You might think that heart attacks are accompanied by chest pains or pain in the left arm. Studies have shown that films may not show the true symptoms of a heart attack. These symptoms are not universal for all patients. Research also shows that women may experience different symptoms from men. In many cases, symptoms can appear weeks before the actual heart attack.
Unexplained Fatigue Weeks before the Heart Attack
The AHA conducted a survey of more than 500 heart attack survivors in 2003. Unexplained tiredness was the most common complaint among the 95% of heart attack survivors. The research found that 71% of women felt tired in the weeks preceding their heart attacks.
Leslie Cho, a Cleveland Clinic cardiologist, said that if you feel fatigued or unusually tired, you should consider the possibility of having a heart attack. Cho says that if you feel tired after a workout, if your body is unable to rest, or if making the bed dry you out, it’s a sign to consult your doctor.
You should be concerned if you have trouble sleeping. The AHA survey found that almost half of the 48 percent of women who had survived a heart attack felt disturbed sleep up to one month prior to the event.
Chest Pain Upon Initiation of Heart Attack
A study found that 31% of women suffered from what is known as the “tell-tale” heart attack symptom, which was pain in the chest. 43% of those surveyed said they didn’t feel any chest pain from their heart attacks.
Jean C. McSweeney from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences stated that “lack of noticeable chest pain may be an important reason why women have more unrecognized cardiac attacks than men” and was incorrectly discharged from emergency rooms. Many clinicians believe that chest pain is the most important indicator of a heart attack.
After a heart attack, women are more likely to feel shortness of breath than any other sign.
According to the AHA, if you feel shortness of breath with or without chest pain, you should visit a hospital.
Nieca Goldberg is the medical director for Joan H. Tisch Center for Women’s Health NYU’s Langone Medical Center. She explained to the AHA how women can manage to think of heart attack signs as less serious than situations such as acid reflux or the flu. Goldberg stated that there are still many women who are shocked to hear they might be suffering a heart attack.
A common symptom is a sudden cold sweat. This is because your heart requires more energy to pump blood. If you have blocked arteries, sweating helps keep your body’s temperature down.
Night perspiration may not be a sign of menopause for women. They could also be an indication of heart disease.
These symptoms should be reported to your doctor immediately. Do not wait for it to become critical.