While fainting can happen, it could also be a sign of a heart problem. It’s what happened to a Central Texas woman.
At first, doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her. She’s now sharing her story in an effort to raise awareness.
These days, 64-year-old Judith McGee is full of energy. But a heart-related problem was causing her to faint often.
"I would pass out. I mean just pass out cold," McGee said.
Medical help, a pacemaker and now a healthy lifestyle have made a world of difference for McGee.
Heart issues also hit close to home for Tracy Kramers, a family nurse practitioner.
"There have been multiple people in my family that have had heart disease. You've got to just stay on top of it, you are your best advocate," Kramer said.
According to Kramer, if you stop smoking within the first year, you decrease your risk of heart disease by 50 percent.
"It's not just something that, oh, I’ve been smoking for 50 years. If you stop now, you still can help yourself," Kramer said.
When it comes to heart attacks, there’s a big difference between men and woman, Kramer says.
"Most of the time, women don't know that they're having a heart attack. Guys know that classic, I've got that chest pain," Kramer said.
Either way, your best bet is that healthy lifestyle.
"I bet you they can't keep up with me sometimes," McGee said.
She’s just glad she can enjoy life now with her grandchildren.
Experts say one of the best ways to prevent a heart attack is to take aspirin. Be sure to ask your doctor about risks and dosage.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States.
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