Women may have slightly different early heart attack symptoms as compared to men, so it is important to be able to recognize them. Here we have listed seven early warnings, which you should never ignore.
We usually associate a heart attack with chest pain in men. But while this is true to some degree, be warned that when women experience heart attacks, early symptoms can be more subtle than in men.
“Although men and women can experience chest pressure that feels like an elephant sitting across the chest, women can experience a heart attack without chest pressure,” said Nieca Goldberg, M.D., medical director of the Joan H. Tisch Center for Women’s Health at NYU’s Langone Medical Center and an American Heart Association volunteer.
Beware of the following signs:
#1. Chest pain:
This is the most common heart attack symptom, but women can experience it differently than men. It may feel like squeezing or tightness, but the pain could be anywhere in the chest and not just limited to the left side. It might last for a few minutes and come and go.
#2. Body pain:
This type of pain occurs more often in women than in men. It may confuse you if you expect the pain to come from the chest, and not from your arm, back, neck, or jaw, but these symptoms cannot be ignored. The pain can be gradual or sudden and may radiate throughout the body.
Feeling dizzy or lightheaded suddenly could signify having a heart attack; this symptom also occurs more often in women than in men. As Harvard Medical School reports, as many as 39 percent of women experience dizziness during heart attacks.
#4. Temperature rising
A sudden nervous, cold sweat is common among women who are having a heart attack. It is recommended to go see a doctor if you don’t typically sweat like this and if there is no other reason for it. According to Harvard Medical School research, this symptom occurs in 39 percent of women having heart attacks.
#5. Breathing difficulties
You may experience a shortness of breath without any clear cause. “You could feel so short of breath, as though you ran a marathon, but you haven’t made a move,” said Dr. Goldberg. It could be difficult to take a full breath and you may also experience coughing or wheezing.
#6. Flu-like symptoms
If you feel nauseous and vomit, this also could be a result of having pain that radiates down into the abdomen. It could also feel like heartburn. Up to 36 percent of women feel nauseous during a heart attack, according to Harvard Medical School research.
#7. Overwhelming panic
If you feel very anxious and can’t calm down using breathing techniques, then this could be related to a heart attack, too.
It’s enough to have one of these symptoms to be concerned. If you experience one or more of these signs, then please call 911 right away.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.