Family Safety Tip: Heart Attacks
It’s a common misconception that men are the ones that should worry about heart attacks. Not true, women are just as likely to suffer from heart disease.
How do you spot a heart attack? Common symptoms are crushing chest pains and pain radiating down the left arm. But, it doesn’t always happen that way. The symptoms can exist for days or even weeks, but are often ignored because they don’t seem to be serious.
Yahoo! Health has this list of unusual symptoms to look for:
- Indigestion or nausea. It can range from mild indigestion to severe nausea, cramping, and vomiting, or even a cramping ache in the upper belly. Women and adults over 60 are more likely to have these symptoms and not tie them to cardiac episode. So pay attention to your stomach’s symptoms, especially if you haven’t eaten anything unusual or been exposed to the stomach flu.
- Another strange heart attack symptom: Jaw, ear, neck, or shoulder pain. Instead of the stereotypical sharp chest pain, heart attack pain could be in your neck or shoulder area. Or run along your jaw and up by your ear. Some women having heart attacks say they feel the pain between their shoulder blades.
- Another unusual heart attack symptom: leg swelling or pain. When the heart muscle isn’t functioning properly, your blood can’t effectively carry away waste products, and that can cause edema, or swelling from fluid retention. In fact, edema usually starts in the feet, ankles, and legs because they’re furthest from your heart, where your circulation is the worst.
- The final unusual heart attack symptom to watch out for: Sleeplessness, insomnia, and anxiety. People who’ve had heart attacks remember not being able to fall asleep or being unable to stay asleep during the month or weeks before their heart attack. They also said they felt keyed up and tightly wound, and their thoughts and hearts always seemed to be racing. In one study, women reported feeling a sense of impending doom. So, pay particular attention if you never have trouble sleeping and suddenly you’re a total insomniac.