You need to know about the specific heart attack symptoms in women. Heart attacks in women can manifest their symptoms very differently than in men, which makes them potentially dangerous.
By knowing what to look for, women can feel empowered. Men should also be aware in order to protect their mothers, sisters, wives, and other important women in their lives.
Your Heart Attack Could Be Misdiagnosed
Women have more misdiagnosed heart attacks than men. On top of that, they are far more likely to be dismissed and sent home from emergency care departments. Women sometimes bounce from doctor to doctor and diagnosis to diagnosis before realizing what has in fact occurred. This is why it is important to be informed and to be an advocate for your health and well being.
Common Heart Attack Symptoms Between Men and Women
Sometimes the symptoms are similar to what men will experience. These include:
- Tightness in the chest
- Squeezing sensation in the chest
- Spreading pain to the shoulder, neck, or jaw
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling lightheaded
However, many women will not experience the chest pain. Without the usual symptoms often seen in men, the attack can be easily dismissed as a stomach or gastrointestinal problem. It might also be confused with menopause symptoms.
A woman might feel like if she could just burp she would feel better. Or she might have a pain in her neck (not related to her husband) that radiates to her jaw. Many women think they are just coming down with the flu and don’t seek medical attention.
Possible Heart Attack Symptoms In Women
- Shortness of breath
- Unexplained fatigue
- Back pain
- Stomach pressure or pain
- Discomfort in the lower chest
What Should I Do If I Think I’m Having a Heart Attack?
Call emergency services right away. Request an ambulance to take you to the emergency room for further treatment. Follow the advice and directions of the 911 operator. They may ask you to take aspirin if you do not have any restrictions on the drug.
Never drive yourself to the hospital, as you could become unconscious while driving. Once at the emergency room, you should not wait for more than five minutes for a doctor’s attention. This is a serious condition that can result in death if it is not treated promptly.
Do not feel embarrassed about calling for help, and do not worry about being wrong. Neither one is worth the risk of an ignored heart problem.
Stay Tuned To Your Body and Be Aware of Unusual Changes
Since heart attack symptoms in women can be different, it’s important for you to tune into your intuition when you realize something is wrong. Being aware of these symptoms will keep you and/or your loved ones safe.
If you suspect you are having a heart attack, call for emergency services right away. A false alarm is always better than ignoring a life threatening condition.
Internal Inflammation is Being Watched Closely as a Major Risk
In the year 2000, doctors at Harvard University did a series of studies on Women’s risk for heart disease. The research included 28,000 post-menopausal women with good health.
They found a new culprit among the risks we face for heart disease.
It’s called C-reactive protein (CRP). This substance is a key marker in showing the presence of internal inflammation. Cardiologists are starting to think of heart disease as an inflammatory disease like rheumatoid arthritis.
People with high levels of CRP had 4 times the risk of a heart attack or stroke compared to those with lower levels.
You can do a lot for yourself by being aware of the warning signs of a heart attack and by taking steps towards fighting off inflammation by eating right, exercising and taking a fish oil supplement fortified with CoQ10 and other powerful antioxidants.