Heart Attack. It used to be a male problem, but that's not the case anymore. Women are now having heart attacks at an increasing rate resulting in almost 50% of all heart attacks. That's right, the percentage of male and female heart attacks is now dead even. And to make matters even worse, 44% of women die within a year of their attacks. Only 27% of men die within a year of their attacks. If that doesn't get your attention, consider this. On a yearly basis, twice as many women die from heart attacks as die from all forms of cancer combined.
Men and women have different warning signs of an impending heart attack. It's wise not to ignore any chest pain or discomfort but the common warning signs we have all heard about are basically signs men should observe. A recent study revealed some disturbing facts. It seems as if only 29% of female heart attack victims experienced the intense chest pains that are common in male heart attacks. Because of this, many women are unaware of the gravity of their condition and subsequently delay treatment. This decision all too often proves fatal.
By all means observe the symptoms men look for. But also become aware of the symptoms specific to a woman's situation. Your life may depend on it. The following are symptoms that can appear up to one month before an attack.
- Unusual fatigue that can't be explained.
- Anxiety accompanied by poor sleep patterns.
- Excessive weakness and dizziness (attack imminent).
- Shortness of breath with or without pain.
- Shortness of breath plus palpitations and cold sweats (attack imminent).
- If you are unable to verbally correspond with the 911 operator, make some sounds of distress like moans or groans. This will indicate to the 911 operator that this is not a prank call. Do not hang up after. That will allow the call to be traced.
- If you were able to verbally correspond with the 911 operator, hang up after you have completed the conversation. Then immediately call a friend or relative who can get to your location quickly to render assistance if needed.
- If you have nitroglycerin tablets, take one every five minutes, three maximum. If you have aspirin, take one and chew it. This can possibly prevent a blood clot.
- Perform a coughing maneuver called Cough CPR which consists of continuous vigorous coughing. This could possibly prevent you from losing consciousness.
- If a companion is with you, have them check your pulse and respiration at frequent intervals. If your breathing or pulse stops your companion should immediately perform CPR until breathing is restored or the ambulance arrives.
- If you have a juicer, drink some fresh fruit and vegetable juice from organic produce. If you don't have a juicer try some commercial organic bottled juices. Also, try to consume about 64 oz of steam distilled water per day.
- Avoid sugar, salt, and anything produced from white flour. Refined sugars promote negative reactions in all of your body's cells.
- Avoid excessive consumption of alcohol, it has a negative effect on your heart. For a woman, excessive use is classified as anything over one drink a day.
- The supplements Coenzyme Q10, Carnitine, Flax, Magnesium, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Vitamin B complex are instrumental in the prevention of cardiac arrhythmia and heart attack. Carnitine protects the heart from damage due to poor circulation or partial blockage of the arteries. The supplements DHA and EPA also help to reduce the risk of having a heart attack. They also reduce your chances of dying from a variety of ailments, including heart disease.
The heart muscle pumps blood to all areas of the body. It is comprised of four separate chambers, the right and left atria and the right and left ventricles. Between these four chambers are valves that allow blood to flow in a forward direction only. With each beat of the heart, the right ventricle forces deoxygenated blood into the lungs and the left ventricle pumps oxygenated blood into the arteries for circulation throughout the body.
Your heart depends on oxygenated blood coming to it from the arteries around the heart (coronary arteries) for essential oxygen and nutrients. If the coronary arteries become constricted the heart will be deprived of much-needed oxygen resulting in a heart attack causing the death of cardiac tissue. When the blood supply to the heart is reduced or stopped, the heart is deprived of essential oxygen and if blood flow is not restored quickly (within minutes) portions of the heart deteriorate and die resulting in permanent damage to your heart.
Heart attacks have become a serious problem for women. A woman is 50% more likely to die from a heart attack than a man. Why? Because women are having heart attacks at older ages when their immune systems are less efficient due to the aging process. The chain reaction continues when her arteries are less able to adjust to the partial death of the heart muscle caused by the heart attack. Death is often the end result.
Heart attacks are directly related to a variety of other conditions like arteriosclerosis, circulatory problems, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and cardiovascular disorders like Angina and Arrhythmia.
Many ailments have the symptoms that resemble a woman's heart attack symptoms such as a gallbladder attack or Fibromyalgia which causes chest pain. Even unexplained women's heart attack symptoms should be thoroughly checked. Remember, some signs of an impending heart attack for a woman appear well in advance of the actual attack.
I have written a book detailing a holistic approach to some of the health issues women face on a daily basis. It's titled Holistic Medicine For Women's Health. For a preview of the contents of the book go to the Holistic Medicine For Women's Health tab at the top of this page.