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Do You Know Which Symptoms Signal a Heart Attack in Women?

Welshtaff 2012/01/07 03:24:41

Women’s heart attacks are different than men’s. Learn the warning signs.


By Katherine WebMD the Magazine - Feature
Reviewed by Louise

Most women know the symptoms of male heart attacks -- squeezing chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea. But as it turns out, the symptoms of female heart attacks can be quite different – and it’s important for all women to learn the warning signs.

For instance, Rhonda Monroe was mystified when strong pain struck her left breast and left arm. Monroe, who was a 36-year-old mother of three, didn’t know it at the time, but she was having early symptoms of a heart attack. “I certainly wasn’t thinking about my heart because I was young and healthy and had been skinny,” she says.

As the pain moved into her shoulder and back, Monroe took pain relievers and showered for relief. But the next day, she was overwhelmed with nausea, sweating, vomiting, and chest pain. An ambulance rushed her to the emergency room.

Her next hurdle: getting the doctors to believe her. “They didn’t take me seriously,” Monroe says. She didn’t fit the profile of a heart attack patient. The doctors told her she was too young, she was not overweight, and there was no family history of heart disease.

Bedeviled by worsening pain and weakness and convinced she was dying, Monroe returned to the hospital several times over the days that followed, only to come home with no answers. “I was angry and frustrated,” the West Virginia resident says.

Monroe turned to her primary care physician about her situation and went through more tests at the hospital. Finally, she got her diagnosis -- a week after the initial breast and arm pain. As Monroe recalls, a cardiologist who had previously dismissed her complaints made the diagnosis. “The doctor told me, ‘Well, it’s a good thing you’re persistent because you’re having a heart attack.’”

Heart experts say Monroe’s situation is all too common. Women who have” atypical” symptoms, such as arm or back pain or nausea, might not realize at first that they’re having a heart attack. Then when they do seek emergency care, doctors sometimes misdiagnose them.





Read More: http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/features/do-you...

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Top Opinion

  • Gracie - Proud Conservative 2012/01/07 03:31:28
    Gracie - Proud Conservative
    +4
    Great timing! I went to the doctor today because I know I have torn a muscle or cartilage from coughing so much with bronchitis. The doctor insisted on doing an EKG because technically I have chest pain. I told him the only thing wrong with my heart is that I have no heart. He didn't see the humor in it and my EKG was fine.

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  • MIZ®  ₱д₸Ɽ¡Ö₸ ₩дⱤⱤ¡ÖⱤ   †
    +2
    Thanks for sharing, Welshtaff~ good stuff to know...!
  • sglmom 2012/01/07 09:26:28
    sglmom
    +2
    THANKS for posting ..
    I'm going to the MD this coming week for regular follow-up appointments, have had my lab work done .. and I'm going to talk about my chances of Heart Attack (given both my parents had heart attacks prior to the age I am at now) ..
  • Welshtaff sglmom 2012/01/07 12:56:17
    Welshtaff
    +2
    Wish you well and hope all is well on your Dr appointment.
  • MIZ® ₱... sglmom 2012/01/07 20:51:31
    MIZ®  ₱д₸Ɽ¡Ö₸ ₩дⱤⱤ¡ÖⱤ   †
    +2
    Hope all is well, sglmom ~ You are smart (and a good parent, too) to be on top of things like that!!
  • Gracie - Proud Conservative 2012/01/07 03:31:28
    Gracie - Proud Conservative
    +4
    Great timing! I went to the doctor today because I know I have torn a muscle or cartilage from coughing so much with bronchitis. The doctor insisted on doing an EKG because technically I have chest pain. I told him the only thing wrong with my heart is that I have no heart. He didn't see the humor in it and my EKG was fine.
  • Welshtaff Gracie ... 2012/01/07 03:40:00
    Welshtaff
    +4
    Good news, long life ahead for you.
  • jeane Gracie ... 2012/01/07 04:07:15
    jeane
    +4
    HA - I have seen your heart Gracie - it is a strong one!
  • MIZ® ₱... Gracie ... 2012/01/07 20:55:12
    MIZ®  ₱д₸Ɽ¡Ö₸ ₩дⱤⱤ¡ÖⱤ   †
    +2
    Glad everything's good, Gracie.... but DANG you must be coughing a LOT to tear a muscle!!
    LOL Well, we know you have a heart~:P

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