Approximately 43.8 million women are currently suffering with some kind of heart disease. Women have more of a chance of dying from a heart attack than all types of cancer combined and they die from heart disease more than do their male counterparts.
You may find it hard to believe this because heart attacks are usually associated more with men. This is the reason why women are at a higher risk; because once they have a heart attack nobody thinks it is a possible culprit.
The most common symptoms of heart attacks are more subtle in women, and they might even associate them to something less serious, like the flu, for instance.
Here are some common heart attack warning signs in women:
1. Unusual Fatigue
You might feel tired most of the time, however severe and sudden fatigue should be taken more seriously. Particularly if it is accompanied by the other symptoms we have listed here.
2. Sweating and Shortness of Breath
This includes breaking out in a cold sweat, which might be dismissed as a flu symptom. Keep track if you experience these symptoms while resting or if they continue to get worse after exercise. If accompanied by chest pain visit your doctor as soon as possible.
3. Pain in Areas Other Than the Chest
During a heart attack the pain doesn’t always occur in the area where the problem exists. Jaw pain, back pain or pain in either arm could be an early heart attack warning.
4. Nausea or Vomiting
These symptoms are often attributed to issues like a stomach bug or some other less severe illness. Women in particular are more likely to experience nausea or vomiting as symptoms of a heart attack.
5. Chest Pressure
Chest pressure for women may not be as intense as for men. It could be an uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness of pain in the center of your chest, or it could be nonexistent altogether. It usually lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back. Some women have described upper back pressure that feels like squeezing or a rope being tied around them.
The Problem of Plaque
A heart attack occurs when the blood flow that brings oxygen to the heart muscle is severely reduced or cut off completely. This happens because the arteries that supply the heart with blood can slowly narrow from a build-up of plaque. Fortunately, there is a way you can prevent and reduce the plaque formation and protect yourself from having a heart attack..
1. Cut Back on Sugar
Consuming too much sugar has a wide variety of negative effects on the body including lowering good cholesterol and increasing triglycerides. This way the sugar increases your risk of a heart attack.
Don’t overdo it, as strenuous daily activity will increase your risk for heart attack, but women who incorporate moderate exercise have a decreased risk of heart attack as compared to women who do not exercise at all.
3. Eat Right
You should eat plenty of fruits and vegetables as well as garlic. Garlic has the ability to reduce the blood pressure, but if you have trouble eating it fresh you can always buy garlic supplements. Curcumin, which is a compound in turmeric, has powerful anti-inflammatory properties that reduce the plaque build-up from the arteries thus reduce the risk of heart attack.
4. Take Supplements
Consume fish oil to help dilate your arteries. This will make it easier for blood to pass through. Vitamin C protects your arteries from damage, Vitamin K prevents against calcification (hardening of the arteries), which could lead to heart attack.
Bottom line: Pay attention to your body and know that it is better to error on the side of caution. If you suspect you are having a heart attack, call 911 and get to a hospital immediately.
For more information on heart attacks in women, watch this video:
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