Recognizing heart attack symptoms in women is a critical skill that is not as easy as it may appear. The signs of heart attack in females differ significantly from the signs in males. Becoming familiar with the early signals that medical attention is necessary is an important step in getting potentially life-saving treatment.
The Mayo Clinic notes that there is a range of symptoms of heart attack that can vary significantly. The signals differ from one individual to another, and men have different symptoms than women do. Pinpointing heart attack symptoms in women begins with recognizing the general signs of the emergency condition.
Heart Attack Symptoms
Anyone experiencing any of the following symptoms, whether male or female, should get medical attention immediately.
- Chest pain includes severe pain as well as less obvious sensations including, pressure, aching, and a full sensation. The symptom may disappear and reappear.
- Pain or discomfort in other upper body areas can be a sign of heart attack. Sensations may occur in the back, neck, shoulders, and arm and in the lower region of the face. It is important to keep in mind that this discomfort may not be accompanied by chest pain.
- Dizziness may occur to the point where you feel as if you are going to lose consciousness.
- Excessive sweating for no apparent reason can signal a heart attack. The onset is sudden and accompanied by cold, clammy skin.
- Stomach pain resembling heartburn may occur. Many people mistake a heart attack for heartburn.
- Nausea can reach the point that you become ill enough to vomit.
- Difficulty breathing can be frightening as you may feel that you can’t get enough air.
Anxiety is another symptom that may be overlooked. Some people experience overwhelming feelings of dread during the midst of a heart attack. Unfortunately, this symptom along with some of the other symptoms of heart attack resembles a panic attack.
Heart Attack Symptoms in Women
The complexity of recognizing heart attack symptoms in women is the strong connection to other conditions, including panic attack and heartburn. Women may experience any of the typical signs of heart attack listed above, making the condition difficult to detect in some cases. In addition, they may experience symptoms that are unique to women.
Just as with the typical symptoms, women often experience chest pain or upper body pain when they are having a heart attack. The discomfort includes pressure, aching and fullness. However, women are more likely to have the following symptoms than men are. Some are already listed among the typical signs.
- Breathing difficulties
- Abdominal discomfort
- Pain the jaw, neck, shoulder or upper back
- Excessive sweating
- Unexplained fatigue
The differences may seem relatively small, but it is important to note that each person has a unique experience. Men typically experience symptoms similar to heartburn, or chest pain while women may experience more subtle signs. It is critical that proper medical attention is sought if there is any indication that a heart attack is imminent.