Some Heart Attacks are sudden and intense… but most heart attacks start slowly with mild pain or discomfort.
Although men and women can experience chest pressure that feels like an elephant sitting on the chest, women can experience a heart attack without any chest pressure. A women may experience shortness of breath, pressure or pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen, dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting, upper back pressure or extreme fatigue. Even when the signs are subtle, the consequences can be deadly.
Even though heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, women often chalk up the symptoms to less life-threatening conditions like acid reflux, the flu or normal aging. Women are generally more scared and put their families needs first so treatment is delayed or symptoms ignored.
Here are warning signs that shouldn’t be ignored:
- Chest Discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable Pressure, Squeezing, Fullness or Pain.
- Discomfort in areas of the Upper Body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both Arms, Back, Neck, Jaw or Stomach.
- Shortness of Breath with or without Chest Discomfort….not necessarily Chest Pain.
- Breaking out in a Cold Sweat, Nausea or Lightheadedness.
- Women are more likely than men to experience shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting and back or jaw pain.