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Symptoms of Heart Disease in Women
by admin | June 22, 2021 | Share | 2 comments

Heart disease has always been considered as a health problem affecting only men. However, this is just one of many misconceptions surrounding women and their heart health— and it turns out that heart disease symptoms in women can differ from those in men.

The good news is, women can spot the early signs and begin to reduce their risk by learning about them. The more they know about heart disease and related symptoms, the better chance they will have of beating it.

What Are the Symptoms of Heart Disease in Women?

Although, some women don’t have any symptoms until a serious problem such as a heart attack occurs, others may have some early signs of heart disease such as-

  • Angina –In women, angina symptomsinclude discomfort, or painful feeling in chest
  • Pain in the neck, jaw, or throat
  • Nausea, vomiting and fatigue

Sometimes heart disease may be “silent”. In this condition, the disease is not diagnosed until women have other symptoms –

  • Heart attack-Heart attack symptoms in women include upper body discomfort, shortness of breath, extreme fatigue, and back or jaw pain. They are more likely than men to have heart attack symptoms unrelated to chest pain.
  • Heart failure-Signs of heart failure in womeninclude fatigue, shortness of breath, swelling of the feet, ankles, or legs.
  • Arrhythmia-Palpitations or fluttering feelings in the chest

What are the causes of heart diseases in women?

The key risk factors in women include high blood pressure, elevated levels of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, and smoking. Smoking increases heart attack risk in women. Several other medical conditions and lifestyle choices that increase risk of heart attacks and other heart related problems include diabetes, obesity, physical inactivity and eating an unhealthy diet.

Is it possible to recover from heart disease?

It’s possible for every woman to fully recover from a heart disease and lead a normal life. Even if you’ve had a heart surgery or experienced heart disease symptoms like heart attack, you can lower your chances of having future heart problems. Doing physical activity, eating healthy diet, managing stress and taking prescribed medicines can help improve your heart health and quality of life.

How to prevent heart diseases in women?

These preventive steps help you lower your chances of getting heart disease-

  • Know yourrisk factors – High blood pressure has no symptoms. So, it needs to be checked regularly. Also, check your blood sugar, cholesterol and triglycerides levels to reduce your risk of heart attack.
  • Eat healthy- Be sure to eatplenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and reduce intake of processed foods. Eat foods high in fiber and low in saturated fats, trans fat, and cholesterol.
  • Take your medicines- Take your medications as prescribed and follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. If possible, seek help from care caregiver for medicine adherence.
  • Stay physically fit- Do a minimum of 150 min moderate-intensity, or 75 min vigorous-intensity aerobic activityevery week.
  • Quit smoking and limit your alcohol consumption.
  • Manage stress levels.

Women of all ages should take their heart health seriously. It’s important to watch out for the early signs of heart problems in women and speak with doctor promptly. Pay close attention to your risk factors and calculate your risk of heart disease on Making India Heartstrong website. You are can also make an appointment with a specialised doctor under Making India Heartstrong initiative to know what you need to know for good heart health.

FAQs

Q. What are the most common heart attack symptoms and warning signs in females?

Like men, women can also experience uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, or pain in the center of their chest. These symptoms last more than a few minutes, or go away and come back. However, the most common symptoms of heart attack in them include shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain. Women can also have pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach. Other signs include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

Q. What are the symptoms of heart failure in elderly women and how is heart failure treated?

The common symptoms of heart failure in elderly women include shortness of breath while doing daily activities, having trouble breathing when lying down and weight gain with swelling in the feet, ankles, legs or stomach. It is important for them to track their symptoms each day. Treatment usually involves taking medicines, eating a healthy diet, reducing sodium intake, getting daily physical activity and more.

Q. What should women do when they experience a heart attack?

Heart attack is a life-and-death emergency and every second counts. If you notice early signs of heart disease or think you might be having a heart attack, you should call your local emergency number for help immediately. It is extremely important to get treatment in time to reduce the amount of damage to the heart muscle. At hospital, a doctor runs tests to find out if a heart attack is happening. Depending on your condition, the doctor decides the best treatment for your condition.

Q. What should you eat to help you get to a healthy weight and stay heart-healthy?

These tips will help you maintain a healthy weight and prevent heart disease

  • Eat fiber rich food- Some good sources of fiber include fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and legumes (beans and peas).
  • Eat dark, leafy greens, oranges, tomatoes and fresh herbs- They are loaded with vitamins, fiber, and minerals which benefit your heart.
  • Eat healthy fats- Foods with monounsaturated such as avocados and nuts should be consumed. Intake of foods rich in polyunsaturated fats such as walnuts,salmon and mackerel is beneficial.
  • Limit salt intake and trans fatsand avoid processed and prepackaged foods.

Q. How can working women manage stress and prevent heart diseases?

Women can take these steps to manage stress and prevent risk of heart attack-

  1. Indulge in physical activity. Physical activities such as walking, jogging and swimming are a great way to reduces anxiety and depression, and improve sleep.
  2. Practice relaxation techniques. Meditation, deep breathing, and yoga help you manage your stress and protect your heart health.
  3. Limit alcohol consumption and avoid tobacco, and substance use.
  4. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals.
  5. Talk to peopleyou trust, share your problems with them and tell them how you are feeling.
  6. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, speak to a mental health professional.
References-
  1. https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/women.htm
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/heart_attack.htm#:~:text=Lifestylechanges%E2%80%94Eatinga%20healthier,healthandqualityoflife
  3. https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/heart_failure.htm
  4. https://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpao/features/healthy-eating-tips/index.html
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