Women Heart Attack Symptoms
Chest pain is the hallmark symptom of a heart attack, but when it comes to female heart attack symptoms, you might be surprised to find that one study showed nearly 43% of those in the study who suffered a heart attack didnt have any chest pain at all. These are significant findings, to say the least! Heart attack symptoms in women are more often than not atypical and can include:
- Shortness of breath
- Indigestion like symptoms
- Upper back pain
As you can see, none of these symptoms point definitively to a heart issue. In fact, there are dozens of less severe diagnoses that could be made with these signs. Consider the following:
Heart Failure Is A Common But Complex Clinical Syndrome Where The Heart Cannot Pump Enough Blood To Meet The Body’s Needs
Heart failure occurs when the heart becomes too weak or stiff to pump enough blood around the body. Symptoms and signs include breathlessness, extreme fatigue, reduced exercise capacity and fluid retention resulting in weight gain and/or swelling . Symptoms can severely impact a persons quality of life, and may be life-threatening.
People may have symptoms of heart failure for many years before receiving a diagnosis, and management is often suboptimal. Many people are diagnosed in hospital following a rapid deterioration in their symptoms requiring an emergency admission.
More than 15 million people in Europe are estimated to be living with heart failure. It is a leading cause of hospitalisation, contributing to almost 2 million admissions a year in Europe. Its prevalence is expected to rise due to population ageing and improved survival rates for other long-term conditions, including cardiovascular diseases.
Heart Attack Symptoms Differ By Gender
Women tend to have less recognizable or severe heart attack symptoms than men do. A woman may dismiss heart attack warnings as digestive problems or a pulled muscle. Women tend to feel ill, as with influenza, nausea and weakness, even fainting. They may feel the pain across their upper back instead of in the chest area. Many women do not feel like they are having a heart attack and will ignore the symptoms altogether.
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Reduce The Risk Of Coronary Heart Disease And Stroke
You can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, which kills nearly one third of Australians, by making healthy lifestyle choices such as:
- Avoid smoke or smoking smoking is a major risk factor, with nicotine directly narrowing your blood vessels.
- Eat healthy foods especially avoid processed foods.
- Exercise and move more speak to your doctor about exercise suitable for your needs.
- Maintain a healthy weight exercising and eating healthy food will make this easier.
- Manage stress try muscle relaxation, breathing techniques or visualisations.
Visit your doctor to discuss lifestyle choices that will reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. You can also ask for advice about regular check-ups to look for early signs of medical conditions such as:
Diagnosing Chronic Heart Failure
Diagnosis is typically based on a personâs medical history, a physical examination and a series of tests. Tests are used by doctors to identify the underlying cause of the chronic heart failure and may include:
- Echocardiogram : This test uses high-frequency sound waves to provide doctors with an insight into the different functions of the heart. It is considered the most important tool in the diagnosis of heart failure.
- Electrocardiogram : Used to test and record the heartâs rhythm and electrical activity.
- Chest X-ray: Able to give doctors a picture of the heart. Can also reveal if there is a buildup of fluid.
- Brain natriuretic peptide or N-terminal pro-BNP : A blood test to measure BNP or NT-proBNP protein levels, both of which tend to be elevated in people with heart failure.
In some cases, other tests, including urine tests and MRI scans, may also be used.
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Tests To Identify Heart Failure
You may be asked by your doctor to have some heart tests to check on your heart and the;severity of your heart failure. These tests may;include:
- Blood tests
- Chest X-ray. Chest X-ray shows the size of your heart and whether there is fluid build-up around the heart and lungs
- Echocardiogram: This test shows the heart’s movement
- Electrocardiogram : ECG records the electrical impulses travelling through the heart
- Cardiac catheterisation. This test is done under X-ray conditions
- Stress Test. This test is performed under close supervision and requires you to exercise whilst being monitored to see how well your heart copes under pressure.
What Is The Outlook
Your outlook following a stroke or heart attack depends greatly on the severity of the event and how quickly you get treatment.
Some people who have a stroke will experience damage that makes walking or talking difficult for a long time. Others lose brain function that never returns. For many of those who were treated soon after symptoms began, complete recovery may be possible.
Following a heart attack, you can expect to resume most of the activities you enjoyed before if you do all of the following:
- follow your doctors orders
- participate in cardiac rehabilitation
- maintain a healthy lifestyle
Your life expectancy will depend greatly on whether you adhere to heart-healthy behaviors. If you have a stroke or heart attack, its important to take the rehabilitation process seriously and stick with it. As challenging as it may be at times, the payoff is a much better quality of life.
Many of the same strategies that can help prevent a stroke can also help reduce your chances of having a heart attack. These include:
- getting your cholesterol and blood pressure levels into a healthy range
- not smoking
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Summary Of Cardiomyopathy Vs Heart Failure
- Cardiomyopathy is when there is a problem with the heart muscle.
- Heart failure is when the pumping ability of the heart is seriously compromised.
- Cardiomyopathy can lead to heart failure in some cases, but more commonly, sudden death.
- Some of the same diagnostic tests and medications are used in the case of heart failure and cardiomyopathy.
How Is Angina Different From A Heart Attack
The main difference between angina and a heart attack is that the former occurs when theres a diminished supply of blood and oxygen to the heart as a result of partially blocked or narrowed arteries. Heart attacks, on the other hand, occur when the blood and oxygen supply to the heart is cut off entirely. Simply put, if left untreated, angina can form blood clots in the coronary arteries that supply oxygenated blood to the heart and lead to a heart attack. Think of it as a warning sign. The pain, pressure, and discomfort you feel in your chest is your hearts way of communicating that theres something wrong and the problem needs to be taken care of immediately.
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What Causes Heart Failure
Heart failure can develop gradually and slowly or suddenly and rapidly . Acute heart failure is often a result of exacerbation of chronic heart failure, requiring immediate medical attention.
There are many risk factors for heart failure, including other diseases and lifestyle behaviours. Disease and conditions that are risk factors for heart failure include atrial fibrillation , coronary artery disease, diabetes, heart attack, high cholesterol, hypertension and obesity. Lifestyle behaviours that may contribute to heart failure include smoking and recreational drug use, alcohol consumption, an inactive lifestyle and lack of exercise, and an unhealthy diet.
Heart failure may also be caused by other factors for example, by a virus that attacks the heart or as a result of heart problems that arise during pregnancy . These underlying causes of heart failure are not preventable and can occur in people of any age.
Common Heart Attack Symptoms
A heart attack occurs when heart tissue dies due to a lack of blood flow. This happens when one of the coronary arteries that feed the heart becomes blocked. When the muscle begins to die, it causes chest pain and instability, which results in a heart that is not adequately pumping blood to the rest of the body. In this state, the heart muscle can manage nothing more than a quiver rather than the intense pumping action required to deliver oxygenated blood to your extremities. In addition, loss of blood flow to the brain can cause severe damage and even death if not addressed quickly.
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Afib & Heart Attacks: The Causes
Atrial fibrillation is a specific kind of heart arrhythmia in which the upper chambers of the heart get out of sync with the lower ventricles. This is usually caused by a misfiring electrical impulse or some other stimulus. When the heart gets out of sync, it can cause all kinds of discomfort and pain. Fortunately, in the early stages, the heart will get back in sync with itself on its own, leaving the person feeling better.
Heart attacks, on the other hand, are a vascular problem. Heart attacks happen when blood flow to the heart is blocked. Without blood, heart tissue doesn’t get the oxygen it needs and begins to die. In this case, the issue is not with the heart itself, but the blood vessels that bring blood into the heart.
Prevention Is Key To Both Heart Attack And Stroke
When either of these life-threatening conditions occur, responding quickly is essential; but preventing them from happening in the first place is even better. In most cases, both heart attack and stroke can be prevented and many of their risk factors are the same, including: chronic and short-term stress, smoking, obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle. Genetics and other hidden factors also play a role in your level of risk.
The best ways to reduce your risk of suffering from stroke or heart attack are to make healthy lifestyle choices such as: minimizing stress by practicing stress-reduction techniques, exercising on a regular basis, eating a healthy diet, and avoiding harmful activities such as smoking.
Want to learn more about your risk for heart attacks and strokes? Have you experienced a heart attack or stroke in the past, and want to reduce your chances of experiencing a second one? Contact our team of medical professionals at Tri-City Medical Center. Were here to help.
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Symptoms Of Heart Failure
Symptoms can vary depending on how weak your heart is. First, you may become less able to cope physically. Climbing stairs or walking may leave you tired, weak and short of breath. Shortness of breath, especially when lying down flat, is caused by a build-up of fluid in the lungs , which makes it harder for the lungs to transfer oxygen to the blood.
Oedema may also cause swelling of the feet, legs and abdomen and rapid weight gain due to less blood reaching the kidneys, which prevents them from disposing of salt and water as they would normally.
Other symptoms include a wet cough and loss of appetite or nausea. You may also notice a rapid pulse rate.
What Is The Difference Between Heart Failure And Heart Attack
It is a known fact that cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack, coronary heart disease, etc., can cause serious health risks. When it comes to heart failure and heart attack, both medical conditions are related but are not the same. Oftentimes, people get confused with these two terms and use them incorrectly. While the causes and effects of both conditions are the same, they are distinct health issues. Let us understand how heart failure and heart attack differ from one another.
What is the Difference Between Heart Failure and heart attack?
Heart failure, also known as congestive heart failure, is a chronic medical condition. This means that this issue develops slowly over a long period. Heart failure is said to occur when the heart muscle fails to pump enough blood to meet the demands of the body. Narrowed coronary arteries with high blood pressure make the heart weak, blocked or stiff due to which there is improper pumping of blood.
A heart attack occurs due to the blockage of arteries by fatty deposits known as plaques. Formation of blood clot due to the rupture of plaques further blocks the arteries. This may often lead to a heart attack. It is also known as myocardial infarction that occurs suddenly. In some cases, parts of the heart muscles die due to lack of blood supply. This health condition can be fatal if immediate medical attention is not available for the patient.
What are the causes of Heart Failure and Heart Attack?
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What Is Chronic Heart Failure
Chronic heart failure, otherwise known as congestive heart failure or heart failure, is an ongoing inability of the heart to pump enough blood through the body to ensure a sufficient supply of oxygen. The causes of the condition vary, but some of the most common risk factors include old age, diabetes, high blood pressure and being overweight. Chronic heart failure is most common in men.
The conditionâs name is potentially confusing; the term âheart failureâ does not mean that the heart has stopped or is failing completely, but that it is weaker than is normal in a healthy person. In some cases, the condition can be mild, causing symptoms that may only be noticeable when exercising, in others, the condition may be more severe, causing symptoms that may be life-threatening, even while at rest.
The most common symptoms of chronic heart failure include shortness of breath, tiredness, swelling of the legs and ankles, chest pain and a cough. It most commonly affects older people and people with other heart conditions and is typically treated with a combination of lifestyle and diet changes, and medications. Chronic heart failure is typically a long-term condition that gradually worsens over time. This is the feature that differentiates it from acute heart failure, which develops very suddenly. It cannot typically be cured, but symptoms can be managed effectively.
How Are Heart Attack And Stroke Diagnosed
If you have stroke symptoms, your doctor will get a quick summary of symptoms and a medical history. Youll likely get a CT scan of the brain. This can show bleeding in the brain and areas of the brain that may have been affected by poor blood flow. Your doctor may also order an MRI.
A different set of tests is done to diagnose a heart attack. Your doctor will still want to know your symptoms and medical history. After that, theyll use an electrocardiogram to check on the health of your heart muscle.
A blood test is also done to check for enzymes that indicate a heart attack. Your doctor may also perform a cardiac catheterization. This test involves guiding a long, flexible tube through a blood vessel into the heart to check for blockage.
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Treatment For Heart Failure:
The way to treat heart failure is to establish what caused it in the first place. Depending on how severe the problem is an individual may require a heart transplant. In the early stages of heart failure medication such as beta blockers, calcium channel blockers and ace inhibitors may be helpful. A cardioverter-defibrillator may need to be surgically implanted if there are problems with the heart beating too fast and with the heart beating irregularly .
The Similarity Of Symptoms
Even though these conditions are caused by two very different factors, they share many of the same symptoms. This can make determining what is wrong very difficult for the average person who is trying to assess their health.
The main symptoms that distinguish AFib from a heart attack are that AFib is sometimes accompanied by a fluttering in the chest and confusion, while some heart attack victims have nausea with neck and jaw pain. And that’s it. Aside from that, these two conditions have several overlapping symptoms. What makes this even more complicated is that not all of these symptoms show up in every single person every single time.
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Angina Vs Heart Attack: Differences In Complications Causes Symptoms And Treatments
Written byBel Marra HealthPublished onMarch 19, 2018
How can you tell the difference between angina vs. a heart attack? The two conditions are very closely related and have dangerously similar symptoms that can make them difficult to tell apart.
Despite sometimes being considered a chronic condition, angina can be manageable through various means as long as its detected and treated early on. Medical professionals view angina as a potential precursor or warning sign of an impending heart attack or severe heart condition. Typically characterized by sensations of pain or pressure felt in the chest area, particularly the heart, angina develops when theres a blockage in the arteries that causes them to tighten, preventing them from supplying sufficient amounts of blood and oxygen to the heart.
While angina isnt believed to be a symptom of a heart attack, its certainly a warning sign that you may be on the fast track to suffering one. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about deciphering the difference between angina and a heart attack and how to treat both conditions.
What Can You Do
If you suspect someone may be having a stroke, call 911. Keep the patient safe from falls, and monitor them closely while you wait for emergency medical services. Make a note of the time the symptoms began and be as accurate as possible this information can be helpful for medical personnel when they administer treatment.
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