When we think of heart attack, we imagine a man clutching his heart and falling over dead.
Well, did you know that MORE WOMEN DIE OF HEART ATTACK THAN MEN???
Yep. It's true. And while symptoms could include chest pain, most women experience vague symptoms that are not immediately attributed to heart attack.
We all know the factors that raise the risk of heart attacks...
- Smoking tobacco
- Sedentary lifestyle
- High blood pressure
- Low HDL and high LDL cholesterol
- Overweight and obesity
But how do you know you're having one? Sure, chest pain will tell you. But the location of the pain actually depends on which part of the heart is being affected. And the pain can feel like something else such as a stomach cramp, indigestion, a headache or pulled muscle.
Sounds like aches we women so very easily dismiss everyday, doesn't it?
Here are symptoms of a heart attack that women should never ignore
- Pressure, tightness and squeezing pain across the chest
- Pain radiating down the arm, shoulders, jaw, neck, and back, particularly on the left side
- Shortness of breath
- Dizziness, sweating, weakness, overwhelming fatigue
- Feeling of impending doom
- Headache, blurry vision, lightheadedness, feeling faint
- Gastrointestinal symptoms such as indigestion, nausea and vomiting
- Coughing and palpitations
Scary isn't it?
What could we do about it?
Here is Dr. Oz's advice for preventing heart attacks
- Learn your risk
- If you smoke, stop
- Perform moderate exercise for at least 20 minutes on most days
- Eat a heart-healthy diet low in saturated fat and high in fruits, vegetables nuts and legumes
- Maintain a healthy weight and waist
- Control high blood pressure
- Manage abnormal cholesterol
- Control high blood sugar
- Drink alcohol in moderation
- Practice stress reduction techniques
- Maintain a good balance between personal and professional life
- Be vigilant about taking medications to control risk factors
- Take one aspirin daily if you are in a high risk category
So, take care of your heart. It's more vulnerable than you think.