NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - American Heart Month is winding down.
Health care providers share prevention and warning signs of heart disease that can help people for a lifetime. A woman, a doctor, and a chef are spreading knowledge about heart disease among women.
People who meet Dee Bishop of Nacogdoches will be greeted with a smile.
The owner of Designing Women is in the business of making customers feel good about themselves. Two years ago, Bishop was reminded she had also better think about herself.
"It was a Sunday morning and it was Dec. 15," Bishop said.
Bishop feared the flu, but went to work. She lasted a few hours.
"By this time this pressure on my chest was getting harder and harder, and women, we ignore it," Bishop said.
It wasn't until after midnight Bishop asked to go to the emergency room.
"And I was having a good heart attack by then," Bishop said.
If there is such a thing. Intervention cardiologist Dr. Gary Barkocy performed stent surgery on Bishop. He describes her episode as a classic woman's heart attack case.
"It's not always that Hollywood heart attack," Barkocy said. "[Such as] I have an elephant on my chest. It's nausea. It's fatigue. It's lethargy. And women tend to and are prone to suffering. They tend to suffer their heart disease and not tell anybody."
Barkocy explained that is a bad mistake.
"It's the leading cause of death among women, still," Barkocy said. "About one in every three deaths for women right now is cardiovascular, either heart attack or stroke, something along those lines."
However, 80 percent of heart disease and stroke events may be prevented by lifestyle changes.
Chef Michael Cid suggests fresh vegetables.
"If it's brown and doesn't look appealing you don't want to eat that," said Michael Cid, a chef. "If it's colorful and vibrant, fantastic."
"Every time Barkocy sees me he says, 'water, water, water, walk, walk, walk," Bishop said.
Bishop shares advice and her experience with customers. Not only does she want them to feel beautiful, but she also wants them to stay healthy.
An estimated 44 million women in the U.S. are affected by heart diseases.
Nacogdoches Medical Center offers a free heart health profiler at this link.