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Women: 5 Heart Attack Symptoms not to be ignored

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Heart Attack in Women

Women: 5 Heart Attack Symptoms not to be ignored

Dr. Naresh Kumar Goyal
Cardiac Sciences, Cardiology
Cardiac Sciences, Cardiology
Senior consultant - Interventional Cardiology

Women do not always get the classic heart attack symptoms as men, such as crushing chest pain that radiates down one arm. When a heart attack strikes,woman fare worse than men with longer hospital stays. Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, which is why it is imperative that women learn the warning signs and symptoms, see a doctor regularly, and learn their family history.

Dr. Naresh Goyal says, “Healthy women often misdiagnose the symptoms of heart attack because they do not believe it can happen to them. This is why it is important to know about the heart disease and stroke for living a heart healthy lifestyle and be aware of risk factors associated with it”.

Most heart attacks begin with subtle symptoms causing only discomfort. It is advisable not to ignore them as flu, stress, anxiety or indigestion. Better management and prevention have resulted in decreasing rates of heart attack in older woman. However, if you are a younger woman especially with risk factors-Beware! Rates of heart attack are actually on the rise, including silent heart attacks.

While chest pain is the most common symptom of a heart attack a woman can have, you must know about these 5 heart attack symptoms:

Unusual Fatigue: Like many women, you’re probably busy most of the time. You may take care of a family, run a household, work outside the home and care for aging parents. You are probably also tired a lot of the time. Most likely this is normal. But you should pay attention to fatigue if it is new or dramatic. Here is what to watch out for:

  • You are suddenly worn out after your typical exercise or routine
  • You are not exerting yourself, but have fatigue or a heavy chest
  • Simple activity like making the bed, walking to the bathroom makes you excessively tired.
  • Although you feel exceptionally tired but experience sleep disturbances.

Neck, jaw or back pain: This type of pain is more common in women than in men. It may confuse women who expect their pain to be focused on their chest and left arm, not their back or jaw. The pain can be gradual or sudden, and it may aggravate before becoming intense. If you're asleep, it might wake you up. You should report any "not typical or unexplained" symptoms in any part of your body above your waist to your doctor.

Sweating and/or shortness of breath: Cold sweat is common among women who are having a heart attack. It will feel more like stress-related sweating than perspiration from exercising or spending time outside in the heat. "Get it checked out" if you don't typically sweat like that and there is no other reason for it, such as heat or hot flashes.If you're having trouble breathing for no apparent reason, you could be having a heart attack, It can feel like you have run a marathon, but you didn't make a move.

Stomach pain: Sometimes people mistake stomach pain that signals a heart attack with heartburn, the flu, or a stomach ulcer. Other times, women experience severe abdominal pressure that feels like an elephant sitting on your stomach.

Chest pain or discomfort: Some women may experience it differently than men. It may feel like a squeezing or fullness, and the pain can be anywhere in the chest, not just on the left side.