Young Women And Heart Attacks: What You Don't Know Could Kill You

Health & Medical Blog

If you're a young woman, you may think heart attacks are something you don't need to think about until you hit middle age or older. However, young women do have heart attacks. Learning some basic facts about young women and heart attacks could save your life:

The truth

Statistics show that heart disease kills more women than anything else. Younger women are often hesitant to seek medical attention when they experience symptoms of a heart attack. They may feel their symptoms are related to stress or a virus.

Vague symptoms

Not all heart attacks begin with chest pain. Women tend to have symptoms that are vague. Extreme fatigue is a common symptom felt in young women with heart disease. It is also one of the most overlooked symptoms. Fatigue is easy to excuse when you're a young woman with a family and a career keeping you busy.

If your fatigue is caused by a busy life, you should feel refreshed after sleeping. If you suddenly find yourself dragging to get through the day, regardless of how much sleep you get, you should see your doctor. Some women, who experienced heart attacks, had debilitating fatigue for weeks or months prior to their heart attacks occurring.

Nausea and stomach discomfort is another symptom that is easy to ignore. You may feel as if you are coming down with a virus or that you ate something that didn't agree with you. Stomach discomfort that becomes persistent or feels different than you would normally experience warrants a call to your doctor.

Back pain, jaw pain, neck pain, and arm pain are definite red flags that should send you to the hospital. Sometimes the pain is more of a discomfort-type or heavy feeling than an actual pain. Tingling and numbness may also occur.

Feeling faint or lightheaded can occur with heart attacks. Feeling short of breath or experiencing cold sweats may accompany any of the previously listed symptoms or occur alone.

If in doubt, get checked out

One of the biggest mistakes young women make is failure to seek medical attention when time is critical. A blocked coronary artery causes the heart muscle to die. Getting help quickly is vital to prevent further damage to the heart. Once damage to the heart muscle occurs, it cannot be undone.

Not seeking help early when having a heart attack can cause irreversible damage or be deadly. You should never feel embarrassed about erring on the side of caution.

Know your body

Young women aren't the only ones who don't take heart attack symptoms seriously. Unfortunately, some doctors tend to overlook vague symptoms in young women for the same reasons women themselves overlook them.

You know what's normal for your body. If you don't' feel well and suspect something is wrong, be aggressive. Don't be afraid to demand testing or answers. Sometimes you must be proactive when it comes to your health. Nobody knows your body the way you do.

If you are a young women, you shouldn't worry about heart attacks, but you should be aware of what to look for. Your symptoms may possibly be related to your lifestyle, busyness, or lack of sleep. However, when it comes to heart attacks, knowing what symptoms to look for, and taking a proactive approach to your health, could save your life.

To learn more, contact a company like ICE, Institute of Cardiovascular Excellence with any questions or concerns you have.

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17 February 2015

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