It is often thought that heart attacks are prominent in men than in women, however, it is the leading cause of death in women.
Most movie scenes portray a heart attack with shortness of breath and clutching chest. However, it may not be that dramatic for women, even though the consequences are deadly. They are also less likely to survive their first heart attack, compared to men.
Women are known to be selfless and put their family’s needs before them. Due to this they may also avoid the signs of a heart attack because of fear or misinterpret it to simple acid reflux.
While there are a few signs of heart attack that are common for both men and women, there are a few exceptional signs for women alone. In this article, let us look at some of the common signs of a heart attack in women.
1. Chest pain
Chest pain is one of the most common signs of a heart attack in both men and women. According to a survey, around 30% of women experienced chest discomfort weeks before a heart attack and over 60% of women experienced chest pains during the attack.
Chest pain can be described as tightness, ache, pressure, or a squeezing feeling in the chest area.
That being said, a woman may experience a heart attack without any signs of chest discomfort or pain as well.
2. Pain in arms, back, jaw, or neck
These kind of pains are more common in women than men. They might be confused with the back, jaw, or neck pains as most people expect pain in arm and chest.
These pains can be gradual or sudden and may come on and off before becoming intense. The pain can be so intense that it may wake you from your sleep.
As the occurrence of pains like these can be confusing, any unexplained pains above the waist must be reported to your healthcare provider. While pains in these regions can mean anything, it can be a sign of a heart attack in women.
3. Stomach ache
Stomach pain can be easily ignored for acid reflux, stomach ulcer or flu, however, can also be a sign of heart attack in women.
It can be felt as heavy pressure on the abdomen rather than acute pain. Other digestive issues induced by this sign also include nausea and indigestion.
Some women have complained about extreme tiredness and the inability to do common daily activities like standing up or walking, moments before having a heart attack.
This fatigue can be experienced even if you have been sitting the whole day or have not done any physically demanding work.
Sweating can be a sign for both men and women, however, it is more common in women. The sweating is more like a nervous breakdown than perspiration for working out.
If you feel that you are not sweating due to temperature or if you do not easily sweat, have it immediately checked by a doctor.
6. Weakness or lightheadedness
Similar to the above signs, weakness is another common sign of heart attack in women. Feeling weak or shaky is a critical symptom of a forthcoming heart attack. The sudden weakness can be similar to an after-feel of an intense run.
It can also be accompanied by other symptoms such as lightheadedness, fainting, anxiety, and dizziness.
7. Disturbed sleep
According to a survey, over half the women have reported disturbed sleep, weeks before they had a heart attack.
Disturbances in sleep may include, being tired even after getting a good night’s sleep, waking up suddenly in the middle of the night, and trouble getting to sleep.
8. Breathing issues
This is a common sign in both men and women. However, in women, it can be either shortness in breath or heavy breathing. Few women have reported that the breathing issue is prominent while laying down and subsides while sitting upright.
The breathing issues may also be accompanied by chest pains and fatigue.
Apart from the above symptoms, women are more prone to heart attacks post-menopause due to the fall in estrogen levels. Some of the common post-menopause heart attack symptoms include:
- Sweating without exertion
- Consistent chest pains
- Rapid heartbeat
- Discomfort or pains in either arms, neck, jaw, or back
The above signs and symptoms may not be visible in all women. It depends on various factors like age, lifestyle, medical history, and condition,
While one must not ignore any unusual symptoms, it is extremely important for women who are under extreme stress and deteriorated health status to make a note of the above signs and Check with a Doctor immediately.
If you are not sure of your symptoms and are wondering if you need to Check with a Doctor or not, you can always contact us on +91 88-00-644-744 for guidance.