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Heart attacks and coronary heart disease kills twice as many women in the UK as breast cancer every year, and is the single biggest killer of women worldwide. The risk rises post menopause, but would you spot the signs of a heart attack - carry on reading.
There are more than 800,000 women in the UK living with CHD, which is the main cause of heart attacks. 35,000 women are admitted to hospital following a heart attack each year in the UK - an average of 98 women per day, or 4 per hour.
Since I originally wrote this article, my husband has passed away, and that's another reason why part of my mission is to help women understand their health and to take any symptoms as a sign that your body is not happy.
2 1/2 years ago, my husband called me feeling unwell. He was fit, healthy, ran regularly, played squash and ate relatively clean. A few weeks before he’d been complaining of regular mild indigestion following a one-off sickness bout, and had to stop when running and playing squash, plus a little discomfort occasionally in his chest. Immediately alarm bells started to ring for me and I told him to get it checked out by his GP. (My Dad had a triple Heart Bypass at 42 years old, plus a few minor artery ops and my brothers had 3 heart attacks so anyone suddenly wanting Gaviscon makes me think of heart issues)
He finally got a GP appointment; his Blood Pressure was dangerously high but the GP said “we’ll start to think of putting you on BP medication”. As for the indigestion and chest pains “could be anything”. No ECG. No looking at his family history. No “Blood pressure is the Silent Killer” concern.
The following morning, he called me with Chest pains, they went off during the call, he’d called NHS Direct who said to go to his GP and the receptionist at the GP Surgery said she had no appointments until 4.30pm that day. Really helpful! Both NHS Direct and the GP Surgery failed to act on the “chest pains” or his high blood pressure.
Maybe it’s fortunate that my brother had his first heart attack at the gym, a healthy lean 38 year old, who went on to have 2 subsequent heart attacks, and I’d spent weeks on cardiology wards since the age of 12 with my Dad speaking with other patients that I’d learnt the unusual signs.
Heart attack symptoms vary from one person to another. You see on the movies people clutching their chest before dropping to the floor, in reality that doesn’t happen often. My husband’s symptoms were mild chest pain that would come and go, and a little indigestion. I ignored the GP and NHS, drove to pick him up and took him straight to A&E. It was freezing cold, so cold I had my heated seat on, yet he had the window open, was a little clammy with chest pains rating 5/10 on the pain scale. Classic signs of the start of a heart attack!
Within 10 minutes of arrival he had collapsed in the chair, I helped the Triage nurse lift him to the floor where he had a cardiac arrest and stopped breathing.
Shock and fear took over me. I’m eternally grateful to the stranger in the waiting room who put his book down, walked towards me and let me sob all over his jacket. Sugary tea made by nurses has never tasted so comforting. Waiting for my Mum and our children to arrive felt like Hours!
25 minutes of CPR, 7 Shocks and his heart was beating again. 3 hours later plus another shock – stabilized, sedated, a machine breathing for him, he was on his way in an ambulance with a doctor and anesthetist to Oxford.
Less Common signs of a Heart Attack
- Abdominal pain
- Aching upper body
- Unexplained anxiety
- Unusual fatigue
- Sleep disturbance
- Shortness of breath
- Cold sweats or clammy skin
- Nausea, vomiting or light headiness
Please be aware of the unusual signs of a heart attack above, many of these are seen in women and often women do not know that they have had a heart attack until a day or sometimes more later. If you feel unwell and are not feeling confident in your GP or doctor, then seek a 2nd opinion. You know your body.
How can The Hormone Fairy help you during Menopause?
Are you struggling with your Hormones, you don’t have to be a hostage to them. This is the prime of your life and it’s time to step into your power, feel happier, sexy and back to your old self.
Let me, Cat The Hormone Fairy wave my magic wand! If you’re ready for something different, ready to take the first step on a journey to a healthier and happier you, then I’m excited to help you make those changes.
- Book a Breakthrough session to find out how you can work with me. Whether that’s 121 Hormone Coaching, Hormone Testing, a Group 30 Day program or a Menopause Mastermind. Click the link below to book a 15-minute chat or drop me a message via the contact page. https://thehormonefairy.gettimely.com/book
- JOINour Private Facebook Hub where you can ask me questions, learn more of my top tips, feel supported, join challenges and make new friends. Click here to enter https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheHormoneFairy/
- Attend an Event Come along to our Monthly Menopause Meet-ups locally, Menopause & Mochas during the day or Mocktails & Menopause in the evening – A chance to chat, learn, share experiences, feel supported, make friends and have fun. There’s also 1 Day Workshops & Retreats, and weekend Retreats to help you get back on track. Keep an eye out on our Website, Facebook Page, Instagram for our latest events.
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