Unlike men, women don't usually feel the same symptoms but when they do strike the result can be just as disastrous.
Heart attacks affect both men and women differently. Unlike men, women don't usually feel the same symptoms but when they do strike the result can be just as disastrous, reports Health. That is why women, in general, need to be aware of the many tell-tale signs of an imminent heart attack so that they can spot it early and get the necessary medical help they need. Here, we will take a look at the six most commonly seen signs you need to be aware of.
Chest pain is the most commonly seen heart attack symptom in both men and women, but it affects the latter differently. When it occurs, you will feel a fullness or a squeezing sensation with the pain reverberating all over the chest, not just on the left side. Speaking to Health, Sharonne Hayes, MD and founder of the Women's Heart Clinic, and Cardiologist at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, says one may experience a "feeling like you have an elephant standing on your chest. Regardless of what the symptom is, if it's something new and it's not going away, it's better safe than sorry," she adds.
Another symptom of a heart attack is a sudden or gradual rise in pain in the neck, jaw, teeth, and arms, an occurrence mostly seen in women. When you experience these signs, you will most definitely be awoken from sleep. Besides, the pain tends to wax and wane before becoming too intense for you to bear. "When the heart is being injured, pain can be felt in other areas," says Dr. Hayes. When you feel these non-typical and unexplained pain mostly in the upper part of your body, it's best to call the emergency services. One thing worth noting here is the pain rarely goes below the stomach.
A U.S Department of Health & Human Services Office commission on Woman's Health has pointed out that women are two times as likely to feel indigestion-like symptoms like heartburn, while also experience nausea and vomiting when they get a heart attack. This symptom is likely to present itself in the form of a stomach ache.
Breathing becomes a difficult task when you are about to get a heart attack so much that you will feel like you have just run a full marathon when you've barely moved an inch and the worst part is, it occurs for no apparent reason.
Another symptom of a heart attack in women is that you break into nervous, cold sweats that are typically seen when a person is stressed out. Speaking to WebMD, Dr. Bairey Merz, MD, and director of the Barbra Streisand Women's Heart Center, urges people to "get it checked out" if they aren't used to such perspiration in normal circumstances.
You may feel extremely tired even though you've been sitting in a comfortable position so much that a walk to the toilet will look like a hike up a mountain. In conversation with WebMD, Nieca Goldberg, MD, medical director of the Joan H. Tisch Center for Women’s Health at NYU Langone Medical Center explains the condition as such: "Patients often complain of a tiredness in the chest. They say that they can't do simple activities, like walk to the bathroom."
It is advisable to not do certain things when you feel the symptoms of a heart attack. Here are a few of them:
1. Delaying calling for help: Heart attacks, irrespective of how mild they appear, need to be checked out by a medical professional and careless delays in calling for help can be fatal. A Swedish study points out that people who don't call for help immediately after feeling symptoms tend to reduce their odds of survival.
2. Lay flat on the floor: Although laying down on the floor may feel like the most comfortable position to be in when feeling a symptom, it's ill-advised to do so. You should instead take up a half-seating position with head and shoulder support to ease the pressure on the heart.
3. Wear tight clothing: Tight clothing constricts blood vessels and limits blood flow, which can increase the heart attack symptom from worsening. It is advisable to loosen clothes the moment a symptom is felt.
4. Driving to the hospital by yourself: While it seems like a great way to get immediate help, driving to the hospital all by yourself can have terrible consequences not just on your life but on other commuters as well. Calling the ambulance is your best bet as they arrive quickly and can get you the necessary medical care as you're being taken to a hospital.
Even though women aren't affected by heart attacks at the same rate as men, the devastating nature of the occurrence will no doubt have serious consequences if not heeded to at the right time. So, it's always best to be aware of things you should and shouldn't do if you ever feel the symptoms.Disclaimer : This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.