Not long ago, I was having lunch with a group of friends when one of the females in the bunch complained about some upper back pain that had been bothering her since she woke that morning. Other than thinking she must have slept on it wrong, I didn’t give it much thought. I was shocked when, that afternoon, one of the other members of that same lunch group called to let me know our mutual friend with the back pain had been admitted to the hospital after suffering a heart attack. As I would learn over the next few days, women and men have distictly different heart attack warning signs.
Female Heart Attack Warning Signs
According to WebMD, women don’t typically have chest pains prior to the actual onset of a heart attack and the symptoms can vary quite a bit from one woman to the next. Back pain, like my friend had, jaw pain and pain down an arm could all be warning signs of an impending attack. As with men, these various pains might not be signs of a heart attack but from some other factor like sore muscles from a bad nights sleep or from over exertion. It’s always best to err on the safe side when there’s a suspicion of an imminent attack.
If a woman smokes or is overweight or has a family history of heart attacks, her chances of having one herself are much more likely that that of a woman who has none of those risk factors.
If you’re a woman who smokes quit immediately and if your overweight consult a body mass index chart to find what your safe weight is and get to that weight as quickly as reasonably possible. Exercise that emphasizes a cardiovascular workout of some kind should be part of your daily schedule even if it’s just walking for thirty minutes a day. Incorporating sprints into your walking or on an exercise bike will help get your heart in a much healthier state.
A heart healthy diet that focuses on five or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day and fewer servings of meat and poultry will give you all the energy you need to exercise more and allow you to lose those unsafe and unproductive pounds in the process.
In the Event of a Heart Attack
If a female should have a heart attack in your presence and she’s conscious, call 911 immediately and have her chew an aspirin while waiting on the ambulance. Chewing an aspirin allows the active ingredient enter the bloodstream faster and allows a freer flow of blood through the heart.