Sometimes the onset of a heart attack can show itself. Many people suffer from tightness in their chest, deep internal pain, and usually end up with collapse and gasping for breath. Or that’s how it is portrayed in the movies. Signs and symptoms of an approaching heart attack, however, do not always occur, especially in women.
Chest pain is the most common symptom associated with heart attacks, but it is not the only one. You may not even notice many of the other symptoms or just write them off as something else. Heart attacks occur when the blood that carries oxygen to your heart is reduced or cut off, caused by an accumulation of plaque. Read along to find out more about the very subtle signs of a heart attack for women.
1. Burning or aching feelings
It is especially common that you have burning, painful or tingling feelings along your back, shoulder blades or arms; almost everywhere except your chest. Many women may write this off as a muscle gain or strain.
2. Nausea/Indigestion/Heartburn/Stomach Pain
Of course, it should be obvious that any kind of stomach pain or chest pain can be caused by other things, such as overeating or eating too much acidic food. But keep this in mind if you ever have the feeling that it might be something else. Women are also more likely to experience this symptom than men.
3. Throat or jaw pain
Pain or pressure that starts in the middle of your chest and travels to your throat and jaw can be a sign of an approaching heart attack.
4. Excessive snoring
Although it is quite normal to snore a little while you sleep (even if you don’t usually snore), excessive snoring accompanied by gasping or choking halfway through sleep can be a sign of sleep apnea. This in turn puts a lot of pressure on your heart.
5. An ongoing cough
Usually a persistent cough is not a problem, but if you have had a heart condition in the past, pay close attention to random outbursts of chronic cough. If you get a long-term cough that produces a white or pink mucus, this may be a sign of heart failure.
6. Swollen legs/feet/ankles
If you notice that your legs, feet or ankles are swollen, this may be a sign that the blood is not pumping as effectively as it should be. When the heart cannot pump properly, it enters the veins and causes an extra bloated feeling. Moreover, heart failure makes it extra difficult for the kidneys to remove the extra water in the system, causing it to swell even more.
7. Irregular heartbeat
If you feel that your heart regularly beats, seek medical help immediately. It may be a sign of atrial fibrillation, which requires treatment.
8. Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
Feeling dizzy or light-headed, accompanied by a sudden unpleasant feeling on the chest, may be the first sign of an oncoming heart attack. This is the time to call 911 immediately.
Keep in mind that if heart disease occurs in your family, you can always keep an extra eye on your heart health as you get older. No matter what age or gender you are, anyone can be prone to heart attacks and it is important to know all the signs and symptoms to receive timely medical care!
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