Why is it that the symptoms of heart disease in women are often times difficult to quantify?
The very nature of heart disease in women has yet to be fully understood. Perhaps assigning it a proper name will help.
Ischemic Heart Disease
Also known as Cardiac Syndrome X, also known as Microvascular Coronary Disease. Confused yet?
You are not alone. As it turns out, some in the medical profession are hard pressed to diagnose a woman with IHD because of the greater symptom burden; your symptoms need to show heart disease. Which, as some of us may have experienced first hand, isn’t always easy to do.
What’s worse is the startling disparity in the heart care women receive in comparison to men.
So what’s a girl to do?
Know The Symptoms
While it is true that some have experienced pressure and/or pain in the chest, other more subtle symptoms often present themselves as well. Included in these may be:
- Pain in the shoulder, neck or jaw
- Back pain
- Shortness of breath
- Extremely fatigued
- A feeling of fullness in the area above the stomach with loss of appetite or nausea
- Heart rate fluctuation (either too fast or two slow)
- A sense that something is very wrong
Additionally, at least in my case, these symptoms would come on without warning. In fact, they would occur more often than not when I was at rest. Should you be experiencing these or any other symptoms you believe to be associated with your heart, contact your physician immediately. Don’t rule out a trip to the ER if necessary.