Every year thousands of families are torn apart by the death of a loved one due to heart attacks. The sad reality is that many of the victims are women who have no idea that what they are experiencing is life threatening, and requires immediate medical attention. Most of us think of the dramatic build up that we see in television and movies where the character grabs their chests and suddenly sink to the floor in a lifeless heap. It may surprise you to know that many female heart attack victims experience NO CHEST PAIN.
Commonly Ignored Symptoms of Heart Attack in Women:
- Pain in the center of the chest that may intensify and then go away. Sometimes it may feel like a constant heavy discomfort, squeezing or fullness.- Often mistaken for indigestion or heart burn.
- Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, neck, back, shoulders, jaw or stomach. It is commonly ignored as being a result of an unknown injury or the aches and pains common to old age.
- Shortness of breath, with or without chest pain. May find that you are easily winded when performing everyday tasks. This symptom is usually seen weeks before the actual “heart attack”, and is easily passed off as “needing more exercise”
- Pounding heart, or change in heart rhythm- may or may not improve with rest- commonly passed off as “getting worked up over something”
- Heart burn, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain- commonly mistaken for a flu, virus or food poisoning
- Breaking out in a cold sweat- commonly mistaken for a hormonal imbalance
- Dizziness or Lightheadedness- passed of as ‘getting up too fast” or “working too much”
- Sleep disturbance- usually ignored as a symptom of worry and stress
- Sudden onset of any of the above symptoms, alone or in combination- usually thought of as being a symptom of a viral infection
Most female victims of heart attack are typically 45 years old or older, may have had several heart related “scares” in the past, may be being treated for diabetes, high cholesterol or high blood pressure. If you THINK you or your loved one may be having a heart attack- SEEK MEDICAL HELP IMMEDIATELY! Every second counts and it is better for your loved one to be checked out by a medical professional and given a clean bill of health, than to ignore the symptoms and lose their lives.
Personal Note: Please share this article with others, my mother, suffered a heart attack last year. The symptoms were ignored by her for days because she thought that “her stomach was acting up due to stress”. Her friend saved her life while they were out shopping because she knew the information I just shared with you and insisted that my mother go to the hospital instead of going home. In spite of my mother’s strong protests, she went to the hospital and we are so glad she did, she was told that she would have died that night if she had not gotten the medical attention she needed. What she thought was an “upset stomach” due to anxiety, turned out to be a life threatening heart attack.