[tag]Heart disease[/tag] is the number one killer of women, yet many women don’t know what to look for and expect. Many women think that heart attacks are something suffered mostly by middle aged, overweight smokers and are always accompanied by severe crushing pain in the chest. In fact the early heart attack symptoms in women are often different than those symptoms more commonly found in men, and if you don’t know what to look for, you may not even realize that you’ve had a heart attack.
Symptoms During Heart Attack
The symptoms most often associated with [tag]heart attacks[/tag] are severe pain or tightness in the chest, along with shortness of breath. While these are the most common symptoms in men, many women may never even experience chest pain. Rather, the early heart attack symptoms in women tend to be more focused on the secondary symptoms. Women are more likely than men to experience nausea, shortness of breath, and fatigue during heart attacks, so it’s easy to mistake a heart attack for something else.
Symptoms Before Heart Attack
One of the advantages of knowing the early heart attack symptoms in women is that you may even be able to detect a problem before you have a heart attack. The most common symptom that women experience leading up to a heart attack is extreme and unexplained fatigue. Other early heart attack symptoms to look for before a heart attack are sleep disturbance and extreme anxiety. If you have been experiencing these symptoms, particularly if you are at risk for heart attack, you should see your doctor as soon as possible.
What To Do If You Experience Symptoms
If you have experienced any of the common early heart attack symptoms in women, you should see your doctor immediately. The only way to detect whether you’ve actually had a heart attack is through a series of tests, including an EKG to detect any abnormalities in your heart functioning and a blood test to detect elevated enzyme levels that may be a result of heart attack. He or she will then give you a plan of what to do next, in terms of medication, diet, and exercise.
Even if you have experienced some of the early heart attack symptoms listed above, there is no need to panic. Fatigue, nausea, and shortness of breath can all have other causes which are unrelated to heart disease. However, if you have reason to believe that you have had a heart attack, make sure to see your doctor immediately. Knowing the early heart attack symptoms most common in women will help you to take control of your own health and life.