Nothing in this article is meant to be medical advice. Please consult your own healthcare provider. 

Some info below taken from: 

http://pcna.net/docs/default-source/patients-documents/living_guidelines_for_women.pdf?sfvrsn=

www.goredforwomen.org/about-heart-disease/symptoms _of_heart_disease_in_women/just-a-little-heart-attack/

Many women, men and healthcare providers are still unaware that heart disease is the number one killer of women, causing one in three deaths each year. Women do less well after a heart attack than men. This is true even for women under the age of 55.

What are the signs of a heart attack in women? They are not the same as in men.

Women are less likely to experience chest pain with heart attack than are men. Women tend more to experience pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach; shortness of breath, sometimes without any chest discomfort; and other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness. These symptoms signal that a woman is in a health crisis and needs medical attention right away.

There also is a “silent heart attack.” According to the American Heart Association, “People who have these so-called silent heart attacks are more likely to have non-specific and subtle symptoms, such as indigestion or a case of the flu, or they may think they strained a muscle in their chest or their upper back. It also may not be discomfort in the chest, it may be in the jaw or the upper back or arms …

“Some folks have prolonged and excessive fatigue that is unexplained. Those are some of the less specific symptoms for a heart attack, but ones that people might ignore or attribute to something else.”

Women tend to sluff off any of these symptoms, insist they are fine and rely on their natural strength to set things right. However, all of these symptoms signal a medical emergency. 911 should be contacted. (Check out the last link above).

Knowledge plus prevention are always the keys to health. See the first link above, “Living Guidelines for Women,” providing every piece of info you need to stay heart healthy at any age. Great news: Recent medical research shows that even small, incremental changes create a healthy difference at any age.

Being physically active plays a major role in heart health. If you haven’t been that active for a while, then start slowly and gradually work your way up to 30 to 40 minutes of exercise three to four times per week. Take as long as you need to be successful. And consult your healthcare provider.

Did you know that the more you sit, the higher your risk for heart problems? Try standing when you’d normally sit, like when you’re watching TV. Try setting a reminder on your smartphone to get up and move once an hour. Walking, even short brisk walks for as little as 10 minutes per day, can provide enough physical activity to keep your heart in shape. Taking steps in place while holding onto a sturdy stable object works, too.

Stay healthy!

Callie Wight is a California state-licensed registered nurse with a Master of Arts in psychology.

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