Heart disease is one of the number one killers in the United States. Our women’s health care providers are here to help you stay healthy. That’s why we’re spreading the word about a subtle, but dangerous sign that you could have heart disease: fatigue.
Many of us mistakenly believe that heart disease is mainly a concern for men. However, women are also at risk for this serious health condition.
Here are some quick facts on heart disease in women:
Women often experience different symptoms of heart disease than men, which can make it hard to notice early warning signs. If you’re experiencing unexplained tiredness and fatigue, come to our women’s health clinic to help find the root of the problem.
With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, of course we sometimes feel tired! However, there are some signs that you shouldn’t ignore your fatigue. For example, if you’re suddenly and overwhelmingly tired without understanding why, this could be something more serious than needing a nap or an extra few hours of sleep.
Some other fatigue symptoms you shouldn’t ignore include:
These symptoms can signal that something may not be quite right with your health. For example, extreme fatigue can be a symptom of vitamin deficiencies, anemia, and other health conditions. It can also be a sign of heart disease or an impending heart attack.
Unfortunately, many women ignore these signs to seek women’s health care. We might chalk them up to aging, a busy schedule, or stress. However, if you’re not feeling like yourself, it’s always better to be safe than sorry and get checked out.
Sudden on-set of extreme fatigue or tiredness is one of the top heart attack symptoms for women. Along with chest discomfort, shortness of breath, and indigestion, abrupt and unexpected fatigue is another symptom that many women experience before they have a heart attack.
The American Heart Association conducted a study in 2003 to learn which symptoms women might have of a heart attack. They looked at 515 women who had had a heart attack and found that many noticed unexplained fatigue and trouble sleeping. Some of the women even experienced these symptoms up to one month before their heart attack. The researchers in the study suggested that these symptoms may serve as an early warning sign.
In the study, 70% of the women experienced unusual tiredness before their heart attack. Also, 48% noticed they had sleep disturbances beforehand. Only 30% of the participants reported feeling chest discomfort, the symptom that most of us think of when we hear “heart attack.” What’s even more interesting, most didn’t report chest pain, but rather chest discomfort like tightness, aching, or pressure. The researchers suggested that recognizing symptoms like unexplained tiredness and difficulties sleeping may help people seek women’s health care to potentially help prevent or delay a heart attack.
High blood pressure can make your heart work harder and increase your risk for heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. Nearly half of all adults in the U.S. either have high blood pressure or take medications to treat it. Your risk for high blood pressure increases with age.
High blood pressure is another condition that may make you feel extremely tired. Though high blood pressure is often called a “silent killer,” because it often doesn’t cause any symptoms, some people do feel extreme fatigue. Some signs you might have high blood pressure include fatigue, lightheadedness, feeling weak, and shortness of breath.
Also, you can also feel extremely tired due to heart conditions that may be caused by high blood pressure. For example, high blood pressure can lead to coronary artery disease, peripheral arterial disease, heart failure, and enlarged heart, all of which may cause fatigue.
When you come in for a health assessment from our women’s health care providers, we screen for many different conditions to help find underlying causes of your symptoms. We check your blood pressure and can help you find treatment solutions to reduce your blood pressure and the serious risks associated with it.
If you’re chronically tired, this can be a sign of many other heart problems. Fatigue can be a sign of heart valve problems or heart failure. Also, studies have linked chronic fatigue with several heart problems. For example, many people who experience chronic fatigue also have left ventricular dysfunction. This is a heart condition where your left ventricle doesn’t pump blood properly. The left ventricle is the thickest heart chamber and is responsible for pumping blood full of oxygen to your organs. Congestive heart failure commonly follows left ventricular dysfunction. Therefore, it’s important to talk to our women’s health care provider if you’re feeling extra tired without an explanation.
When it comes to heart disease, women not only may experience different symptoms, but also different risk factors. For example, after menopause, your risk for heart disease increases, likely due to hormone changes. Some pregnancy complications can also be risk factors for heart disease, as well as conditions like endometriosis and polycystic ovary disease.
Some other things that may increase your risk for heart disease include:
Our women’s health care professionals are here to help address your health as a whole. During your appointment, we’ll talk about your history and risk factors and help guide you on things you can do to lower your risk for heart disease. If you’re feeling excessively tired, we’ll help you find underlying causes of your symptom. Our providers listen and then help you with individualized treatment plans.
Our team at HerKare is here to help you feel great again. We put you in charge at our women’s health clinic. Our goal is to help you stay healthy and help improve your quality of life. Whether you need an annual exam or are coming in to talk about any symptoms or concerns you have about your health, we believe in providing compassionate women’s health care in a welcoming environment. We take time to listen and understand, and then help you feel better. Make an appointment today and let’s talk about your health and wellbeing!