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Do You Know The Symptoms of a Heart-Attack in Women?

Photo by Spencer

(NOTE: This the first of a series of articles dealing with Women’s Health Issues, specifically heart disease, its causes and symptoms.)

Heart Disease is the number one killer of women, but do you know the early symptoms of an approaching heart attack? Learn these symptoms and you could save a life, even your own!

Most everyone who watches a ‘medical-drama’ know the symptoms of a typical ‘male‘ heart attack: Pain in the chest, sweating, pain in the left arm and in the neck. The truth is, no two heart attacks are the same, and attacks on women differ even more.

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. WebMD has compiled a list of these sneaky symptoms , for example:

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.

Stomach pain. Sometimes people mistake stomach pain that signals a heart attack with heartburn, the flu, or a stomach ulcer. Symptoms also can feel like a truck parked on the stomach of the patient.

Shortness of breath, nausea, or lightheadedness.

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.

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: A tiredness located in the chest area.

Knowing your body and paying attention to these symptoms is truly a matter of life and death; it was in our case.

NOTE: I wanted to say a special ‘thank you’ to my wife Moe who let me use her picture while admitted into the Hospital after suffering a cardiomyopathy.


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