Heart attacks are one of the main causes of early death in the modern world. When a heart attack strikes, it doesn’t always feel the same in women as it does in men.
Women don’t always get the same classic heart attack symptoms as men, such as crushing chest pain that radiates down one arm. Those heart attack symptoms can certainly happen to women, but many experience vague or even “silent” symptoms that they may miss.
Here are 6 signs every woman should know to keep the disease as far from herself as possible.
1. Pain in your arm(s), back, neck, or jaw
These signs may be confusing, as a heart attack is associated primarily with pain in the chest or in the left arm, not in the neck or jaw. The pain can be progressive, nagging, acute, or sudden. It can even wake you up in the middle of the night. This is why you’d better consult a doctor as soon as you notice any unusual symptoms.
2. Sharp stomach pain, sickness
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”.
3. Cold sweat
Cold sweat is another common symptom among women. When your body has poor blood circulation, your brain will not receive the proper blood flow that it needs to function properly. This is a sign that you may be in some danger. You should seek medical attention if the cold sweats do not subside.
4. Shortness of breath and dizziness
Another organ that suffers from loss of blood flow, is the lungs. If you’re having trouble breathing for no apparent reason, you could be having a heart attack, especially if you’re also having one or more other symptoms. Women who survived it said they felt like they had run a marathon, though they didn’t even move.
5. Increased fatigue
Some women who have heart attacks feel extremely tired, even if they’ve been sitting still for a while or haven’t moved much. This is an alarming signal and a reason to pay attention to the state of your cardiovascular system.
6. Pressure and pain in the chest
This is one of the most noticeable heart attack signals. It’s called angina. This is caused when your heart is not getting enough oxygen-rich blood. Numerous people ignore this symptom because they think it’s just indigestion. But if the pressure is constant, it’s a direct sign that a heart attack may happen. Yet, some women experience pain not on the left side of the chest but in the whole area. If the pain or pressure doesn’t disappear within a few minutes, call your doctor immediately.
Note: These signs aren’t a guarantee of an early heart attack. However, their combination, as well as the frequent occurrence of the same symptoms, is already a sufficient reason to call your doctor.