Know the symptoms
You might not know you have heart disease until you have symptoms. That’s why it’s important to know the warning signs and when it’s time to see your doctor. If you know the danger signals of heart disease, you can work with your doctor to treat them.
Nausea, fatigue and shortness of breath are some examples of proven symptoms of heart disease in women, but a doctor might assume they’re caused by anxiety or stress.
Your best defense is knowledge. Talk to your doctor. Learn as much as you can about your own heart health and take an active role in your health care.
Signs and symptoms of a heart attack:
- Pain, squeezing, fullness or pressure in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes or goes away and returns
- Pain that moves to the shoulders, neck or arms
- Chest discomfort accompanied by lightheadedness, fainting, sweating, fatigue, nausea or shortness of breath (fatigue, nausea and shortness of breath are especially common in women)
Some less common heart attack symptoms:
- Unusual chest, stomach or abdominal pain
- Nausea or dizziness (without chest pain)
- Shortness of breath and difficulty breathing without chest pain
- Anxiety, weakness or fatigue for no apparent reason
- Heart palpitations, breaking out in a cold sweat, or paleness
Signs and symptoms of a stroke:
If you or a loved one experience any of the following symptoms, get medical attention immediately:
- Sudden weakness or numbness of the face, arms or legs, especially on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion, difficulty speaking or understanding
- Sudden vision problems in one or both eyes
- Sudden dizziness, difficulty walking or loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden, severe headache with no known cause