Women’s Heart Issues
Over the past few years, a friend … who is scientist … and I have discussed literature about how women’s heart attacks are different from men’s. It turns out that female arteries are more elastic and flexible than those of men. So those arteries expand more easily and let SOME blood flow through rather than completely blocking off.
Consequently, the chest-crushing pain that guys experience with dramatic heart events doesn’t necessarily happen with women. Instead, women may just feel chronically tired, weak, and maybe a bit “blurry-brained.” In advanced stages of heart issues, women may develop a cough and chest congestion. But actual pain may not be part of the picture at all.
So it’s easy to overlook serious heart issues in women, who tend to push themselves anyway.
For instance, a week before I wrote this post, a patient of mine had been coughing heavily for several days and decided to stay home from work. Later, I went to check on her. She was coughing worse, slightly disoriented and shaking.
We decided she should go to the local urgent care facility, thinking she may have a case of pneumonia. Flu was going around and lots of people were reporting pneumonia with this flu. After five minutes in the urgent care facility however, they rushed her to the hospital … red lights and sirens … with heart issues PLUS pneumonia.
She was in ICU for four days. Then they put a couple of stents in her heart and kept her a few more days. They saved her life, even if she will have to use some prescriptions for a while.
If you’ve read many of my blog-posts over the years, you know that I encourage taking the most conservative path toward establishing and maintain health. There are so many surgeries in this country that are unnecessary and so many drugs that should be taken only after we’ve explored all other avenues and found them short.
However, there comes a time when we do have to call on doctors who excel the most at emergency measures … medical doctors. They do save lots of lives in dire circumstances.
But the primary reason I wanted to write this post is to warn women that just because you don’t have crushing chest pain or pain shooting down your left arm, you can’t rule out serious heart issues. Be alert and be diligent. Know what the signs are for female heart issues are and act on your hunches before they get to be crises.
Dr. Rick Boatright, D.C.
See Dr. Boatright’s books at http://amzn.to/2xUWk8h