The American Heart Association is focusing on raising awareness that heart disease is the #1 killer of women!!! They kick off the month encouraging women to support the Go Red for Women Day to raise awareness that heart disease is the #1 threat for women. What really is important for women to know are the signs and symptoms of a heart attack and stroke can be different for women than for men.
Knowing these differences could save your or some other woman’s life…
Symptoms such as sweating, pressure, nausea, jaw pain, lightheadedness, shortness of breath without chest discomfort are all symptoms of a heart attack in women and yet are often ignored or thought to be nothing serious like stress, flu or just feeling under the weather. (Men might have these too but they are more frequent in women.)
The more common symptoms that should also call for quick action include:
- an uncomfortable pressure, fullness or pain in the center of your chest that lasts more than a few minutes – or goes away and comes back again
- pain or discomfort in one or both arm, the back or neck.
Recognizing any of these as warning signs, acting quickly and getting the woman the medical help needed can save a life.
Doctors would rather women take heed to these warning signs and seek medical attention immediately than procrastinate and be sorry!
If you or a woman you are with experience any of these signs or symptoms – don’t wait – call 911 for help. Do NOT drive yourself or have someone drive you to the hospital unless you have no other choice. Stay calm and take deep, slow breaths while you wait for emergency responders.
As women, we often think this couldn’t happen to us, but play it safe. Don’t misdiagnose the symptoms of a heart attack just because you think it couldn’t happen to you.
Quick action is also important if a woman shows any of the signs of stroke – here again minutes matter. A good way to remember the common warning signs of stroke is FAST.
F – Face – if you notice a droop or uneven smile
A – Arm numbness or weakness – ask them to raise arms if drops down quickly or isn’t steady – get help
S – Slurred speech – ask them to repeat something – if has difficulty – seek help
T – Time to act fast if someone is experiencing any of these symptoms.
However women can have unique symptoms of a stroke also. These include fainting, general weakness, shortness of breath, confusion or unresponsiveness, sudden behavioral changes, irritation, hallucination, nausea or vomiting, seizures or hiccups.
Act fast and call 911 for any of these sign or symptoms. Also note the time the symptom started – speedy treatment can improve chances of full recovery.
Remember cardiovascular disease can cause a narrowed or blocked blood vessel which can lead to heart attack or stroke. It is important for all women to realize that the signs and symptoms for women can vary from the common ones we often think of around heart attacks and stroke.
According to the American Heart Association, nearly 80% of cardiac events can be prevented – yet cardiovascular disease still remains the biggest health risk for women!
As women, we often put taking care of others before ourselves. If we don’t take care of ourselves first, then who will?
It’s important we make our health a priority so we can make simple changes to enjoy a longer life with those we love. We need to OWN our own lifestyle.
Check out my Facebook Live from February 1st to learn more:
You don’t (and shouldn’t) try to change everything over night! In fact you don’t even need to worry that you must give up your favorite foods to improve your health and lower your cardiac risks!
For more than 25 years I have been helping women create lasting weight loss, improve their health and decrease their cardiovascular risks… AND I can help you too. Just click here to schedule a FREE 30 minute chat to learn more.