While you may be aware of the most common signs of heart attack, there are some variances between men and women. In addition, there are also less obvious, but just as import symptoms of which you need to be aware.
The most common symptom of a heart attack for both men and women is persistent chest pain or pressure that does not go away when you sit or rest. If this is experienced, immediate emergency help is required. Even if it is not a heart attack, this could be a symptom of heart disease or other serious problems.
Other symptoms of a heart attack include pain that radiates through the shoulders, back, arms, or jaw. Less intense chest pain accompanied by shortness of breath, dizziness, or nausea should also be taken seriously. These could be signs of a heart attack or something else, but is better to find out immediately.
Women may experience other symptoms not normally associated with a heart attack until recently. Women are more likely to experience the “milder” warning signs such as shortness of breath, dizziness, anxiety, fatigue, and cold sweats. Women may also experience similar signs days or weeks prior to an actual attack. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor to be monitored for heart disease.
Adults of all ages can be affected by heart disease, although many people still consider it to be something that only older adults need to be concerned with. Certain risk factors add to heart disease, including tobacco use, high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Some of these risk factors can be lowered through proper care and exercise. Seek help to eliminate tobacco use, add an exercise program to your daily routine, and change dietary habits to lower cholesterol. If you have diabetes, follow your doctor’s recommendations on taking proper care of yourself and monitor your blood sugar levels on a regular basis.
Lifestyle changes can be difficult, but many resources exist to help you make these changes. Your doctor will have plenty of information on all the major risk factors. You can also find additional information from organizations such as the American Medical Association.
If you find yourself in a situation where you are experiencing the signs of heart attack or warning signs of heart disease, be sure to describe accurately all your symptoms. Some people try to appear “tough” and minimize their symptoms. Others may feel that they are being a bother or overreacting to the symptoms, particularly if they seem mild. However, if your caretakers do not have an accurate picture of your symptoms, they may not be able to diagnose your condition effectively.
This is particularly true of early warning signs and symptoms. It’s much better to address heart disease as early as possible rather than finding yourself needing an emergency quadruple bypass. Of course, genetics play a role, but this is even more of a reason to monitor your health closely and any potential warning signs.
In general, the healthier a lifestyle you can maintain, the better off you are, for both coronary and general health. Be sure to have a complete medical evaluation completed by your doctor, particularly if heart disease runs in your family. Eat a varied diet that includes fruits, vegetables, fish, and healthy oils. Maintain a regular exercise program, and try to keep your weight within a healthy range (your doctor can help you with this as well). Additionally, make an effort to keep your stress levels at a healthy level. When you take care of your health, you can significantly reduce your chances of suffering a heart attack or other coronary disease.