Many of us are aware of the initial symptoms of heart disease. Chest pains are the most obvious indicator, but did you know that signs of a heart attack are different in women than men? Unhealthy lifestyle, inactivity, eating too much junk food or food rich in calories, genetic predisposition and stress are major contributing factors towards getting heart disease. Estrogen, a hormone secreted by the female bodies, exerts a protective influence on the heart as it causes dilation of blood vessels. Certain kinds of heart disease like stroke, congestive heart failure and hypertension are more common in women. Let us look at some of the signs of heart disease in women.
- Unexplained Fatigue
If you are unable to take the stairs or bring in the grocery bags from the car, chances are you could be suffering from heart disease. More women than men suffer from unexplained exhaustion. If there are certain activities that you are unable to do now but could do earlier, go for a checkup.
This is another common sign of heart disease that is more apparent in women than in men. Nausea and lightheadedness occur when the blood pressure dips suddenly. This could happen because of the heart not functioning properly. Do not ignore if you are feeling faint.
- Indigestion or Gassy Pain
Another sign of heart attack, that more women than men experience, is suffering from indigestion or gas-like ache. The nerves of the stomach and the heart are closely related. Don’t ignore this pain or mistake it for stomach troubles. Consult a doctor if you are suspicious.
- Pain In Arms and Jaw
Many women complain of suffering from pain radiating towards the arms and the jaw. Many also feel this pain between the shoulder blades.
- Chest Pain
Both men and women experience chest pain if suffering a heart attack. It could be felt as a numbing sensation, heaviness or as a sense of impending doom.
If you break into a sweat without any reason, you could be suffering from a heart disease. Call the ambulance immediately. Don’t attempt to drive yourself to the hospital.
- Sleep Disturbances
Another sign of cardiac trouble found more in women is disturbed sleep. Sleeping too much or too less or too many breaks in sleep are not good for your heart’s health.
Shortness of breath, even without any exertion, is a marked indicator of heart disease. Some women even start feeling clammy when suffering a heart attack. They feel as if they have run a marathon but they have not even moved a muscle.
Heart disease is more fatal in women than men as women are less likely to consult a doctor or get their symptoms checked. They are also less likely to get their tests done. Early detection of heart disease can lead to earlier control of the situation and therefore, less damage to the heart muscles.