Women don’t have the same heart attack symptoms as men, so they need to know what to watch for
When many people envision a heart attack, they think of crippling chest pain. For men, that’s typically the symptom that alerts them to a life-threatening situation. But for women, heart attack symptoms are different. If we don’t know what to look out for, it can be easy to shrug off heart attack symptoms as something minor.
One woman almost did just that. She had a life-threatening heart attack, and almost didn’t seek help because her symptoms didn’t seem like anything major. She didn’t think she needed medical attention. Now, she’s sharing her story in a viral Twitter thread to help other women see that symptoms of a heart attack, though they may seem minor, need to be taken seriously. It’s a Twitter thread that could very well save a life.
The woman, who goes by gwheezie on Twitter, suffered symptoms for weeks before she sought help. By then, she had a 95 percent block in a cardiac artery, and required multiple stents. She wrote that she thought the pain that was caused by her heart attack was just some mild muscle strain from cleaning out a barn.
Gwheezie even thought she should seek medical help sooner than she did, but she had things to do so she put it off. You know, like women do with health things all the time.
In her words, “I’d just tough it out because it wasn’t real bad.” Ladies, a show of hands. How many of us have done exactly that when we’ve been sick or injured?
According to the American Heart Association, heart attack symptoms for women include pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in your chest; pain in one or both arms, your back, neck or stomach; shortness of breath; cold sweat; nausea; and lightheadedness. You can have all of those symptoms, or just some of them. A woman can have a heart attack without experiencing any chest pain at all.
Gwheezie is lucky her story ends well. When she finally did call 911, the paramedics knew right away what was up, and took her to a hospital where she could get good cardio care.
Judging by the reactions to the thread, she’s not the only one who was surprised to learn that women’s heart attacks are so different from men’s. There are also a lot of women with similar stories of finding out from a major health scare.
So, ladies, now we know. Be aware of the symptoms and take care of yourselves — just like you take care of everyone else you love.