Heart attacks can be perilous. Studies show that women are fifty percent more likely to receive a misdiagnosis for heart attacks (via heart.org). So, why does this happen? Researchers believe it occurs due to misperceptions of what a heart attack patient looks like. Some doctors may have an idea and misdiagnose a woman because she doesn’t fit into their picture. It’s a dangerous way to look at heart attacks, especially since all types of people can have heart attacks, not just people who are obese. The University of Leeds in the United Kingdom found that 100 women per day were diagnosed with heart attacks in local hospitals. That’s a high number, but it doesn’t account for misdiagnosed people.
It’s essential to know the signs and symptoms of a heart attack, as well as the risk factors. Symptoms of a heart attack in women include shortness of breath, pain in the jaw, neck, back, and arms, pain or pressure in the chest, nausea, cold sweats, and even lightheadedness (via heart.org). If you experience any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately. It may just save your life! Risk factors for heart attacks include diabetes, obesity, stress, eating an unhealthy diet, and drinking too much alcohol. If you meet these criteria, it is vital to speak with your doctor about your risk and change your habits to ensure safety.
1. Doctors Often Misdiagnose Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in Women
CFS, or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, is a disease that makes you feel exhausted all of the time. Doctors do not understand it well, and this often leads to misdiagnosis. You could have this condition for years without knowing exactly what’s wrong with you. There is no testing for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, so it’s difficult for doctors to diagnose (via Mayo Clinic). They are most likely to diagnose you with something else before concluding that the problem is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Your exhaustion with CFS is always worse when doing tasks but doesn’t get better even if you rest.
Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome include dizziness, the feeling that rest is never enough, and problems with concentration, memory, and focus. Other signs are swollen lymph nodes, sore throat, headaches, and joint or muscle pain (via Mayo Clinic). While the cause of CFS is unknown, doctors believe a variety of factors causes it. If your doctor suspects Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, they will try to rule out everything else with testing first to ensure a proper diagnosis. If you feel your doctor isn’t giving you the answers you need, it doesn’t hurt to ask for a second opinion. Treatment for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome includes antidepressants, medications for blood pressure, and pain medications. You may also benefit from certain types of therapy.