This is my yearly Thanksgiving post to increase awareness of the signs of a heart attack which is still the #1 killer for women. Although much progress has been made since I was making funeral arrangements for instead of getting ready to celebrate Thanksgiving with my grandma 12 years ago (the original post and story, last year’s), I know more can be done.
Please make sure your family and friends know these important signs of a heart attack and to not disregard them or make a doctor appointment for later on, thinking it’s bronchitis or pneumonia. It was too late for my Grandma. It doesn’t have to be for yours. (Source of signs from Go Red for Women)
- Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
- Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
- Shortness of breath. This feeling may occur with or without chest discomfort.
- Other signs of discomfort. These may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
- As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.
If you or someone you are with has chest discomfort, especially with one or more of the other signs, don’t wait longer than five minutes before calling 9-1-1 for help.
Also remind women that they do need to put their health first. I’m still guilty of not following my own advice there too but am improving!