Archive for October, 2015

Heart Attack Symptoms: Men vs. Women: Part II

Many instances of heart attacks start out slowly in both men and women and present themselves in mild symptoms. For those heart attacks that start slowly, early symptoms may include the following:

  • body-116585_1280Mild pain or discomfort in the chest that may come and go—also called “stuttering” chest pain
  • Pain in the shoulders, neck, and jaw
  • Nausea and vomiting, sweating
  • Lightheadedness, fainting
  • A feeling of “impending doom”
  • Severe anxiety or confusion
  • Breathlessness

According to the American Heart Association, a man’s risk of heart attack increases significantly after the age of 45. A family history of heart disease plus other risk factors like high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, cigarette smoking, and overweight can increase that risk even more.

Common symptoms in men include:

  • Standard chest pain that feels like “an elephant” is sitting on your chest; the squeezing sensation may come and go, or may be constant and intense
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath—you feel like you can’t get enough air, even when you’re resting
  • Dizziness, or feeling like you’re going to pass out
  • Breaking out in a cold sweat
  • Stomach discomfort that feels like indigestion

According to the Society of Chest Pain Centers, early heart attack symptoms occur in 50 percent of all heart attack patients, and if people are aware of the symptoms, they can actually prevent the heart attack itself.

The sooner you can get help for a heart attack, the better your chances for a complete recovery. Don’t hesitate or question yourself. If you feel any symptoms, it’s always best to seek immediate care from your physician or a hospital emergency services where they can examine you and run a cardiac marker test to fully evaluate your medical situation.

Heart Attack Symptoms: Men vs. Women: Part 1

Heart disease is often thought of as a man’s disease, but studies prove that heart disease is actually the number one killer of women in America.

cardiac-156059_1280Ask anyone about the symptoms of a heart attack and most people will think chest pain. However, heart attack symptoms aren’t so clear cut and actually show up in several different ways, depending on a number of factors: whether you’re a man or a woman, what type of heart disease you have, and how old you are.

Educating yourself on the variety of symptoms that may indicate a heart attack can help save your life or that of a loved one. When a heart attack does strike, it doesn’t always feel the same in women as it does in men. While women can experience some of the same key indicators, often many experience “silent” symptoms that are easy to miss.

Major symptoms for a woman prior to heart attack might include:

  • Unusual fatigue for several days; or a sudden, severe fatigue
  • Anxiety and sleep disturbances
  • Lightheadedness and/or shortness of breath
  • Indigestion or gas-like pain
  • Upper back or shoulder pain; possibly throat pain
  • Jaw pain or pain that spreads up to the jaw
  • Pressure or pain in the center of the chest, that may spread to the arm

Silent symptoms in women could also include:

  • Mild discomfort in your chest, arms, or jaw that go away after resting
  • Abdominal pain and/or heartburn
  • Skin clamminess

Remember that every heart attack is different, so your symptoms may not fit the cookie-cutter description. If at any time you feel discomfort and are questioning the symptoms it is best to seek a medical professional who can examine you and administer a cardiac marker test.

Flu Facts: Antiviral Medications

Though it’s not possible to predict the severity of the flu season, it’s a guarantee that it’ll be here before long. Flu seasons are unpredictable in a number of ways. While flu spreads every year, the timing, severity, and length of the season varies from one year to another.

thermometer-833085_1280In order to protect yourself, it’s important to get vaccinated as soon as the flu vaccine becomes available. This ensures that as many people as possible are protected. In addition to the vaccine, everyday preventative steps, such as avoiding sick people and washing your hands to reduce the spread of germs can help you stay healthy.

If you’ve taken those precautions and an influenza testing kit confirms you’ve still come down with the flu, antiviral medications, such as Tamiflu (oseltamivir), zanamivir and peramivir can be used to treat flu illness. Studies show that prompt treatment with antiviral drugs can prevent serious flu complications and can mean the difference between having a milder illness versus a very serious illness that could result in a hospital stay.

Treatment with antivirals works best when begun within 48 hours of getting sick, but can still be beneficial when given later in the course of illness. Antiviral drugs are effective across all age-and risk groups.

Flu Season Is On The Way

Ready or not, the annual flu season, which generally runs from October through May, is on its way. That also means it’s time for your annul flu vaccine.

vaccine-789890_1280No doubt you recall last year’s vaccine dilemma. So, will this year’s version be more effective? Experts are optimistic.

Three kinds of viruses commonly circulate among people today, according to the Centers for Disease Control: two types of influenza A, H1N1 and H3N2, and influenza B viruses. The CDC said all of the 2015-16 vaccines will protect against those three viruses, and so far, health officials say, they appear to be on target.

Experts say the strength of the vaccine all comes down to how well manufacturers – which work months in advance to produce the vaccine – predict the strains of flu virus that will hit us. Flu vaccine predictions start early every year based on what kind of flu strains are hitting people in the Southern Hemisphere during their flu season, which is the opposite of ours. Manufacturers then try to determine if the same flu strains will make their way to us in the Northern Hemisphere.

Whether or not this year’s vaccine is a perfect match is yet to be determined, but public health official’s advice people to get their annual flu shot, especially those most vulnerable to flu, including children under the age of 5 and adults 65 and older. Once flu season is in full swing, if you feel you are coming down with symptoms, see your doctor right away. They can administer an influenza test by using influenza rapid test kit to determine if antiviral medication, like Tamiflu, can help you.