Healthy Living

The Heart of the Matter- The Signs & Symptoms of Heart Disease in Women & Ways to Reduce Your Risk

Every minute in the United States, someone’s wife, mother, daughter or sister dies from heart disease, stroke or another form of cardiovascular disease (CVD). woman doctor heart healthMore than one in three women is living with CVD, including nearly half of all African-American women and 34 percent of white women. Although heart disease death rates among men have steadily declined over the last 25 years, rates among women have fallen at a slower rate. One challenge is that the heart disease symptoms in women can be different from symptoms in men. Fortunately, women can take steps to understand their unique symptoms of heart disease and to begin to reduce their risk of heart disease.

Symptoms. The most common heart attack symptom in women is some type of pain, pressure or discomfort in the chest. But it’s not always severe or even the most prominent symptom, particularly in women. Women are more likely than men to have heart attack symptoms unrelated to chest pain such as neck, shoulder, upper back or abdominal discomfort; shortness of breath; nausea or vomiting; sweating; lightheadedness or dizziness. The symptoms are often more subtle than the obvious crushing chest pain often associated with heart attacks. This may be because women tend to have blockages not only in their main arteries, but also in the smaller arteries that supply blood to the heart.

Risk Factors: Although the traditional risk factors for coronary artery disease — such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and obesity — affect women and men, other factors may play a bigger role in the development of heart disease in women. For example metabolic syndrome has a greater impact on women than on men, mental stress and depression affect women’s hearts more than men’s, smoking is a greater risk factor for heart disease in women than in men, and low levels of estrogen after menopause increase the risk of heart attack. Women under the age of 65 who have a family history of heart disease should pay particularly close attention to the heart disease risk factors. The older a woman gets, the more likely she is to get heart disease, but women of all ages should be concerned about it.

Prevention: Take steps to prevent heart disease by practicing healthy lifestyle habits. Exercise 30 to 60 minutes a day on most days of the week, maintain a healthy weight, quit or don’t start smoking, and eat a diet that is low in saturated fat, cholesterol and salt.

The physicians of Henderson & Walton Women’s Center, P.C. are advocates of educating women regarding their risks for cardiovascular disease and knowing their family history. If you are at a high risk for cardiovascular disease, talk to your physician and make the appropriate lifestyle changes to ensure that you will be on the road to a healthy life.

Henderson Walton MD GROUP PIC


  • The physicians of Henderson & Walton Women’s Center, P.C. are accepting new patients in their Birmingham, Alabaster, Chelsea, Cullman, Gadsden, Jasper and Tuscaloosa locations. Call 1-800-264-1075 to make your appointment. Visit to learn more about the practice, physicians, services offered and why they have been voted BEST PRACTICE for the 4th consecutive time!

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Parenting Points

4 Tips to Leading Your Child toward Good Decision Making

Good decision making is not a skill with which we are born. We can look back at examples from our past when we made very poor decisions that were not properly thought out and the unfortunate consequences that accompanied those decisions. There are two very real reasons for the lack of prudence children and teens show in their decision making. One reason is biological and the other is spiritual.

Biologically, the part of our brain used to reason and weigh outcomes, the prefrontal cortex, does not fully develop until we reach our mid 20’s. Research indicates it is one of the last regions of our brain to fully develop. On the other hand, the part of our brain that controls our response to pleasure is fully developed by age 13.


So when we see our children and teens making decisions that seem totally void of thought or reason, there are actual biological reasons this may occur. The main reason prudence is a struggle for all of us is our sin nature. Sin infects all that we do. We don’t automatically choose to define what is right and wrong based on God’s definitions of right and wrong, but based on what is best for “me.” Sin takes our focus and attention away from God, the source of all things good, and turns it on ourselves.

As parents, we need the love of Christ to combat both the biological and the spiritual roadblocks to prudence. We need to show Christ’s love and grace as our children learn prudence and we need His love in our own hearts to lead them into the realm of good decision making. Here are four keys to help develop godly prudence in your children.

  1. Demonstrate prudence for your children.
  2. Affirm your children when they make good decisions.
  3. When they make poor decisions, help your children think through other options they had and see how the consequences could have been different.
  4. Above all, train your children to seek what is right in the character and nature of Christ as He is revealed in Scripture.

Parenting Points Head Shot Drew Phillips_Byline pic

-Drew Phillips, Chaplain 

Covenant Classical Schools & Daycare

To learn more about Covenant Classical Schools visit

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Mission Makers

GriefShare Offers Hopegrief-share-logo

If you’ve lost a spouse, parent, child, or family member, you’ve probably found there are not many people who understand the deep hurt you feel. This can be a confusing time when you feel isolated and have many questions about things you’ve never before faced.

For almost 25 years, GriefShare has been providing a friendly, caring group of people to walk alongside those who are grieving. GriefShare is a Christ centered ministry and a product of The Church Initiative, Inc. in Wake Forest, N.C. It is one of the most widely acclaimed and highly successful grief recovery programs of its kind and has support groups in our area, including Hoover and Trussville. Trained facilitators, who have experienced this kind of grief themselves, guide participants and provide tools and resources necessary to move forward. Pete Jackson is a local GriefShare leader and facilitator who lost his wife of 34 years due to a sudden and massive hemorrhagic stroke and went through the program himself. “Although all of us at some time or another will face this difficult situation, we are never fully prepared. Losing my wife was similar to a 9/11 experience. Something you never get over completely, changing your life from that point forward, but you learn to live with,” says Jackson adding, “You simply adjust to what we call ‘the new normal’. That’s what GriefShare can do for those suffering from such a loss and it will be done in a safe, secure, loving and confidential environment with a group of others that have experienced similar loses.” Jackson is the group facilitator for GriefShare meetings at Faith Presbyterian Church on Valleydale Road. See Support Groups on page 28 for more details about this GriefShare group and others in the Birmingham area.

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Best Books

The Bible Tells Me SoWhy Defending Scripture Had Made Us Unable to Read It

Best Books Peter Enns Cover Art Bible Tells Me So Feb 16 BCF

This month’s recommendation is for those who are brave. If you are afraid to read anything which may call into question your established beliefs about the Bible, or if you’re of the opinion that all Christians must share the same perspective (yours) regarding the inspiration of the Scriptures, then I’d advise you to think twice before engaging in this selection. On the other hand, if you’re one of those “love wins,” God is nice, inclusive, progressive types, then reading The Bible Tells Me So (HarperOne, $15.99) should be the next thing you purchase. You will want to own this, share it with your friends, and extol its virtues on sundry forms of social media.

In The Bible Tells Me So, Peter Enns explains why he believes many Christians need an “attitude adjustment” when it comes to how we approach the Bible. In fact, he is concerned that some Christians may have elevated the Bible to heights which belong only to the person of Jesus, putting themselves at risk in the process. As a person with a deep commitment to the Christian faith, Peter Enns asserts that the Bible is “God’s Word.” What he means when he makes that assertion is far different, however, than what many of his fellow Christians mean when they speak of the Bible. For Enns, reading the Bible as historically reliable literature is not only problematic, it may also cause one to miss the point.

I loved reading The Bible Tells Me So. As one who has read, studied, and taught about the Bible for years, I found the book very interesting. I also learned some things, which is always nice. Do I agree with everything? Not at all, but that has nothing to do with the value of reading such books. I have little regard for those who advocate a literary diet comprised solely of books written by those with whom they agree. So, if you’re brave and secure enough to read something that may cause you to think hard about what you believe regarding the Bible, then I strongly recommend The Bible Tells Me So. If, however, you believe Christians should keep their literary diet within the safe confines of evangelical orthodoxy, you should probably pass – and pray for my imperiled soul.

Author Peter Enns is scheduled to speak at Samford University Reid Chapel at 10a.m. on February 25. The lecture is open to the public.

Best Books Peter Enns ap 2. PC Patti Singleton, Eastern University

-Darrel Holcombe, Owner

Sanctuary Christian Books and Gifts

Colonial Promenade, Alabaster

Author Image Photo Credit- Patti Singleton/Eastern Univ.


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Finding Significance in 2016

How can I make the most of 2016? This is a question many of us ask ourselves. One place we are given help on this subject is Psalm 90.

See the Significance of Each Day. The psalm begins with a reflection on how short life really is. The initial reflection can be summed up as, “The most my life will add up to will be 70 years, maybe 80, but then I am swept away like dried leaves and brought before my Creator to answer for my life.” So far we are not given much hope. It is a gloomy reflection on life, one most would rather ignore, but it is an honest reflection on life. If we give much thought at all to our lives, many of us will feel this very same thing. We feel like life continues to move along, even speeding up as we get older, and we are just trying to make it count for so
mething. But we are not left to despair in our lives. The psalmist says, “Teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” What an insightful prayer! When many in our culture would rather ignore the truth of life as presented in this psalm, Scripture tells us to accept and embrace it. Admitting that my life is limited allows me to see every day as significant.

Make Each Day Significant. It is one thing to say each day is significant, but it is another to live as if each day truly counts. The psalmist’s prayer to be satisfied by the steadfast love of God shows us where to start. True significance does not begin inside us, but with the sustaining love of God. Make each day significant by seeing the work of God in your life and the lives of your children. Teach your children to look for the “glorious power” of God in their lives. Encourage them to see the significance in each day and make each day significant.

-Drew Phillips
Covenant Classical Schools and Daycare
To learn more about Covenant Classical Schools, please visit

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