The Unique Warning Signs of a Heart Attack in Men and Women

An older man and woman who know the unique warning signs of a heart attack and the importance of a healthy lifestyle practice tai chi in the park.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), chest pain or discomfort are the primary symptoms of a heart attack. This sensation can feel like pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain in the center of the chest. While chest pain is the most well-known symptom of a heart attack, it's important to recognize that men and women often experience other distinct warning signs.

The referred care providers at CareTime, American, Advocate, and Whitsyms In-Home Care share information about the unique warning signs of a heart attack and how in-home care services can help aid recovery and establish long-term healthy habits.

Unique Warning Signs of a Heart Attack in Men

Along with chest pain, men commonly experience symptoms such as:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Lightheadedness
  • Breaking out in a cold sweat

It is also important for men to pay attention to any unusual fatigue or weakness, as these could also indicate a potential heart attack.

Unique Warning Signs of a Heart Attack in Women

Women, on the other hand, may not always present with classic chest pain. The American Heart Association notes that women might experience symptoms such as:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Jaw pain
  • Back pain

Unexplained fatigue, dizziness, and shortness of breath can also signal a heart attack in women. Recognizing these atypical symptoms is vital for prompt medical intervention.

What Are the Risk Factors for Heart Attacks?

Several factors increase the risk of heart attacks in both men and women. Some of these risks are beyond your control, such as your age and family history of heart disease. However, there are many risk factors, like smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle, that can be better managed to reduce your risk.

Recovering From a Heart Attack

If you or a loved one has had a heart attack, the recovery period is critical. If the heart has been damaged, this may affect its ability to pump blood or maintain a normal rhythm. To avoid having another heart attack or other conditions such as stroke or peripheral arterial disease, the CDC recommends adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle. This should include the following:

  • Regular exercise: Following a heart attack, you may have to limit physical activity for a time. However, regular activity will be important to strengthen the heart and keep the body fit. As a heart attack survivor, you should work closely with your healthcare team to develop an exercise plan that is right for your condition.
  • A balanced diet: A heart-healthy diet is crucial for ongoing health. Talk to your doctor about what foods to avoid and what should be added to your diet.
  • Stress management: Some amount of stress is unavoidable in daily life, but reducing stress is key for a healthy heart. Meditation and exercise can help lower stress levels. Work with your healthcare team to develop a stress-reduction strategy moving forward.
  • Taking prescribed medications: Following a heart attack it is important to follow your doctor’s exact orders. This includes taking all prescribed medications to ensure a successful recovery and prevent further issues.

Get Help to Recover and Stay Healthy

Recovering from a heart attack or staying healthy to prevent an attack can feel like an overwhelming task. But you’re not alone. Referred care providers from CareTime, American, Advocate, and Whitsyms In-Home Care offer professional in-home care assistance that can help in several ways, including:

  • Post-operative care for pain management, surgical site care, medication management, etc.
  • Recording health data and regularly reporting to the physician
  • Personal hygiene care
  • Respite care for family caregivers
  • And much more

Contact us today to find out more about how we can help. Click the link to the location nearest you below:

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