Wearing red in February is a reminder of women and heart health, at any age, because heart attacks are the number 1 killer of women! Because the signs are so subtle in women, they are often ignored.
Many people don’t realize that women’s symptoms for a heart attack can differ from those of men. In the month of February we celebrate the heart and in doing so we need to understand not only how to stay heart healthy but know the signs of a heart attack.
Women’s Symptoms for Heart Attack
- Jaw pain – many times women have been known to actually hold off taking action of jaw pain and making a dental appointment to see what is causing their jaw to ache. Luckily, dentists are trained to realize that this can also be a symptom of a heart attack when they see no signs of dental issues.
- Indigestion – it’s a simple sign that most ignore; associating it with eating too quickly, eating something that didn’t agree with our stomach or simply “one of those things.” If you have any question at all that this particular indigestion is just “different” better safe than sorry – get help.
- Fatigue – due to the lack of blood flowing properly through the body, lack of oxygen can cause the body to feel fatigued. There’s a difference between “tired” and fatigued; being fatigued means it’s literally an effort to simply move.
- Heaviness of the chest/chest pain – while common in both sexes during a heart attack, it is often not a symptom that many women experience.
- Sore Throat – much in line with the jaw pain, because of the pain in the mouth/jaw area the throat can feel sore. Especially if a sore throat comes on without other signs of a cold or sinus issues it’s important to get checked quickly.
- Arm Pain – a common pain associated with a heart attack, arm pain (especially in the left arm) can be very intense or it can be more like a dull ache. No matter what the pain feels like, if you suddenly feel pain in your arm, seek help.
- Nausea – it’s hard to tell during flu season if you simply have the flu or you could be having a heart attack and a number of women have commented “I thought I had the flu” more times than not. It’s important to listen to your body.
- Shortness of breath – there’s no question as to what shortness of breath is like when having a heart attack. When you are finding it difficult to breathe, especially when no physical exertion is happening, you need to seek help.
See what happens during a heart attack with this video by the AHA. Know the signs and take action even if you have some doubt; it’s better to be wrong than to unnecessarily be the victim of a heart attack.
Beginning a heart healthy lifestyle can increase your quality of life at any age. However, should you or someone you love be recovering from a heart attack or stroke hiring a caregiver from a highly regarded caregiving business to provide in home caregiving can help immensely.
Photo by flickr4jazz