How do you recognize cardiovascular disease? Most people think of acute signals, such as chest pain and pain between the shoulder blades. In practice, however, it appears that women can have completely different complaints. The danger in this is that the signals are often so vague that the clinical picture is not recognized or is recognized too late by both doctors and patients.
It’s actually a rare situation. Women are more often victims of cardiovascular disease than men. But doctors look at the ‘male’ norm in the event of complaints. Especially since research into cardiovascular diseases has mostly taken place in men. As a result, women are treated too late or not at all, that far too often results in death.
There is another danger lurking. Heart complaints in women are very similar to menopausal complaints. In addition, heart failure usually occurs during or after menopause.
It is therefore not surprising that women are occasionally misdiagnosed. What symptoms should women be aware of?
One of the most well-known symptoms of menopause is hot flashes. However, hot flashes can also occur due to high blood pressure, which in turn can lead to cardiovascular disease. Do the hot flashes last long? Is there heart failure in the family? Are there multiple risk factors present? Then make every effort to discuss these complaints with a doctor.
Where men can suddenly get severe complaints, women ‘just’ don’t feel well with heart complaints. They feel a little whiny and tired. They suffer from palpitations, experience (extreme) fatigue and sleep badly. Because the signs are not obvious, they do not seek help from a specialist. While it can be a sign that an infarction is presenting itself.
Of course, men and women can also have the same complaints. Think of pain in the jaw, in the back and between the shoulder blades. Or nausea and vomiting. Women may also have upper abdominal pain and dizziness. In addition, they experience a restless and anxious feeling. Sometimes the chest pain is completely absent in women, causing doctors to confuse the complaints with the flu.
Women are more likely to have a silent heart attack than men. This means that they don’t notice it themselves. They have virtually no symptoms. The clinical picture is then discovered by chance afterwards. Yet women often seem to have to deal with fatigue complaints. So contact your doctor if the fatigue is present for a longer period of time. Because the risks of doing nothing are far too great.