Need a great book for Heart Month?

IMG_9814rtDr. Suzanne Steinbaum’s Heart Book – Every Woman’s Guide to a Heart-Healthy Life published in 2013 is a good one.
Full disclosure: I am a cardiologist. Dr. Steinbaum is a cardiologist. The book is for Women; I bring my own perspective as a physician/provider – I can’t *not* be a cardiologist. Good news that Dr. Steinbaum writes in an approachable style, bringing practical information (lots of it) to Women of all backgrounds/interests (cardiologist or not). The book walks you through an inventory of your life: stress, passion, family, work, habits. You will learn why your heart matters and how you hold your heart health in your hands. Chapter 6 is a good one from my perspective: Inside the Office-The Art and Challenge of Communicating with Doctors. Dr. Steinbaum includes patient examples of what to do to get the most out of your appointment, but also teaches the reader what the doctor may be dealing with on a given office day- What Your Doctor Needs to Know <–> What You Want From Your Doctor.

Dr. Steinbaum’s chapter “Let’s Do Some Tests” is a concise description of heart diagnostics — what your heart specialist may check and why. Beyond doing Translational Medicine so well (meaning, how to write or communicate so our patients understand and are inspired), the book drills down on the advice I try to cover into my 15-minute patient appointments in much more detail: how you can use diet, exercise, stress & weight management, to lower your risk for heart disease. Dr. Steinbaum challenges the reader to a Dietary Action Plan, elaborating well on the many issues we have with food beyond whether or not it is heart healthy. Once you appreciate behavior as outlined here, you can identify opportunity for change. Exercise, also, is given excellent coverage as “The Ultimate Prescription.” Similar to the chapters on diet, The Ultimate Prescription chapters help clarify the behaviors that relate to why or why not people are drawn to exercise. Yes, it benefits your heart health to exercise, but do we all understand why or how to get it done? The book helps.

Dr. Steinbaum asserts, accurately, that Health Care is Self-Care, but goes on to be real and consider “Hormone Hell” and “When Bad Things Happen.” The Heart Book is worth a look. I give a lot of talks teaching women that they can reduce their risk of heart disease by > 80% with lifestyle … not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, getting regular exercise, and following a heart healthy diet. Using personal and patient stories, Dr. Steinbaum writes for any audience – the book has great information for men and women who want tools for heart health. We all benefit from her effort.

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