Heart disease is the number one killer of American women. That's why early screenings for risk factors are so important.
"We want to make sure that your blood pressure is within normal limits for you." For the past 15 years, Kay Barnett hasn't missed her annual routine health check-ups. "I decided a number of years ago that I just needed to stay educated about how my health was doing," Kay Barnett. But when she started to experience the peaks and valleys from blood sugar changes, Kay knew she needed more than a routine exam. "I was having some changes, especially with my blood sugar and so I was looking for resources for women to help look at how to deal with their health," said Kay. That resource for Kay was the Women's Health Network at Christus Saint Patrick Hospital, a free network for women dedicated to improving their total health. "The Women's Health Network is an organization that the hospital started so that we can gear toward cardiac health for women," said Serena Goodwin.
Registered Nurse Serena Goodwin says the network offers support for women and opportunities for health screenings that could detect a wide range of health problems. "We can also make referrals to where they need to be. We work with the cardiologists here in Lake Charles and sometimes we've had ladies we've actually had to send across the street for additional testing," said Goodwin. When Kay had the comprehensive Heartfelt screening last month, which included a physical, dietary screening, labs and an EKG, test results showing that she was borderline diabetic pushed her to make lifestyle changes. "I never really realized that I didn't know how to eat right," said Kay. Part of the screening process involves a 30-minute session with a dietitian. Goodwin says little changes like knowing nutritional values of food and where your "numbers" are with blood pressure and cholesterol are big keys to preventing heart disease.
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