Women Beware: Heart Attack symptoms may not be what you think

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Women Beware: Heart Attack symptoms may not be what you think

With Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) now the number one killer disease of women, it is imperative that we know what to watch for and what to do in the event we, or someone we love, experience this tragedy.

The symptom’s for male heart attack are familiar (or should be), but the symptoms show themselves differently in women. Recognizing these signs early could save a life!

• Chest pain or discomfort: A common symptom, but women may feel it as a squeezing (vicegrip-like) or fullness in the chest/torso area, not just on the left side.

• Pain in the arms/back/neck/jaw: Gradual or sudden, this pain may increase or decrease before becoming intense enough to think you need 911. These “above-the-waist” pains should be reported to your health care provider sooner than later.

• Stomach pain: This pain is tricky because you may think you’re having heartburn or indigestion or even getting the flu. If you feel unusual heaviness (as in an elephant sitting on you) in your abdominal area, get it checked out! Better safe than sorry.

• Shortness of breath, nausea or lightheadedness: If you feel like you’ve just finished a marathon, but have not moved off the couch make that emergency call!

• Sweating: Often confused with menopausal hot flashes, take note of all that you’re feeling. Breaking out in a nervous, cold sweat is a common symptom among women experiencing a heart attack.

• Fatigue: Extreme tiredness may be a warning. Some patients have complained of “tiredness in the chest.” Even simple activities wear them out.

No one may experience all the listed symptoms. If anything seems unusual, seek medical attention. Symptoms may appear days, weeks or even months before an actual heart attack. Delaying the check up could result in permanent damage to your heart, or worse, death. We women are gifted with intuition . . . let’s use it to save our lives, or the life of someone dear to us.

Take Care: Reduce your risk of heart attack

• Live a heart-heatlhy lifestyle. Take control of your cholesterol levels, blood pressure and weight.

• Eat plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole-grains, lean protein and omega-3 heart healthy fats. These foods help reduce inflammation in the body (a major contributor to heart disease).

• Stop smoking and limit alcohol. A couple of glasses of red wine may improve digestion.

• Exercise every day. A stroll after dinner helps digestion, elimination, circulation, and stress reduction. More active fitness programs a couple of days each week improve cardio-function.

• Sweet Dreams! Getting 6-8 hours of sound, restful sleep each night allows all body functions to rest, repair and restore.

• Laugh often! Deep belly laughing improves overall health and makes the heart happy. Lighten up and laugh!

• Love-Love-Love. The condition of our emotions greatly affects our physical state. An attitude of gratitude heals many heart issues.

This timely information is a great reminder for all women to share with others in all seasons of their lives. Live fully and be in good health.