A heart attack occurs when blood flow to the heart is blocked. Earlier, it was mainly thought to be problematic for men only. But nowadays, it is a common cause of death in both men and women. Heart attack symptoms are different in women from that of a man.
When you talk about heart attack symptoms, the first thing that comes to everybody’s mind is chest pain. Over the last couple of decades, scientists have discovered that the symptoms are not always clear cut. It depends on whether you are a male or female, age, and what kind of heart disease you are suffering from.
It is important to dive a little deeper to understand the symptoms that can cause a heart attack in a woman. This can help you learn when and how to help yourself and your loved ones by understanding the signs in women and taking necessary heart attack treatment.
People think that a heart attack occurs suddenly, which is not valid. Researchers have discovered that 80 percent of women start experiencing symptoms 3-4 weeks before an attack. So, let’s explore the symptoms of a heart attack in women:
Most of the time, women are busy with multiple chores like household work, office work, caring for family members and more. It’s quite normal to get tired after doing such a lot of work. But after doing everyday activities, if you happen to get exhausted more than normal, then it could be an early sign of heart attack. Consult a doctor at the earliest.
Difficulty in Breathing or Dyspnoea
With age, few women start gaining weight because of inadequate exercising. This weight gain causes dyspnoea, which is commonly recognized as difficulty in breathing. We can relate these signs with heart attack symptoms when it happens in a specific situation, like difficulty in breathing when you are doing no work, difficulty in breathing followed by sweating, and chest pain.
Chest discomfort is one of the most common causes of heart attack. If your arteries are blocked or you have a heart attack, you may feel pain, have fatigue, and load on your chest. This can be a brief pain or pain at a particular spot. Always remember that even without chest pain also, you can have a heart attack. This is most common in women. Heart attack treatment is necessary if you have any kind of chest discomfort.
Mild or Severe Pain in Both the Arms
Pain in the left arm can lead to a heart attack. Angina caused by less flow of blood in the heart leads to pain in the arm and shoulders. Before a heart attack, you can experience pain in one or both arms.
Jaw and Throat Pain
Pain in your throat and jaw is not heart-related, but if you have pain in your chest that slowly goes up to your throat and jaw, it is one of the signs of a heart attack.
Rattling Noise during Sleep
Making rattling noise during sleep is common. But unusually, loud snoring, which sounds like choking or gasping, is a matter of concern. This choking noise puts extra stress on your heart, which can cause a heart attack in women.
Uneven Heart Beat
It is common when your heart beats fast during any exertion or when you are nervous. But if you also have an uneven heartbeat in a normal situation, then you definitely need to consult your doctor.
Excessive sweating without any reason can become one of the causes of heart attack in women.
Estrogen is said to have a positive effect on flow of the blood to the heart. But studies have discovered that women who experience menopause at an early age have a risk of a heart attack because during menopause, a woman’s natural estrogen level decreases.
Depression and Stress
When women experience depression and anxiety, a rise in blood pressure can be seen in them. In such cases, the blood flow to the heart gets reduced, and the body produces more cortisol, a stress hormone. Over time, these effects can lead to a heart attack in women.
Swollen Leg, Feet, and Ankle
Swelling in legs, ankle, and feet is a classic sign of heart attack in women. When there is no proper blood flow to your heart, blood backs up in the veins of your legs, resulting in swollen legs, ankles, and feet that can cause a heart attack. You can witness some weight gain and abdominal swelling also.
A heart attack is a fatal emergency that calls for heart attack treatment. There are many steps women can take to lower the risk of heart attack. So, look out for these signs and consult your doctor if you experience any of these.