An interesting thing occurred in my life recently, I had a heart attack. It was completely unexpected and I do not have any risk factors that would indicate that I would have been a candidate for a heart attack. This incidence did make me wonder how many women truly know the signs of a heart attack? Did you know that you can have one without having any chest pain? So as a reminder, here are the symptoms of a heart attack for women according to American Heart Association:
- Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
- Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
- Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
- Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
- As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest painor discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.
If you have any of these symptoms call 911 or get yourself to the hospital right away. My symptoms were severe left jaw and left arm pain and no chest pain. Luckily I knew the symptoms and got to the hospital right away.
As they began all the testing to determine the cause it became apparent that I was going to be one of those difficult cases. You see, I work out 5 days a week with extra walks and bike rides just for fun, try and eat right, and take supplements to try and prevent disease. The best guess to date is that maybe I had a spasm in the coronary artery and/or heart as they could not find any plaque that would have caused the attack. Of all the risk factors for a heart attack (mayoclinic.org) -
the one I most relate to is stress. That day was a particularly stressful day so maybe that had something to do with it.
So now I begin to try and treat something that is an unknown. For many who follow the traditional route this includes a statin, blood thinner, high blood pressure medication, beta blockers, and baby aspirin. As a person who believes in doing things as natural as possible, all of these pharmaceuticals are just not an option. Instead, after much research, I have begun a regimen of products that have been shown to work in the same capacity without the harm that pharmaceuticals cause. It is important to work with a qualified health care practitioner so that your health can be monitored and you can make any changes that might need to occur.
Remember, you are your own best advocate and only you can make the proper decisions for what you put in your body. Make sure you understand your body to recognize when something bad is occurring and do your best to educate yourself on the best path for you to take.
Life is a journey, live it to the fullest.