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Sunday, January 10, 2016

A woman's symptoms are different...How you know if you are having a heart attack


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. And remember heart attacks are not necessarily age specific. Women in their twenties are vulnerable too. Be aware of the following symptoms:
  1. Chest pain or discomfort. Chest pain is the most common heart attack symptom, but 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. It's usually very uncomfortable, like a vise being tightened.
  2. Pain in your arm(s), back, neck, or jaw. 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 wax and wane before becoming intense. If you're asleep, it may wake you up. You should report any "not typical or unexplained" symptoms in any part of your body above your waist to your doctor.
  3. 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.
  4. Shortness of breath, nausea, or lightheadedness. 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. It can feel like you have run a marathon, but you didn't make a move.
  5. Sweating. Breaking out in a nervous, 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.
  6. 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. Patients often complain of a tiredness in the chest. They say that they can't do simple activities, like walk to the bathroom.
Not everyone gets all of those symptoms. If you have chest discomfort, especially if you also have one or more of the other signs, call 911 immediately. Get an ambulance. Do not, under any circumstances, drive yourself to the hospital.


Heart Tests Your Doctor May Recommend :
Preventing a heart attack is a lot easier when you -- and your doctor -- know exactly what's going on in the vessels that carry blood throughout your body. Are they blocked with plaque or free-flowing? To find out, your doctor may recommend a high-tech imaging test that shows a clear image of your arteries.
Prevention of heart disease should start much earlier on than when you are already having symptoms. In future articles we will discuss many ways and means to keep your heart healthy and also about lifestyles after a heart attack.
Feel well and stay healthy.
Maxy

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