Heart Attack Warning Signs In Women
This article is dedicated to my dear friend Johanna who passed of a sudden fatal heart attack in November of this year. She was a wife, a mother, a practicing Registered Nurse, and a deeply loved friend to many. She will be missed.
50% Of Women Suffering A Heart Attack Won't Call 911
I really feel that the topic of women's heart attacks, strictly belongs to just women. How we display symptoms, what those symptoms are, and how we react to all of the warning signs our body sends out, is far different than how our male counterparts encounter the problem. The belief that crushing chest pain and a numbing arm are the predominant indicators for a heart attack has surely killed more females than I care to think about. Why? Because these symptoms are rarely—if at all—the sign of a heart attack in a woman!
Women Don't Realize It's A Heart Attack
Men and women experience heart attack symptoms differently. It is these differences that I hope to clear up. Knowing the warning signs of a heart attack for any woman can save her life. But, she has to be willing to dial 911 in order to save that life! And, as we all can imagine, women are less likely to dial that all important number without a deep belief that we are in dyer need of immediate medical help! "It can't be a heart attack, my arm doesn't hurt and I don't have crushing chest pain." Many women have spoken these final, and fatal last words.
Women's Heart Health Resources (.gov & .org)
- Mayo Clinic On Woman and Heart Attacks - Deeper understanding of symptoms and risk factors.
- Women's Health Resources for Heart Attacks - Dedicated to empowering women to live a healthier and longer life.
- Heart Healthy Women - Links to women's heart health information.
- Sister to Sister - The women's heart health foundation and resource guide.
Heart Attacks In Women
One might think breast cancer to hold the role of being the most deadly health issue for women; surprisingly, heart disease has become the #1 killer of women in the USA. When beginning this article, as with any hub, I had to pick a topic section to place it within. I went to the topic section and scrolled down to "Health" then chose "women's Health." I fully expected to find the next choice to be "heart disease" or "women's heart problems" or anything to do with our circulatory system. It was very telling to discover this important system was not listed at all. Unless I wanted to write about it under the general topic of diseases and disorders—which I did not—I was willing to place the article under women's issues rather than generalize such a female specific health concern.
Heart Attack Fact For Women
Following the first heart attack, if changes to lifestyle are not managed, the next 5 years bring higher probability for a second, and more dangerous episode.
Women Specific Heart Attack Warning Signs
6 Signs Of A Heart Attack In Women
- PAIN - Unlike men, women are more likely to experience pain in the jaw, chest, center of back, right breast near center of chest, neck, intense pain that radiates in both arms or biceps, chest pressure that is not necessarily pain, strong heaviness-like pressure in chest (like a brick is on your chest), abdominal pain.
- Sweating - Unusual or excess sweating, or sweating not associated with exertion.
- Nausea - Nausea and indigestion that won't go away with an antacid (within minutes), nausea caused by sudden exertion, vomiting that feels unnatural.
- Fatigue - Tired just going up stairs, notable difference in energy level, too tired to do normal daily activity, sudden need for nap, overall sense of fatigue.
- Dizziness / Lightheaded - off balance, dizzy, dizziness that doesn't go away when you sit and close your eyes.
- Shortness Of Breath - Trouble talking while walking, can't catch your breath.
High Heart Attack Risk Factors For Women
Genetic Risk Factors
Everyone pretty much understands that our genetic make-up has much to do with our health and well-being. Some of the primary genetic factors to be aware of are as follows;
- history of heart problems in family
- being overweight (men or women)
- age (+55 in women creates a higher risk factor)
- gender (if your mother and other female family members have heart issues, so might you)
- body shape/type (build weight around belly and hips)
Lifestyle Risk Factors
Even if we are predisposed to certain risk factors genetically, we still can maintain some measure of control over our heart health. A few lifestyle concerns play a significant role in just how healthy we women can keep our beating hearts.
- Belly Fat - This type of fat in particular releases toxic chemicals into the body that cause heart problems. If you weigh more than 20-lbs over your high school weight, the risk factor increases by 50%.
- Unhealthy Diet - Packaged processed foods are a huge contributor to heart disease. The additives in many of these foods has a devastating effect on our hearts.
- Sedentary Lifestyle - By not staying active, all of the other risk factors increase. Your heart health hinges on this one factor.
- Smoking - There is just nothing good that smoking brings to the heart health table...basically, you are systematically killing yourself.
- High Blood Pressure - Excess pressure on vessels causes damage.
- Stress - Increases chemical spills into the bloodstream that trigger other systems to stay in an escalated condition, causing damage and free radical activity.
- Bad High Cholesterol - Blocks smooth blood flow, plaque breakage released into the bloodstream causes scabbing inside the arteries that closes off blood flow to the heart.
At Heart® Emergency Dispenser Kit
Don't Leave Home Without It
There is a new and fantastic emergency product on the market for heart attack help, it is the At Heart® Emergency Dispenser Kit, this thing is around $10 and can be a real life saver. Almost every bit of research indicates that by chewing an aspirin at the very first sign of a heart attack or episode can assist in saving your life. By having this handy key chain style dispenser at the ready, you have a very good chance of helping yourself, a loved one, or a friend to enjoy more of what life has planned for them in the future. This little dispenser is uniquely designed and patented to offer you the fastest available aspirin dose during any heart emergency. Don't leave home without one!