Heart attacks are life threatening, and there are actually symptoms in women that are different from men. Why does it matter? Well, women are less likely to survive their first heart attack compared to men, and women are more likely to have a silent heart attack than men do. There are other unique factors that can also affect heart attack symptoms and the presence of them, and here, we’ll talk about these symptoms.
Heart Attack Symptoms In Women
This is usually an uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, and tightening or even a fullness within a part of your chest. It typically lasts more than a few minutes, and it tends to go away and then come back.
It can feel achy too, but the thing is, most women can experience this without feeling chest discomfort. Usually, the pain is more near the center of the chest than anything else, and the pain may radiate straight from the chest. What is also a bit worrisome about this is that if you notice it for a second, it may go away, and they’re definitely not the same every single time.
As of note, women who experience an attack will have different symptoms usually during the second one. If you’re not sure whether or not you’re having one, the safest thing for you to do is call 911.
Usually, this chest pain typically feels more like tightness. They also tend to have more blockage to their arteries than men do, and many times, when there is a heart attack, it actually is vessel heart disease or coronary microvascular disease, since this is typically something that is more commonplace then.
Extreme fatigue is another symptom of heart attacks in women. It also happens right before it occurs. This is usually even present in small activities that don’t’ require a ton of exertion as well. It often is a very sudden feeling, and many times, the fatigue is unexplained in cases, and it may come with other symptoms as well. If you feel like you’re struggling to do daily tasks including movement, you need to see a doctor right away.
This is usually shakiness or overall weakness, and usually, it’s an acute symptom that has anxiety, dizziness, fainting, or even feeling lightheaded. It’s quite common, and it’s very short-lived. It often is very short, but in that short period, a heart attack can happen, and in turn, it will cause a lot of problems with the body.
Weakness may be felt all over the body, often accompanied by the extreme fatigue, or it may be weakness in different areas radiating out, such as the arms, legs, or the like. Essentially, if you notice this along with the chest pain and other symptoms, do call 911.
Usually, a shortness of breath when you’re doing nothing that’s really hard on the body, especially when accompanied by fatigue or even chest pain may suggest heart problems. You may feel short of breath when you’re lying down, and usually, you may notice that the symptoms ease when they’re standing upright. Often, it feels like something is shortening of your own breathing, and often, it comes with the tiredness, and weakness of the body.
Sweating is another one. This is excessive, and usually, it’s a normal heart attack symptom that’s present in women. Feeling clammy and cold is another heart problem indicator, so you should be careful as well if you start to notice this.
Many women may have sleep issues weeks before their heart attack. It means that they have trouble falling asleep, feeling tired despite getting enough sleep, or even unusual waking through the night. This is something you may notice weeks before it happens.
7Upper Body Pain
Pain in the arms, jaw, on the upper back, arms, or other areas in the body can happen right beforehand. This is usually not specific, and it can be sudden, and also not attributed to any specific muscle, or even a joint within the upper body. Sometimes, it creates a mare radial pain as well.
This happens after menopause, and usually, it can increase the risk a whole lot more. This is due to falling estrogen levels that happen right after menopause. Usually, it means irregular or rapid heartbeat.
Finally, there are stomach issues, and you may feel pain or pressure within the stomach area right before a heart attack happens. It also may cause other digestive issues including indigestion, nausea, and vomiting too. It definitely is important that if you notice stomach trouble with this, you take time to see to it that the issues are rectified.
This does go with the other points, but usually, there is an extreme pain in one or both arms. During heart attacks, the pain radiates out, and usually, people notice this symptom, and it can be subtle in many cases. This is something that you should keep watch for, and in many cases, if you do notice that there is arm pain that just isn’t going away, this is grounds for concern, and you should see a doctor immediately.
3The Sleeping Killer
Yes, this is called a sleeping killer for a reason. Typically, women feel these symptoms when they’re resting, or even when they are asleep, so if you know that you’re at risk for this, you should definitely see someone for this. Many times as well, this is actually something that occurs due to stress, since you’re already feeling the effects from elevated blood pressure, but then the trauma of a moment can provide a heart attack to you, and this is something you should always be concerned about.
Another issue with this is if you tend to have mental health issues already, and a lot of stress, you may not even realize that you’re damaged until it’s too late. Usually, women go to the ER after the damage has already happened since women tend to downplay their symptoms. That is why, if you think there is a chance that something is going on there, you definitely should go see someone, and if you’re going to the ER, don’t’ drive unless you have absolutely no other option.
When you do get there, you should make sure that you get there quickly, since the treatment for a clogged artery works best within the first hour or so after a heart attack begins. Never think that you’re overreacting, or you should wait and see, and if you feel like there is a chance that the symptoms are too much, and then you should definitely make sure that you do something about this right away.
2Silent Heart Attacks
This is another common problem in women more than men. This is essentially when a heart attack happens that doesn’t cause obvious symptoms, and your doctor may not even notice this until weeks, days, or months after you’ve gotten an electrocardiogram that is used to diagnose what is going on. This can be scary, but in women, it’s something that you can’t really prevent unless you go to a doctor to get the official diagnosis on this.
Now, this happens more commonly in women than men and typically happens more to women that are under the age of 65. These heart attacks typically are those without chest pain. They also are more likely to die than younger men that have heart attacks without chest pain. Now, even more so if you have diabetes, you’re more at risk for this. That is because diabetes changes how pain is sensed, and many times, women that have diabetes are less likely to notice these symptoms until it is indeed too late.
Now, the best thing to do is to go to the doctor as much as you can and get the information that you need right away with this. The right preventative tips will make this so much better for you, and it will, in turn, make it so much better for you. If you feel like you might be at risk for something, it’s in your best interest to get the help that you need immediately, since it will, in turn, make it better for you to handle these heart attack symptoms
Heart Disease Risk Factors
With all of this being said, there are some risk factors that you should always keep in mind in order to see if you’re at risk for a heart attack. While these aren’t always the same, they often are good to know especially if you think you fit any of these.
First is diabetes. If you have diabetes, you’re at a much greater risk, even when compared to men with diabetes.
Stress And Depression
There is also stress and depression. A woman’s heart is much more affected when she’s depressed and stressed. Depression makes it very hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle and follow the correct treatments, so if you notice that you have depression, you should see a doctor regarding it.
There is also smoking. Women, in general, have a much higher risk for heart disease than in men, especially if they smoke.
There is also inactivity. A lack of physical activity is also a major risk for women. Women tend to have a much more inactive lifestyle in some cases, making this a much bigger risk factor than in men. So if you’re not getting out and about, moving around a bit, you should definitely do this.
Another risk factor specifically for women is menopause. When you have menopause, the lowered levels of estrogen mean a significant increase in risk for cardiovascular disease, and it is a risk factor associated with it.
Broken heart syndrome can also literally break your heart. This is brought about by stressful situations that are severe, but usually temporary, however, they do cause muscle failure, especially in the heart. It does occur in women after menopause, and it can also be caused by stress and the like too.
Chemotherapy And Radiation
Finally, chemotherapy and radiation can be used to cause this, and the drugs associated with it do risk the instances of cardiovascular disease, so its best if you think about this, and you make sure that if you are at risk for any of these, then you should definitely keep this in mind.
Is It Just Older Women?
No, it isn’t just older women. Younger women definitely are at risk for this. Women under 65 that have a family history of this do need to keep watch over this. If they do know that their family has a history of it, then it might be in your best interest to talk to a doctor about this, and you should pay even more attention to the risk factors that women have, and you should make sure that you promote healthy lifestyle changes to this. You can, with this especially, make sure that you’re getting the right treatment for your conditions, so that you can prevent heart disease, and in turn, make it worth your while if you’re worried about the potential risks that come with this, and the fact that it may end up hurting you majorly in the long run, and cause problems later on in life.
How Do You Prevent This?
Well, lots of times people think that this is due to the “flu” but it definitely is important to make sure that you see a doctor especially if you think something is wrong. If you feel shortness of breath, almost like you’ve been running a marathon, but you haven’t, you should see a doctor. Really, if you’re in doubt at all, you should schedule an appointment to learn about risks.
There are a few lifestyle activities that you can do too. First and foremost, quit smoking, because it cuts the risk of heart disease by 50 percent. Start exercising, and walking 30 minutes a day can lower the risk. You should also modify your diet as needed. it’s a killer, and you shouldn’t have to worry about that potentially taking you out.