How one lipstick can help save the lives of women around Australia.

TerryWhite Chemmart
Thanks to our brand partner, TerryWhite Chemmart

A good lipstick has the power to do incredible things.

It can add excitement to an otherwise average outfit. It can brighten up an otherwise normal day. It can put a smile on your face and perk you up when you could do with a bit of extra cheer. But there isn’t a lipstick that works quite as hard as this one.

That’s because this June, TerryWhite Chemmart is supporting The Heart Foundation by directly donating $3 from every Designer Brands lipstick purchase to help their quest to improve women’s heart health.

It’s a purchase you not only don’t have to feel guilty about making but one that should actually make you feel good.

Their aim is to educate women around the signs, symptoms and risk of heart disease. It’s a quest to make the invisible visible. And what better way to do that than with a lippy purchase?

A lippy purchase you can feel good about. Image: Supplied.

But aside from adding a new shade of lipstick to your beauty bag, it's also important to be able to recognise the warning signs of a heart attack. You may not know that heart disease is a leading killer of Australian women, and women are almost three times more likely to die from heart disease than breast cancer. While you may think a heart attack might never happen to you, younger women (25-45 years) are still at risk.

Yes, the statistics are shocking, but with some understanding of the warning signs, it doesn't need to be that way.

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What are the risk factors for heart disease?

Some of the most common risk factors for women of all ages are:

  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Overweight and obesity
  • Physical inactivity
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Depression

If you use oral contraception, that's deemed to be generally safe by the Heart Foundation. However, the contraceptive pill can slightly increase your risk of blood clotting problems, as well as potentially increasing the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

Does pregnancy impact your risk of having a heart disease?

Vascular complications can arise that can have a long-term impact on a woman’s heart health. Image: Getty.

Thankfully for most women their pregnancy is uncomplicated. Yet for some, vascular complications can arise that can have a long-term impact on a woman’s heart health. Complications in pregnancy don’t always disappear when a baby is delivered.

Women who experience vascular complications in pregnancy such as gestational diabetes, gestational hypertension and preeclampsia are at increased risk of developing heart disease 10 to 15 years later. These women will require regular and ongoing heart health monitoring.

What are the warning signs of a heart attack?

When we think of a heart attack, we usually associate it with chest pain and this is certainly true. Discomfort or pain in your chest that can often feel like heaviness, tightness or pressure can all be warning signs.

People who have had a heart attack have commonly described it as like “an elephant sitting on my chest”, “a belt that’s been tightened around my chest” or “bad indigestion”. The discomfort may also spread to different parts of your upper body.

But it's worth noting that some women will not experience chest pain at all. That's why being up to speed on the full range of warning signs is so important. Some women may experience discomfort in arms, shoulders, necks, jaws or backs, while others can have a choking feeling in the throat, or the arms may feel heavy or useless.

Other symptoms that you may not be as aware of include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • A feeling of nauseousness
  • Cold sweats
  • Feeling dizzy or light-headed.

It can also be a feeling of just not feeling "right", or yourself. The symptoms can come on suddenly or develop over minutes and get progressively worse. They usually last for at least 10 minutes.

What can I do to decrease the risk of having a heart attack?

The best thing you can do to help decrease the risk of having heart disease is having a heart check with your doctor or health practitioner.

This will involve:

  • Talking about your family history of heart disease.
  • Talking about your pregnancy history.
  • A doctor or pharmacist taking your blood pressure.
  • Taking a blood sample to check your cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
  • Checking your weight.
  • Talking about your lifestyle – what you eat, how active you are, alcohol and tobacco use and your overall mental health and wellbeing.

You can do one more thing, too. Head into a TerryWhite Chemmart and pick up a $6.99 Designer Brands lipstick or lip gloss and be part of the Heart Foundation's efforts to improve women's heart health.

You or an important woman in your life, whether it's your mum, sister, best friend or work colleague, might thank you for it one day.

Have you or someone you know been touched by heart disease?

This content was created with thanks to our brand partner TerryWhite Chemmart.

Because your health is our priority, we offer a number of different health services right here in the pharmacy. Our approachable and accessible pharmacists also provide professional assistance for many different health and wellbeing issues. TerryWhite Chemmart, helping to keep you Alive & Well.

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