Hello SOTGC community,
Did you know that symptoms of a heart attack in women and men differ? When I used to think of a heart attack, I pictured a person (usually a male) dramatically falling to the ground and grabbing at his heart, unable to speak … and I am in the healthcare industry! I could not have been more wrong.
Heart disease is the number one killer of women. Though I knew this fact, I thought it happened to other women, not women in my family. You see, recently, my very healthy grandmother had a heart attack. She has always been active: planning dinner parties, going to church each morning, and vacationing with friends. She is not a typical grandmother. When my mother checked in with my grandmother before going out, she found her wheezing as she laboriously wiped down her countertops, and complaining of strange symptoms. She was extremely tired, had a burning pain across her upper chest, and pressure under both arms and shoulder blades. She had terrible indigestion, which over-the-counter medicines did not help. It was at that point my mother, having an intuitive moment, decided to Google the symptoms of a heart attack in women. The American Heart Association lists the following symptoms on their website www.heart.org:
- Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain at the center of your chest. Lasting for a few minutes or going away and coming back.
- Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach.
- Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
- Other signs, such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, or lightheadedness.
- As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are more likely than men to experience some of the other symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain.
The website also states that if you are having ANY of these symptoms to immediately call 911 or go to the emergency room. Interestingly, the AHA notes that women often think that heart attack symptoms are the flu, normal aging, or acid reflux.
Thankfully, my mother convinced my grandmother to go to the emergency room “just to make sure nothing was wrong.” Grandma left the hospital two days later with a heart stent … and her life.
Tell a woman in your life you love her today by sharing the five symptoms of a female heart attack. Continue the conversation with me on Twitter @ryangreenonline and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100007156953049