Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States (As per the CDC)
In fact, statistics from the American Heart Association (AHA) show that heart disease kills more women every year than all forms of cancer combined.
This is why it’s important for all women to be aware of the warning signs of a heart attack, even if they don’t think they are at risk.
Some heart attacks occur suddenly, while others develop gradually over time.
According to Mayo Clinic, some individuals experience warning signals several hours or even days before a heart attack.
The good news is that 80% of heart attacks can be prevented if the signs are recognized and treated early.
In this post, we will discuss seven heart attack symptoms that women might miss.
So without further ado, let’s get started!
The seven heart attack warning signs women often miss
1. Chest pain
The first heart attack warning sign is chest pain.
Chest pain can vary from person to person, and it may not always be severe.
Women having a heart attack have reported feeling pain in their chest that is described as:
- A squeezing sensation
- A dull ache
- An uncomfortable pressure
- An aching sensation in the center of the chest
If you are experiencing any type of chest pain, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately.
Don’t wait to see if the pain goes away on its own!
However, if you experience any kind of chest pain, especially if it’s accompanied by shortness of breath, sweating, or nausea, it’s important to seek medical help immediately.
2. Pain in other parts of the body
In addition to chest pain, heart attacks can also cause pain in other parts of the body.
This pain is often felt in the arms, back, neck, stomach, or jaw.
The pain can last for minutes, or it can come and go.
If you experience any pain in these areas, it’s important to seek medical help right away.
3. Shortness of breath
Shortness of breath is another common symptom of a heart attack.
This symptom can occur with or without chest pain.
This happens because the heart muscle was not getting enough blood.
If you are experiencing shortness of breath and it doesn’t go away with rest, then it’s time to call 911.
4. Excessive sweating
Heart attacks can also cause excessive sweating.
This sweating is often not due to heat or exercise, and it may occur even if the room is cool.
During a heart attack, the body releases a hormone called catecholamines.
This hormone causes the heart to beat faster and the blood vessels to constrict.
This can lead to sweating, especially on the forehead and upper lip.
If you are sweating for no apparent reason and it is accompanied by chest pain or shortness of breath, then it’s time to seek medical help.
5. Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting
Dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting are also common symptoms of a heart attack.
These symptoms are often caused by a drop in blood pressure.
Some women experiencing a heart attack describe it as “a feeling of impending doom.”
If you experience any of these symptoms, don’t wait – call 911!
Every second to seek medical help can make a difference.
Many women experience nausea during a heart attack.
This feeling may be accompanied by vomiting and an overall sense of unease.
The nausea is caused by a decrease in blood flow to the stomach.
When the heart isn’t pumping properly, neither is the rest of the body.
However, it’s important to note that not all women experience nausea during a heart attack.
If you are feeling nauseous and it is accompanied by chest pain, dizziness, lightheadedness, or shortness of breath, you better call 911 immediately.
Read more: 8 Tips to Get Rid of Nausea
7. Persistent and severe fatigue
Another heart attack warning sign is fatigue.
This fatigue is often described as feeling “tired all the time” or “exhausted without explanation.”
This feeling may be accompanied by sleep problems, such as insomnia or restless legs syndrome.
The fatigue is caused by the extra work the heart has to do to pump blood through the body.
It’s important to listen to your body and take notice if you are feeling unusually tired.
If this fatigue is accompanied by any of the other symptoms on this list, don’t wait –– see your doctor and find out if you are at risk for a heart attack.
What is the first thing to do if you think you are having a heart attack?
If you think you are having a heart attack, the first thing to do is call 911.
Do not wait – every second counts!
If you can’t get to a phone, have someone else drive you to the hospital.
DO NOT DRIVE YOURSELF!
Heart attacks can be fatal, so it’s important to seek medical help right away if you think you are experiencing any of the warning signs.
There you have it –– the seven heart attack warning signs women often miss.
If you experience any of these symptoms, don’t wait – seek medical help immediately.
Every second counts when it comes to a heart attack!
The sooner you get treated, the better your chances are of making a full recovery.
We hope this article has helped to educate you on the warning signs of a heart attack.
Please share this article with your friends and family to help spread the word about heart attacks in women.
Together, we can help save lives!
Keep on reading: What is a heart attack