“Dr Irena’s” Health Tips – No. 2
We recently had contact with a retired UK doctor who now lives in North Cyprus and met her at Kamiloglu Hospital – Kyrenia Medical Centre where she was looking after reception/patient liaison along with other English speaking people who are giving their time to ensure a good medical service for English speaking expatriates.
Irena kindly offered to write some articles about basic health issues which may be of interest to our readers.
By Irena Hulson
Heart Attacks in Women
Symptoms of Women’s Heart Attacks
Women don’t always get the same classic heart attack symptoms as men, such as crushing chest pain that radiates down one arm. Those heart attack symptoms can certainly happen to women, but many experience vague or even “silent” symptoms that they may miss.
Recommended Related to Heart Disease
Someone in the prime of their life — a professional sports star, teen athlete, marathon runner, or other seemingly healthy person — isn’t supposed to collapse and die from heart disease. But it occasionally happens, making sudden cardiac arrest front-page news. The rare nature of sudden cardiac arrest among the young is precisely what makes it so attention-grabbing. According to the Cleveland Clinic, sudden cardiac death kills 1 in 100,000 to 1 in 300,000 athletes under the age of 35, more often males.
These six heart attack symptoms are common in women:
1. Chest pain or discomfort. Chest pain is the most common heart attack symptom, but some women may experience it differently than men. It may feel like a squeezing or fullness, and the pain can be anywhere in the chest, not just on the left side. It’s usually “truly uncomfortable” during a heart attack, “It feels like a vice being tightened.”
2. Pain in your arm(s), back, neck, or jaw. This type of pain is more common in women than in men. It may confuse women who expect their pain to be focused on their chest and left arm, not their back or jaw. The pain can be gradual or sudden, and it may wax and wane before becoming intense. If you’re asleep, it may wake you up. You should report any “not typical or unexplained” symptoms in any part of your body above your waist to your doctor or other health care provider.
3. Stomach pain. Sometimes people mistake stomach pain that signals a heart attack with heartburn, the flu, or a stomach ulcer. Other times, women experience severe abdominal pressure that feels like an elephant sitting on your stomach, say cardiologists.
4. Shortness of breath, nausea, or lightheadedness. If you’re having trouble breathing for no apparent reason, you could be having a heart attack, especially if you’re also having one or more other symptoms. “It can feel like you have run a marathon, but you didn’t make a move.
5. Sweating. Breaking out in a nervous, cold sweat is common among women who are having a heart attack. It will feel more like stress-related sweating than perspiration from exercising or spending time outside in the heat. “Get it checked out” if you don’t typically sweat like that and there is no other reason for it, such as heat or hot flushes.
6. Fatigue. Some women who have heart attacks feel extremely tired, even if they’ve been sitting still for a while or haven’t moved much. “Patients often complain of a tiredness in the chest. “They say that they can’t do simple activities, like walk to the bathroom.”
Not everyone gets all of those symptoms. If you have chest discomfort, especially if you also have one or more of the other signs, consult your doctor or hospital immediately.
What NOT to Do if you feel heart attack symptoms
Don’t delay getting help. “Women generally wait longer than men before going to the emergency room” Don’t drive yourself to the hospital. YOU NEED AN AMBULANCE. If you drive, you could have an accident on the way and possibly hurt yourself or someone else.
• Don’t call a friend or relative to drive you, either. You may not get there fast enough.
• Don’t dismiss what you feel. Don’t worry about feeling silly if you’re wrong. You have to get it checked out right away.
The opinions, advice or proposals within the article are purely those of the author and do not, in any way, represent those of Cyprusscene.com