Heart attack warning signs can vary from person to person, and they may not always be sudden or severe. Always bear in mind, act immediately. Some people wait too long because they don’t recognize the important signs and symptoms of a heart attack. Therefore, it is crucial to remember that a person’s survival depends largely on how quickly they reach the hospital. Take Care.
It is not surprising that the most common causes of heart attack comprises of lifestyle issues, eating habits, blood pressure and cholesterol levels, weight and stress issues, and diabetes.
Below mentioned are some of the major causes of a heart attack:
- Coronary Artery Disease: The underlying cause of most heart attacks. This is a result of a build-up (collectively called as plaques) of cholesterol and other substances in the artery. One of these plaques can rupture and spill out cholesterol and other substances (plaque) into the bloodstream causing blood clots that block the coronary artery. Studies show that one-fifth of the deaths in India are caused due to coronary heart disease
- A spasm in the coronary artery: This shuts down the blood flow to the heart muscle causing a heart attack. Drugs like cocaine can cause such a life-threatening spasm.
- A tear in the heart artery: A heart attack can also occur due to a tear in the heart artery (spontaneous coronary artery dissection). Coronary Embolism—a condition, in which small blood clots or tumors travel from other parts of the body to the artery—is an uncommon cause of heart attacks.
- Decreased Blood Flow to the Heart: When blood flow to the heart is severely decreased, in the case of extremely low blood pressure (shock), it can lead to a heart attack.
- Family history: Your chances of having a heart attack are higher if you have a family history of heart disease or a history of cigarette smoking, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and obesity.
Many factors are responsible for a heart attack, some of which include- High blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, family history of heart attack, alcohol consumption, smoking, stress, and lifestyle.
A heart attack occurs when a blood clot blocks the blood flow to the coronary arteries.
The warning sign or symptoms of a heart attack in women may not be always the same as men.
Women may experience different symptoms that are typically not linked to a heart attack.
7 Common symptoms of a heart attack in women
- Dizziness– Often, the first symptoms of a heart attack are accompanied by a feeling of dizziness or lightheadedness, as the brain is not getting enough oxygen because the blood flow to the brain is interrupted
- Chest Pain-The symptoms of a heart attack in women don’t always have to be chest pain; some women may experience it differently. Sometimes the symptoms can come as Nausea, indigestion, and vomiting, or abdominal pain. However, chest pain is the most recognizable symptom for a good reason. You may experience pressure or tightness in your chest area. This is mainly because of the blockage of the arteries that supply the oxygen-rich blood to your heart and other parts of your body
- Difficulties breathing or shortness of breath– this can be a frightening experience. You may not able to breathe deep enough, as your heart is unable to pump enough blood to supply oxygen to your body
- Sometimes, the symptoms can be confusing, as the pain can occur in your arms, back, neck, and jaw. You need to rule out the diseases. If the pain is in your jaw and constant, then it is likely to be a dental problem. However, if it is intermittent and gets worse upon the sweat, then it’s doubtless connected to heart diseases
- Cold sweat- This type of sweat doesn’t usually come due to physical activities or by heat. It’s commonly occurred because of stress, anxiety, panic, and medical conditions. Cold sweat is also referred to as night sweats. You may wake in the night and find your bedclothes and bedding drenched. Medically this kind of sweats is called Diaphoresis. This happened because pumping blood through blocked arteries takes a lot of effort from your heart. Therefore, your body can experience cold sweat throughout the additional work. Don’t neglect the symptoms; contact your doctor for help immediately, if you experienced this
- Fatigue– When women have a heart attack, they can’t do even simple activities. You may face difficulties even getting up or simply too weak to do anything. It can be caused by decreased blood flow to the brain. If your heart does not pump enough oxygen that your body requires for energy, then it will not fuel your organs. Therefore, you will be weak and exhausted
- Anxiety or stress– When someone is under stress it interferes with the normal heart function and increases the risk of a heart attack. New research indicated that women are more likely to experience anxiety. This may be because their lives are so pressured of sexual trauma and rape, or any other frightening incident. According to a cardiologist at the Baylor Heart Hospital, while estimating a woman’s risk for heart disease, they concluded that divorce women appear to have a higher risk of heart attack then who are not, probably they are more likely to have an unhealthy relationship and more stressful in their lives. Young women are more likely to suffer a heart attack if they suffer from depression
Many women ignored the symptoms before actually realizing that their heart was under stress.
Heart disease is the no. 1 killer of women and it is estimated that it kills more people than all the forms of cancer together.
Therefore, if you notice any above warning signs, then it’s highly advisable to contact your doctor straight away and save yourself.
The statements made on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and represent the opinions of the authors. The authors are not medical doctors and do not engage directly or indirectly in diagnosing disease, dispensing medical advice, or prescribing the use of any products or services as treatment for sickness or disease. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a qualified medical professional.