We have all seen, in a movie, a man clutching his chest in the beginnings of a heart attack. In reality, a heart attack may not initially be so dramatic. And heart attacks not only strike at men, but it is the number 1 cause of death for women. A modern life filled with stress, poor nutrition and smoking are certainly some of the main causes of heart disease.
Heart attacks may occur when the flow of blood bringing oxygen to the heart is diminished or cut off completely. If arteries that supply the heart with precious blood are severely narrowed by the build up of fat, commonly known as cholesterol, and other materials that form plaque, a heart attack can be eminent.
Some symptoms that women my experience in the beginnings of a heart attack are:
- Chest pressure, although some women my not necessarily experience chest pressure while having a heart attack.
- Back pressure as if they are being squeezed or a feeling that a rope is tightened around them.
- Lightheadedness, cold sweats, nausea or vomiting
- Sometimes fainting
- Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, neck, jaw or stomach
- Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort
- Frequent indigestion
- Fatigue, sometimes waking up tired
- Headaches or periods of blurry vision
- Ignoring symptoms and thinking its just the flu or acid reflux or normal aging
Many of these symptoms can be very early signs of an impending heart attack, but if they come on more frequent with time, it’s time to see your doctor.
Although these symptoms can be related to women, they are basically the same for men. The chest pain and pressure can be more intense for men and the description of an elephant sitting on your chest is often used to describe this discomfort. When having one, or multiple of these symptoms, it should make one realize that now is the time to visit one’s doctor and change your diet, loose weight, stop smoking and in general adjust one’s life style.