Monday, July 15, 2024
HomeEducationWomen and Heart Attacks, Easy to Misdiagnose

Women and Heart Attacks, Easy to Misdiagnose

The myth of heart attacks has long been associated with men, stressful work with high pressure demands, and being obese or smoking and drinking heavily. All of these behaviors have long been associated with men for decades and listed as reasons for their shorter life longevity.

However, the fact is, women die from heart attacks all the time too. In fact, women are more likely to be misdiagnosed for something else than the symptoms of a heart attack, usually due to those same symptoms being very different from what men suffer.

Prevention is Doable

Before getting into causation, it’s important to remember that preventing heart disease and heart attack risks is doable by anyone, not just men. Women can easily protect themselves, and often do, with healthier living, less over-eating, less destructive behavior and taking less risks in terms of activity.

A healthy diet is a great place to start. Women and men easily benefit by reducing salt intake, avoiding greasy and fatty foods, reducing consumption of red meat to maybe once a month, and removing trans fat from the diet entirely. Doing so is extremely easy too; just focus most of your food buying to outside perimeter of the grocery store versus the aisles where most of the processed food is sold. Organic, healthy food tends to be perishable and needs refrigeration. Also, reduce sugar considerably; that too can be a weight gain contributor.

If diagnosed with a heart condition, be proactive. Exercise to reduce blood pressure levels, get good sleep for daily cellular repair, and avoid smoking and drinking alcohol. If overweight, focus proactively on weight loss to a reasonably healthy range again. The less the heart has to work, the more resilient it will be.

Signs of a Woman’s Heart Attack

As noted earlier, heart attacks in women can be very different. The classic pain in the chest isn’t as common. Instead, severe nausea has been reported regularly, as well as cold sweats, shortness of breath, dizziness and loss of energy. Note, these are similar symptoms of menopause too. So, it becomes very easy to see why older women get ignored for a heart attack response when they go to a doctor feeling really sick. Dr. Ian Weisberg points out though, modern medicine has recently been changing this response, focusing on high risk groups in women, particularly over age 40.

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