When people think of heart attack symptoms, they often think of stabbing chest pain. However, that’s not always how symptoms manifest, particularly in women. The following are serious symptoms that can indicate a looming heart attack. If any of these symptoms are present, consider seeking medical attention.
The most common symptom is chest discomfort, including pain, tightness, squeezing, or pressure. In women, chest discomfort is more likely to feel like pressure or tightness.
Pain isn’t necessarily restricted to the center of the chest. It may be felt at the sides or even in the upper abdomen or back. It can also radiate into your shoulders, jaw, neck, or arms. Remember, anything above the waist could be related to the heart.
Shortness of Breath
Sometimes your body will present symptoms well before an attack. For instance, you may experience shortness of breath during normal activities. If you notice this symptom, your doctor may run blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose tests and administer an EKG.
Feeling Faint, Lightheaded, or Dizzy
Feeling like you’re going to faint or actually fainting are both warning signs of a heart attack or other cardiac issue. This is especially worrying if it happens while exercising.
Sudden sweating can easily be confused with night sweats or hot flashes. However, sweating that indicates a heart attack is particularly extreme, doesn’t go away, or can make it difficult to sleep.
Nausea or Vomiting
Often, women who experience nausea or vomiting think they have food poisoning, gastrointestinal issues, or a bug. However, these are common heart attack symptoms and should be taken very seriously.
New, unexplained fatigue may be a warning sign of a heart attack. However, fatigue can also be a symptom of many other issues, including anemia, depression, thyroid conditions, and even cancer. So even if it’s not a heart attack, it’s still important check in with your doctor.
Research suggests that women often don’t recognize heart attack symptoms simply because they don’t know what they are experiencing. The best thing a woman can do is make herself aware of heart attack symptoms and get checked out immediately if there is a concern.