Heart Attack Symptoms in Women

Thecommon perception about the heart attack in general population is pretty clear cut. A lot of people think that heart diseases are only common in male subjects. Unfortunately, this concept is wrong as heart attack is more frequently reported in females and causes more deaths as compared to males. The most probable reason behind this misconception is perhaps the difference in symptoms experienced by women. Women usually describes the signs of heart attack as a heavy feeling in the chest or tightening of the chest muscles with stabbing or aching radiating pain in the shoulder joints. If a woman is experiencing such symptoms, get medical assistance immediately since it could be a heart attack.

Primary Heart Attack Symptoms in Women

The symptoms of heart attack in women are milder and more toned down compared to men. The level of pain in chest and shoulders may vary between the two genders. Here are somesigns of heart attack in women:

Symptoms

Description

Chest tightening

Most women would describe the symptoms of pain as chest tightening, almost as if the muscles are being squeezed together. There can also be a general feeling of heaviness on the chest.

Upper body pain

Pain may be felt in shoulders and neck during a heart attack, but it may also exaggerate to the neck and jaw lines, this is because the nerves and muscles start pulling which leads to pain.

Sleep disorder

Some sleep disorders relate to loss of muscular spasticity during sleep, this occurs because the muscles of the lungs become paralyzed or blocked. This results in apnea or difficulty in breathing. If one is unable to catch his breath even after waking up, chances are that they are suffering from symptoms of heart attack.

Anxiety and stress

Sudden increase in heart beat and profuse sweating is an indication that the heart is overworking and stressing the body as a result. This is perhaps the most common sign of heart attack.

Abdomen pain

In some cases, abdominal pain or stomach painis mistaken when experiencing heart attack; some women assume this pain as heartburn and ignore it.

Apnea

Since the heart is overburdened during heart attack, the body is likely to experience shortness of breath and difficulty in maintaining normal breathing rhythm.

Profuse sweating

Again, because of excessive stress and workout of the heart, heavy sweating is the most likely symptom to be noticed.

Fatigue

Since the heart muscles are weak and hypoxic, the amount of blood pumped to the entire body is also affected.And this affects the nutritional supply to the organs and the overall function decreases, which result in fatigue and tiredness.

What to Do If You Notice Heart Attack Symptoms

  • Once you realize you are experiencing heart attack symptoms, call for people around you. Do not drive to the hospitalbut call for help, and try to catch your breath and do as little activity as possible. Rushing to the hospital especially if you are on your own would only increase the risks of accidents and cause more panic and confusion for yourself. Even if you are not sure about the symptoms, and feel like the room is suddenly very suffocating and you feel pain in your body, call for help, do not wait for something severe to happen or treat it yourself, which would only make the condition worse.
  • If you are witnessing a heart attack, make sure you call for help immediately. If aspirin is available nearby, get the person to chew it as it works quicker than swallow. Next, ensure the person is properly ventilated as his breathing will be likely impaired. In case the person is semiconscious or has fainted and is showing signs of difficulty in breathing, perform a CPR, and if you do not know how to do it, ask help from 911. These steps will ensure that person’s health is well taken care of until the paramedic staff arrives.

How to Lower Risks of Heart Attack

  • Eat healthy. Avoid fatty food and diet rich in sugar. It is best to combine fruits, cereals and vegetables along with controlled portions of meat and fats. Having a balanced diet reduces the risk of heart attack by almost 25%.
  • Exercise regularly and moderately. Exercise is recommended to both healthy individuals and those at risk of heart attack. Half an hour of exercise everyday can reduce the risk of heart attack by 50%. Aerobic exercises, like jogging or even walking,are preferable, but it must be done every day. If continuous exercise is difficult, then the regimen could be split into smaller portions until stamina develops.
  • Take medicine. When a doctor recommends you medicines and you choose not to take it, you are putting yourself at direct risk of even worse episodes.
  • Quit smoking and limit alcohol. Alcohol if consumed in certain controlled amounts may actually help the heart, but overuse puts the person at risk of atrial fibrillation and stroke. Same is the case with smoking since chemicals in the cigarette smoke can harden and damage the arteries of the heart, resulting in atherosclerosis, ischemia and stroke.
  • Lose some weight.High BMI (body mass index) suggests you are at a high risk of heart attack, as it increases the chances of atheroma formation and platelet aggregation that may clog your arteries.
  • Have regular annual checkups. If you are at risk of heart diseases or are overweight, it is best to arrange tests to analyze your heart function. Even if you are not at direct risk, keep up with your annual checkups to monitor your vital organ health.
  • Monitor your symptoms. If you experience new and anomalous symptoms all of a sudden, do not hesitate to inform your doctor about it. It is wiser to treat your disease at an early stage than waiting for it to worsen overtime.

Watch this video to learn more about how to reduce your heart disease risks:

 
 
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