Symptoms Can Be Different For Men And Women
Men and women experience heart attack symptoms in slightly different ways. The main difference is how pain radiates.
- For men: Pain will spread to the left shoulder, down the left arm or up to the chin.
- For women: Pain can be much more subtle. It may travel to the left or right arm, up to the chin, shoulder blades and upper back or to abdomen . Women are also more likely to experience these accompanying symptoms: shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting and back or jaw pain. Read an in-depth overview of heart attack symptoms for women here.
Some heart attacks are sudden and intense, but most start slowly with mild pain and discomfort. Surviving a heart attack depends upon how well you recognize and react to these symptoms. Remember that “time is muscle.” The sooner you receive medical care, the sooner heart muscle can be saved.
Waiting For An Ambulance
If you have had a heart attack, it’s important that you rest while you wait for an ambulance, to avoid unnecessary strain on your heart.
If aspirin is available and you are not allergic to it, slowly chew and then swallow an adult-size tablet while you wait for the ambulance.
Aspirin helps to thin your blood and improve blood flow to your heart.
When Chest Pains Are Serious
Unlike an achy knee or crabby lower back, chest pain isn’t something to shrug off until tomorrow. It also isn’t something to diagnose at home. Don’t play doctor go see one, fast, if you are worried about pain or discomfort in your chest, upper back, left arm, or jaw or suddenly faint or develop a cold sweat, nausea, or vomiting. Call 911 or your local emergency number to summon an emergency medical crew. It will whisk you to the hospital in a vehicle full of equipment that can start the diagnosis and keep you stable if your heart really is in trouble.
There are oh-so-many reasons to delay calling for help.
- I’m too young .
- I’m in great shape .
- I have a family to take care of .
- I don’t want to bother anyone .
You May Like: Does Fitbit Inspire Track Heart Rate
Sex Does Not Increase Your Risk Of Heart Attack
Contrary to what is thought, medicine is not a precise science, it is biological and, therefore, probabilistic. We rarely manage to ensure anything with one hundred percent security. What we do is affirm with increasing possibilities, shows Eduardo de Teresa, who is Professor of Cardiology at the University of Malaga and director of the Heart Clinical Administration Unit of the University Clinical Hospital of Malaga.
But any of the people who have suffered a heart attack know that precaution is better than error. You should stop whatever work you are doing and ask for help, it is not recommended that you go to the hospital in your car. If you have been diagnosed with angina beforehand, you should always carry your medication, nitroglycerin, with you.
This condition usually increases in parallel with the pain, but it can also appear suddenly and instantly. Along with chest pain, patients suffering from a heart attack usually manifest a «deep, cold sweat» without any foundation. This characteristic can happen anywhere, even when the temperature is not hot. For its part, this intense sweating is accompanied by general malaise and, sometimes, a feeling of imminent death. Muscle tension and pain in the chest can also be confused with angina.
Symptoms Of Myocardial Infarction
Is Left Arm Pain A Symptom Of Anxiety
Anxiety can cause pain in the left arm. If it is due to a panic attack or muscle tension, it is likely to be temporary, but people with anxiety disorders may also experience chronic pain. Anxiety is a treatable condition. A doctor might suggest therapy, medications, or stress management techniques to help.
Also Check: Canine Congestive Heart Failure Stages Of Dying
Is It A Heart Attack
A heart attack happens when the muscles in your heart are starved of oxygen due to a problem with your blood circulation, such as a clot, for example. Pain in the left arm is the best known symptom of a heart attack. When someone is having a heart attack, this pain comes on suddenly, gets worse with exertion and eases off at rest, and is generally accompanied by other symptoms. These might include chest pain or a burning or tightening sensation in the chest, numbness or pain in the arm, back, neck, stomach, or jaw, and nausea, shortness of breath, dizziness or fatigue. If you experience any of these symptoms together, you should call for urgent medical assistance as you could be having a heart attack.
Is Back Pain A Sign Of Heart Attack 4 Warning Symptoms You Need To Know
Nearly 65 million American men and women experience back pain at some point in their life. And although back pain is generally caused by something minor, like sore muscles or sleeping in a poor position, back pain can potentially signify more serious conditions. But how do you know if your condition is serious and when should you seek medical treatment? Keep reading to learn whether or not is back pain a sign of heart attack and what to do in case of an emergency.
Read Also: Laparoscopic Bypass Surgery Heart
Chest Pain In Heart Attack
Chest pain associated with a heart attack is often described as tightness, pressure, squeezing or crushing chest pain. It is usually central, located just behind the breastbone on the anterior surface of the chest. In a patient at a high risk of a heart attack, pain of this nature may be sufficient cause to seek emergency medical attention even without other signs and symptoms present. Chest pain alone, however, is not necessarily an indication of a heart attack without the presence of other clinical features.
The character of chest paid due to heart attack can vary. While it is usually accepted as being a severe pain, it can at times present just as a mild discomfort. At other times it may just be a burning chest pain, similar to heartburn caused by acid reflux. Understanding the nature of chest pain due to a heart attack is therefore imperative for early diagnosis and quick medical attention.
Heart attack chest pain :
- Radiates to arm, neck, jaw or upper abdomen
- Anxiety impending sense of doom
- Abnormal breathing sounds wheezing
One or more of these symptoms associated with chest pain should be sufficient reason to seek medical attention.
But sometimes chest pain isnt a heart attack. It might have a different cardiac cause or be totally unrelated to your heart. Here are three clues that its not a heart attack:
What Does A Heart Attack Feel Like
Knowing the early warning signs of heart attack is critical for prompt recognition and treatment. Many heart attacks start slowly, unlike the dramatic portrayal often seen in the movies. A person experiencing a heart attack may not even be sure of what is happening. Heart attack symptoms vary among individuals, and even a person who has had a previous heart attack may have different symptoms in a subsequent heart attack. Although chest pain or pressure is the most common symptom of a heart attack, heart attack victims may experience a diversity of symptoms. The following list describes the symptoms of a heart attack in more detail.
Also Check: Can Gerd Cause Heart Palpitations
What Is Noncardiac Chest Pain
Noncardiac chest pain is defined as recurring pain in your chest typically, behind your breast bone and near your heart that is not related to your heart. In most people, noncardiac chest pain is actually related to a problem with their esophagus, most often gastroesophageal reflux disease . Stress, anxiety and depression can also manifest as chronic chest pain. Other conditions can cause short-term, acute chest pain, including lung problems and musculoskeletal injuries. But noncardiac chest pain is diagnosed as a chronic condition.
Heart Attack Warning Signs For Women
While chest pain is often a symptom of a heart attack among women, the pain is often described as pressure or tightness instead of the heavy weight on the chest pain that men describe.
In some cases, there may only be other symptoms and very little or no chest pain.
Women are also more likely than men to experience nontraditional heart attack symptoms, such as:
- unusual or extreme fatigue, which may develop several days before other symptoms and may make you feel like youre coming down with the flu
- pain or discomfort in the upper abdomen that may feel like heartburn or indigestion
- throat and jaw pain, often without any chest pain
- symptoms that come on gradually
Women are often reluctant to seek medical attention for heart attack symptoms, partly because of delays in recognizing heart attack symptoms since theyre not commonly talked about.
While women are slightly less likely than men to have heart attacks before menopause, the odds essentially are equal after menopause.
You May Like: What Is A Dangerous Heart Rate
Don’t Miss: Recovery After Open Heart Surgery
What Are The Early Signs Of A Heart Attack
There are heart attack symptoms in women that are different from heart attack symptoms in men. But the common signs and symptoms they usually share are as follows:
- Chest pain or discomfort: The discomfort usually lasts for more than a few minutes or it may go away and come back. The discomfort may feel like pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain at the center of the chest.
- Discomfort in other areas of the upper body: This may include pain or discomfort in the back, jaw, stomach or in one or both arms.
- Shortness of breath: This may occur with, before or without chest pain or discomfort.
- Breaking out in a cold sweat
- Nausea or light-headedness
Meanwhile, heart attack symptoms in women sometimes go unnoticed. These include the following:
- Pressure, fullness, squeezing pain in the center of the chest, spreading to the neck, shoulder or jaw
- Unusual fatigue
- Treating or managing conditions that can be a risk factors of heart attack such as diabetes
Can You Recognize A Heart Attack Or Stroke
What To Do When Every Moment Counts
How would you react to a medical emergency? When it comes to life-threatening conditions like heart attack or stroke, every minute counts. Get to know the signs and symptoms of these health threats. If you think you or someone else might be having a heart attack or stroke, get medical help right away. Acting fast could save your life or someone elses.
Heart disease and stroke are 2 of the top killers among both women and men in the U.S. Nationwide, someone dies from a heart attack about every 90 seconds, and stroke kills someone about every 4 minutes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Quick medical help could prevent many of these deaths. Fast action can also limit permanent damage to the body.
Heart attack and stroke are caused by interruptions to the normal flow of blood to the heart or brain2 organs that are essential to life. Without access to oxygen-rich blood and nutrients, heart or brain cells begin to malfunction and die. This cell death can set off a series of harmful effects throughout the body. The changes ultimately lead to the familiar symptoms of a heart or brain emergency.
You might know the most common symptoms of heart attack: sustained, crushing chest pain and difficulty breathing. A heart attack might also cause cold sweats, a racing heart, pain down the left arm, jaw stiffness, or shoulder pain.
Don’t Miss: How To Avoid A Heart Attack
When To Contact A Medical Professional
- You have sudden crushing, squeezing, tightening, or pressure in your chest.
- Pain spreads to your jaw, left arm, or between your shoulder blades.
- You have nausea, dizziness, sweating, a racing heart, or shortness of breath.
- You know you have angina and your chest discomfort is suddenly more intense, brought on by lighter activity, or lasts longer than usual.
- Your angina symptoms occur while you are at rest.
- You have sudden, sharp chest pain with shortness of breath, especially after a long trip, a stretch of bedrest , or other lack of movement, especially if one leg is swollen or more swollen than the other .
- You have been diagnosed with a serious condition, such as heart attack or pulmonary embolism.
Your risk of having a heart attack is greater if:
- You have a family history of heart disease.
- You smoke, use cocaine, or are overweight.
- You have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes.
- You already have heart disease.
- You have a fever or a cough that produces yellow-green phlegm.
- You have chest pain that is severe and does not go away.
- You are having problems swallowing.
- Chest pain lasts longer than 3 to 5 days.
Why Are Arm Pain And Heart Attack Connected
Most often a heart attack occurs when a obstructs blood flow into your heart muscle . This commonly causes a cramping or squeezing pain in the center or right side of your chest. Heart attack symptoms are extremely variable, but sometimes the pain in your chest extends to one or both shoulders and arms.
In addition to shoulder and , you may also have , aching or discomfort in other areas of your upper body, such as your neck, jaw or back, without any chest pain. This happens more commonly in women than in men.
Recommended Reading: How Long To Recover From Heart Surgery
Why Does My Chest And Left Arm Ache
Causes of left arm pain The most well known of these is a heart attack. In this case, the arm pain may be accompanied by pain or a tightening sensation in your chest, pain in your back, neck, shoulder or jaw, nausea, shortness of breath, dizziness or fatigue. Left arm pain can also be caused by angina.
Arm Back Neck Jaw Or Stomach Pain Or Discomfort
Heart attack pain may not be confined to the chest area. Pain or discomfort in your arm, back, neck, jaw, or stomach can also be heart attack-related.
But many people do not associate pain in these areas with having a heart attack which may prevent them from getting immediate medical attention.
Some head-to-toe signs of a heart attack include:
- Jaw, neck, or back pain
- Arm or shoulder pain or discomfort
- Shortness of breath
You May Like: What Does Low Heart Rate Mean
How Long Can A Woman Have Symptoms Before A Heart Attack
Many people expect a heart attack to come on suddenly. But research suggests that women experience symptoms for several weeks before a heart attack. Doctors say it’s important to encourage women to seek medical care when they have symptoms.
“Despite women have more symptomatic chest pain than men, they are less likely to have timely and appropriate care,” said Air Force Lt. Col. Travis Batts, medical director of cardiology at Wilford Hall, Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas.
He pointed to the 2021 guidelines on chest pain.
Also, keep in mind you can have heart problems — even a heart attack — without chest pain. That’s particularly common among women.
What To Do If You Have Heart Attack Symptoms
Because certain symptoms, such as nausea or fatigue, can signal any number of health concerns, its important to be aware of other possible heart attack symptoms.
If you suddenly become nauseated and are having trouble catching your breath or you have serious jaw pain, call 911. Tell the 911 dispatcher you may be having a heart attack.
You may be reluctant to call 911 if youre not sure whether you or a loved one is having a heart attack, but its better to err on the side of caution.
A heart attack is often a life threatening emergency. The faster you get medical attention, the better chance you have of a good recovery.
When to call 911
Any time you have pain or pressure in your chest that lasts more than a few minutes and is different to pain youve felt before, its important to get medical attention as soon as possible. This is especially important if you have other symptoms, too, such as:
- shortness of breath
nearly a quarter of all heart attacks in the United States, according to the American Heart Association.
A silent heart attack may resolve on its own if, for example, the clot blocking blood flow dissolves or becomes dislodged and is absorbed into the body. But a silent heart attack can still cause damage.
If a doctor discovers that you had a silent heart attack, you may want to consider cardiac rehabilitation and the type of care that any other person whos had a heart attack receives.
You May Like: What Are Symptoms Of Heart Failure
Womens Heart Attacks Symptoms Can Differ From Mens: Know The Signs
When you are having a heart attack, minutes matter. Fast action can save lives.
Heart disease and heart attacks are the number one global killer of both men and women. But women often experience symptoms other than the classic crushing chest pain and left arm pain that typically afflict men having heart attacks.
For example, women are more likely to experience pain between the shoulder blades, abdominal pain, and nausea.
In some situations, a failure to identify the unique symptoms women experience can lead to delays in seeking treatment.
If you’re a woman, here are the most common heart attack symptoms: