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Women Get Different Heart Attack Symptoms, including Fatigue

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Women often get heart attack symptoms from men, and even the ER medical teams sometimes don't detect the difference. Women are much more likely to think it is the flu, acid reflux, or the results of aging And women are much more likely to put off calling 911 if they do have scary or deeply worrying symptoms. (Call 911 IMMEDIATELY if you or someone else is having symptoms of a heart attack.)

Heart attacks are one of the biggest health threats that women face in today's world. Many women will name breast cancer as number one, but it is heart attacks. Women are more likely to have different symptoms during a heart attack because the heart event is more likely to involve the tiny arteries of the heart. And women are more likely to suffer Broken Heart Syndrome, a major and potentially heart attack event that is triggered by very severe emotional distress (such as a death). (Some studies have shown that immediately administering gluclose can be a lifesaver for women who suffer Broken Heart Syndrome. Also women can heal well if they get help.)

Here are some of the major symptoms that women have during heart attacks:

1. Chest pain
2. Pain running along the arm, back, neck, and/or jaw
3. Stomach pain
4. Shortness of breath and nausea, possibly light headedness, dizziness
5. Sweating such as cold sweat
6. Fatigue

One of the common stories that women tell about symptoms before and during a heart attack is having such fatigue like they have never had before in their lives. They report being bone tired without reason.

Also many women reported knowing that something was terribly wrong, something was off.

Women are more likely to call a friend to ask for advice or put off going to the hospital. If you believe you are having a heart attack or have scary symptoms, immediately call 911. If you believe someone else is having a heart attack, call 911. Don't try to drive yourself to the hospital, don't try to drive someone else to the hospital if an ambulance can get you there. Paramedics can do perform immediate life-saving procedures and a possible heart attack victim to the hospital faster in nearly every case. (An exception could be someone in a remote area without emergency access of any kind.)

Here is Web MD's list of heart attack symptoms that women should never ignore:

Also people with diabetes can have a heart attack risk of possibly four times more. If you have diabetes, it is important to discuss this with your doctor.

If you are having a heart attack, calling 911 and getting emergency help right away could save your life. If you believe you have had a heart attack and your doctor or the emergency room medical team may have missed it, keep pressing for advanced medical care you think you need whether it be a cardiologist, more tests, or other treatment. Women are much more likely to be misdiagnosed. A recent news program profiled a woman who had numerous heart events, possibly five, before a doctor finally diagnosed her with having heart attack events.

Also, as a fan of plant-based vegan diets, I need to say that a plant-based vegan diet can reverse heart disease and diabetes. A great resource is "Eat To Live" by Dr. Joel Furhman:

Dr. Joel Fuhrman is the doctor and nutritionist to whom many top NYC doctors send their patients. Through a plant-based vegan diet, he has helped patients to reverse heart disease in cases where patients were believed not to have long to live. He has helped patients to reverse many chronic diseases as well.

Dr. Neal Barnard is another resource and has run several successful clinical trials for NIH. He is especially known for his work in reversing diabetes and his work for the Physicians for Responsible Medicine (PRCM):

Dr. Neal Ornish is a leader in plant-based vegan programs, plus meditation, yoga, and exercise to completely reverse heart disease. His programs are covered by many health insurance programs and are very successful:

Dr. Mark Hyman often discusses diabesity (diabetes and obesity) and has just written an article saying that scientific research now proves that it is sugar, not eggs, that cause heart attacks:

Dr. Calwell B. Esselstyn Jr. at the Cleveland Clinic has written a book on reversing heart disease:

Also Brendan Brazier's book on plant-based vegan diets for athletic performance are referred to as the bible for athletes. A lot of great vegan nutritional info in his book:

And here is an additional link for Dr. Joel Fuhrman regarding reversing heart disease and diabetes:

How to prevent heart attack by Dr Joel Fuhman

Heart attacks are the number one cause of death for both men and women. More than 385,000 people die each year from heart disease, according to the CDC. Each year, about 715,000 people have a heart attack. Of these, about 525,000 are having their first heart attack.

And here is a link to the American Heart Association and information on women:

The American Heart Association reports that one in three women has some form of heart disease. Since 1984, the number of women dying from these types of heart-related events has exceeded that of men. In 2009, these heart-related diseases were the cause of death for over 401,000 women. The death rate for African-American women was higher than that for white women.

NIH reports that one in four women dies of heart disease. This is a very informative link:


Here is what NIH says about Broken Heart Syndrome. This this was only recently recognized although people seemed to sense it was real (she died of a broken heart), I am posting this:

"Broken Heart Syndrome

Women are also more likely than men to have a condition called broken heart syndrome. In this recently recognized heart problem, extreme emotional stress can lead to severe (but often short-term) heart muscle failure.

Broken heart syndrome is also called stress-induced cardiomyopathy (KAR-de-o-mi-OP-ah-thee) or takotsubo cardiomyopathy.

Doctors may misdiagnose broken heart syndrome as a heart attack because it has similar symptoms and test results. However, there's no evidence of blocked heart arteries in broken heart syndrome, and most people have a full and quick recovery.

Researchers are just starting to explore what causes this disorder and how to diagnose and treat it. Often, patients who have broken heart syndrome have previously been healthy."

Also NIH and every other source discuss the good news that lifestyle changes, including diet, exercise, and reducing stress can make such a difference. Exercise is one of those factors that many of the doctors listed here really emphasize, as well as diet. Even taking a walk every day can make a difference.
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FANCYKAYAH 2/12/2014 7:13PM

    I follow a lot of what Dr. Barnard advises for his patients and never felt better in my life! The meat and dairy industries are toxic~

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    My lifestyle put me on the road away from a heart attack happening. As to the broken heart perhaps but not today.

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