Don’t Ignore These Hidden Heart Attack Warning Signs for Women

If someone were having a heart attack near you, what are some of the red flags you would look for? Truth is, when most people hear the words “heart attack”, they picture someone grasping their chest, having trouble breathing, and needing to sit or lie down. That’s how it always looks on TV and in the movies at least.

While many heart attack warning signs can be as obvious as the ones mentioned above, there are also many instances where the warning signs aren’t so obvious – especially for women. In fact, for some women, it’s possible to be completely unaware a heart attack is even occurring.

Hidden Heart Attack Symptoms

Chest pain is the number one heart attack symptom to look for in both men and women. Typically described as a tight, heavy, or squeezing feeling in the chest, this pain can last quite some time and will often spread to the back, jaw, arms, and stomach. In instances like these, it’s critical that you call 911 right away.

That said, chest pain isn’t the only warning sign you should be aware of. For some women, chest pain during heart attacks isn’t noticeable at all – especially for women with diabetes. What makes heart attacks in women even harder to diagnose is the fact that many of the lesser known symptoms can be confused for non-threatening problems.

Even if you aren’t experiencing any chest pain, other heart attack symptoms to watch out for include:

  • Sudden back pain, arm pain, or jaw pain
  • Nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain
  • Sudden sweating
  • Irregular heart rate and shortness of breath
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Sudden feeling or tiredness

As you can see, many of these symptoms can easily be confused for something as simple as dehydration, but it’s important they aren’t completely brushed aside. For women who experience any of the common heart attack risk factors below, you need to pay extra caution when these symptoms arise:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Family history of heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Taking estrogen or hormone replacement therapy
  • Age 70+

At the end of the day, it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you think you or a loved one may be having a heart attack, call 911 immediately. If you feel you may have suffered an undiagnosed heart attack in the past, make sure you bring it up with your cardiologist at your next appointment.