While heart attacks are commonly experienced by men and women, the symptoms experienced by them are different. Symptoms of a heart attack in women are much more subtle as compared to signs of a heart attack when experienced by men.
Many women even compare the symptoms of a heart attack to the flu or acid reflux. Hence it is important to be able to recognize the symptoms of a heart attack and be able to distinguish them from symptoms of other less fatal conditions.
Some of the characteristic symptoms of a heart attack that a woman should look out for are:
- Discomfort or chest pain: Chest pain is one the characteristic symptoms of a heart attack but this is not experienced in the same way by me and women. While men may feel pain in the left side of their chest, women can feel pain in any part of their chest. This may be accompanied by a feeling of the chest being squeezed in a vise.
- Pain in the jaw, neck, arms and back: Men consider pain in the chest and left arm to be a symptom of a heart attack but women can experience this pain in their jaw and back as well. This pain can develop gradually or come on suddenly. It may also wax and wane before it becomes intense. In some cases, this pain can even wake you up from a deep sleep. Hence, do not ignore any unexplained pains in the upper part of your body.
- Stomach ache: A stomach ache is one of the most subtle signs of a heart ache. This may feel similar to that caused by heartburn or a stomach ulcer. It may also feel like a great weight is on your stomach.
- Shortness of breath: Feeling lightheaded or having trouble breathing even when you are not exerting yourself could be a sign of a heart attack. At times this could also make you feel like throwing up. This symptom is usually also accompanied by one of the other more characteristic symptoms of a heart attack.
- Excessive sweating: Perspiration as a symptom of a heart attack is not the same as perspiration caused by exercise. When sweat is a symptom of a heart attack, it is more of a cold sweat that can be compared to the sweat caused by stress. If you do not sweat heavily but suddenly find yourself sweating excessively, you should not ignore it but consult a cardiologist immediately.
- Tiredness: Feeling tired even when you haven’t exerted any energy can be a sign of a heart attack. Sometimes, this fatigue can be so much that it can keep a woman from even moving from the chair to the bed.
It is, therefore, advised to not ignore any above-mentioned symptoms and see a doctor immediately; stay healthy and stay happy!
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