond knowing the warning signs, a little prevention (such as quitting smoking or walking just 30 minutes a day) goes a long way.  Learn your heart attack risk – as well as how you can lower it – with the American Heart Association’s Risk Calculator.


Life with Parkinson’s Disease: What We’ve Learned

Posted December 15th, 2011 by

On Tuesday, our interview with blogger Steve Ploussard of “Attitude & Fitness Wins” revealed how one person is managing his Parkinson’s disease (PD).  Today we take a closer look at this progressive neurological condition using the data and experiences shared by our 5,920 PD members.

Age at Which Patients Experienced Their First Parkinson's Symptom

Taking a look at the makeup of our PD community, 52% are male, and 48% are female.  More than 98% identify PD as their primary condition, and just shy of 20% report experiencing their first symptom between the ages of 50 and 59.  Others report experiencing their first symptom anywhere from adolescence to their seventies.  (See the chart for a complete breakdown.)  What exactly are the symptoms of this condition?  Some of the most commonly reported include stiffness/spasticity, slowness, sexual dysfunction, memory problems, excessive daytime drowsiness and constipation.

As Steve’s interview revealed, Carbidopa-Levodopa (Sinemet) is one of the most commonly prescribed treatments for PD as it helps to control tremors, one of the most visible manifestations of the disease, and other movement dysfunctions.  Currently, more than 1,698 members report taking this medication, and 300+ of them have submitted Sinemet treatment evaluations, which review the drug’s effectiveness, side effects, dosage, cost and more.   Here’s what one patient writes about Sinemet on her evaluation:  “I notice my leg limp and motivation to walk improves dramatically when it kicks in. The tremor is much less.

Some of the Most Commonly Reported Treatments for Parkinson's, As Reported by PatientsLikeMe Members

Other commonly reported PD treatments include prescription medications such as Ropinirole (Requip), Pramipexole (Mirapex), Rasagiline (Azilect) and Amantadine; OTC supplements such as CoQ10; and surgical procedures such as Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS).  Click on the treatment name to see the data we’ve amassed for each, including hundreds of treatment evaluations submitted by our patients.

This is just a sample of the wealth of experience and data to be found at PatientsLikeMe.  Dive in today to learn more about PD.


A Peek at the September Newsletter for Members

Posted September 30th, 2011 by

What kinds of things do we cover in our monthly newsletters for members? Take a look at the excerpt below from our August edition. Also, in case you didn’t know, anyone – whether a PatientsLikeMe member or not – can view our current and past newsletters in our Newsletter Archive. See what we’ve been up to recently, and if you are member who’s not opted in to the newsletter, sign up today.

MONTHLY MUSINGS

What type of exercise – and how much – is right for your condition?

We all know exercise is a good thing, but if you’re managing a disease, it can be a little trickier to find the right regimen. How much exercise? What type? How often? The answers, of course, are different for everyone, and it can take time and patience if you don’t know where to look. Why not start with patients like you?

A Patient's Walking Treatment Evaluation History

Patients with many different conditions have shared what’s worked and what hasn’t for more than 150 types of exercise. Some of the most common ones include walking, yoga, stretching, aquatic therapy and swimming. How do other members rate these exercises? You can find out in the treatment evaluations. As one member writes, “I have felt less need for pain meds, and I have slept better on the nights I walk.”

Whether you’ve found your ideal routine or are still searching, you may want to become part of an “online buddy system.” For example, subscribe to one of the forum threads on exercise listed below in the “Join the Conversation” section. Can’t find one for your room? Start your own. Let’s get moving together!

- Kate, Emma, Liz, Jeanette & Sharry

Kate"" Emma"" Jeanette"" Sharry""

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Check out what other patients are saying about exercise in the forum. Then jump in with your own questions and answers. (New members are welcome anytime!)

Need help with something on the site?  Visit the Technical Help Using PatientsLikeMe Room.

THIS MONTH’S SITE IMPROVEMENTS

Thanks for your continued feedback about improving the site, Here are our top functionality enhancements for September.

EMAIL AND NOTIFICATION UPGRADES
There are so many ways to stay connected at PatientsLikeMe – which can be a blessing and a curse sometimes. Recently, we made some major changes to our email and notification system. In addition to fixing reported bugs, we’ve made it easier for you to turn email notifications on/off with the click of a mouse. We’ve also improved the unsubscribe process. Visit your Email Settings page to update your preferences.

Your New Email Settings Page

HIDDEN FORUM TOPICS
Wish you could avoid certain forum threads? Consider it done with our new “Hide Topic” button (pictured below). They’re not gone forever if you change your mind, however. Simply go to the “My Hidden Topics” page to find them.

Hide Topics by Clicking This Button

AUTOMATIC LOGIN VIA VERIFIED EMAIL
If you’re tired of having to log in when you click a link in a PatientsLikeMe email – such as this monthly newsletter – you’re going to love hearing that you can now log in automatically via verified email. To turn on this time-saving feature, go to your Account Settings page and select “Yes” as shown below.

Click Yes and You'll Never Have to Log In to Click Links in a PatientsLikeMe Email Again

NEW OUTCOME SCORE FOR AUTISM
Finally, we’ve introduced a new outcome score for patients with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) called the Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC). You’ll see that the ATEC score is now displayed in the “puzzle piece” icon in all ASD patient nuggets, as illustrated below.

Autism Patient Nugget with ATEC Score