Women: Don’t Ignore These 3 Subtle Heart Attack Symptoms
Although chest pain is the most common symptom of a heart attack, women can experience other, more subtle symptoms that aren’t related to chest pain at all. Cardiologist Dr. Leslie Cho explains what to look for and how to tell if they’re benign or cause for concern.
1. Unusual fatigue
You are probably tired all of the time, but Dr. Cho advises that you pay attention to fatigue if it is new or dramatic. Look out for: You are suddenly exhausted after exercising, or you have fatigue or a “heavy” chest.
2. Sweating and/or shortness of breath
Shortness of breath can signal a heart problem if it is accompanied by other symptoms such as chest pain or fatigue as women age due to a lack of exercise and gradual weight gain.
3. Neck, jaw, back pain
Pain in the jaw, back, or arms could indicate a heart problem. Pain in the lower or upper back often originates in the chest and spreads to these areas. Women, in particular, can experience pain in either arm, not just the left, as many men do.
What to do if you notice symptoms
Take note of any of these symptoms and see your doctor as soon as possible; the sooner you report a problem, the better your chances of catching it before it becomes a full-fledged heart attack.
When you see your doctor:
Your doctor will likely listen to your symptoms and check your pulse and blood pressure, as well as order blood work to see if your heart has been damaged. Echocardiograms can view images of the heart to see if damage has occurred.
When to call 9-1-1
If you’re having trouble breathing or experiencing other symptoms like fullness, indigestion, or choking, seek medical help right away.
What are the first signs of a heart attack in a woman?
Females may experience any of the following symptoms as a result of a heart attack:
- Pain and discomfort in the center or left side of the chest that may go away and return.
- Weakness or lightheadedness.
- Shortness of breath.
- pain in the jaw, back, or neck.
- pain in one or both arms.
What are the 4 silent signs of a heart attack?
The good news is that knowing these four silent signs of a heart attack can help you prepare.
- Pain, pressure, fullness, or discomfort in the chest.
- Pain in other parts of the body.
- Difficulty breathing and dizziness.
- Nausea and cold sweats.
How long can a woman have symptoms before a heart attack?
However, research suggests that women have symptoms for several weeks before a heart attack; a 2003 study of 515 women who had had a heart attack found that 80% of them had at least one symptom at least 4 weeks before their heart attack.
Can a woman have a heart attack and not know it?
Can you have a heart attack and not realize it? Yes, a heart attack can occur without a person being aware of it, which is why it is referred to as a “silent” heart attack.
What happens right before a heart attack?
Pressure, tightness, pain, or a squeezing or aching sensation in your chest or arms that may spread to your neck, jaw, or back. Nausea, indigestion, heartburn, or abdominal pain. Shortness of breath are all common heart attack signs and symptoms.
Does your body warn you before a heart attack?
The most common symptoms of abdominal pain before a heart attack are empty or full stomach nausea, feeling bloated, or having an upset stomach, which can affect both men and women. Abdominal pains before a heart attack are episodic, easing and then returning for short periods of time.
What are the signs of an unhealthy heart?
- Heart problems are the leading cause of death in the United States.
- Aching in the Shoulder and Chest.
- Snoring and Sleeping Problems.
- Difficulty With Sexual Function.
- Irregular Heartbeat.
- Sore Gums and Jaw, Mouth Problems.
- Puffy Legs and Feet.
What does a heart blockage feel like?
When the heart is asked to work harder due to a blockage in the blood supply to the heart muscle caused by coronary artery disease, the heart “cries out in pain,” but the pain is not always felt in the chest; it can also be felt in the shoulders, arms, back, jaw, or abdomen.
Is it gas or heart attack?
u201cIf the pain goes away after you belch or pass gas, it could just be stomach pain or heartburn,u201d said Joseph Lash, M.D., cardiologist at Norton Heart and Vascular Institute. u201cIf the pain persists and you have shortness of breath or nausea, it could be a heart-related issue.u201d
Is it a heart attack or anxiety?
Shortness of breath, chest tightness, sweating, a pounding heartbeat, dizziness, and even physical weakness or temporary paralysis are common symptoms of panic attacks, and both conditions can be accompanied by shortness of breath, chest tightness, sweating, a pounding heartbeat, dizziness, and even physical weakness or temporary paralysis.
What is the most common age for a woman to have a heart attack?
Heart attacks are more common in women after the age of 50, with one occurring every 34 seconds. But how much do you really know about your heart health?
What does angina feel like in a woman?
Angina symptoms in women can include shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, or sharp chest pain, which will subside once the extra demand for blood and oxygen is removed.
Can you survive a heart attack without going to the hospital?
No, there is no quick way to stop a heart attack without seeking emergency medical attention at a hospital. You can find many “quick” heart attack treatments online, but they are ineffective and may be dangerous by delaying emergency medical attention.
Is burping a sign of a heart attack?
Because belching, chills, and fatigue do not appear to most patients to be symptoms of a heart attack, many sufferers do not seek medical help or delay it, which can result in permanent heart muscle damage or even death.
How can you test for a heart attack at home?
Place your index and middle fingers on the inner wrist of the other arm, just below the base of the thumb, and count how many taps you feel in 10 seconds. Multiply that number by 6 to get your heart rate for one minute.