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Call or other emergency services immediately if you have symptoms of acute coronary syndrome. These may include:

Chest pain or pressure, or a strange feeling in the chest.

Chest pain or pressure, or a strange feeling in the chest.

Shortness of breath.

Shortness of breath.

Sweating.

Sweating.

Lightheadedness or sudden weakness.

Lightheadedness or sudden weakness.

Nausea or vomiting.

Nausea or vomiting.

A fast or irregular heartbeat.

A fast or irregular heartbeat.

Pain, pressure, or a strange feeling in the back, neck, jaw, or upper belly, or in one or both shoulders or arms.

Pain, pressure, or a strange feeling in the back, neck, jaw, or upper belly, or in one or both shoulders or arms.

aspirin

After you call , the operator may tell you to chew 1 adult-strength or 2 to 4 low-dose aspirin. Wait for an ambulance. Do not try to drive yourself.



What is Afib?

Have you ever felt your heart flutter, race or skip a beat? Most of us have at some point, But if this happens more frequently, you may have atrial fibrillation.
Atrial fibrillation (Afib) is a problem with the heart’s rhythm – the way it beats. When someone is “in Afib,” the heartbeats in a rapid, chaotic way.

What are some of the signs & symptoms?

Have you ever felt your heart flutter, race or skip a beat? Most of us have at some point, But if this happens more frequently, you may have atrial fibrillation.
Atrial fibrillation (Afib) is a problem with the heart’s rhythm – the way it beats. When someone is “in Afib,” the heartbeats in a rapid, chaotic way.

chest pain

chest pain

dizziness or feel faint While many women have one or more of these symptoms, some say they don’t experience any.

dizziness or feel faint While many women have one or more of these symptoms, some say they don’t experience any.

unexplained shortness of breath

unexplained shortness of breath

very rapid or irregular heartbeats – some women say they feel their heart flip-flopping in their chests, skipping a beat or fluttering

very rapid or irregular heartbeats

Listen to your body, Afib can occur every once and a while (called paroxysmal atrial fibrillation) or all the time (chronic atrial fibrillation).

Either way, be sure to tell your health care provider about all of your symptoms.

Millions of Women live with atrial fibrillation (Afib). Even though it is more common in men, women with Afib are more likely to have a stroke. Untreated, Afib can also lead to heart failure and chronic fatigue.

Risk factors:

Afib is more likely as you get older. On average, women tend to develop Afib around 75 years of age (vs 67 for men). However, younger women can also have it. Other risk factors can include:

other heart problems, especially valve disease, heart failure or a history of heart attack or open heart surgery

other heart problems, especially valve disease, heart failure or a history of heart attack or open heart surgery

family history

family history

other medical conditions including thyroid problems, diabetes and sleep apnea

other medical conditions including thyroid problems, diabetes and sleep apnea

high blood pressure (hypertension)

high blood pressure (hypertension)

Smoking

Smoking

being obese

being obese

alcohol

alcohol

How is Afib diagnosed?

Your doctor will first ask how you have been feeling and perform a physical exam. If you’ve noticed chest pains, breathlessness or a racing heart, be prepared to tell him or her when they happen (laying down, climbing stairs, etc.) and how often.

How is Afib diagnosed?
Your doctor may order some routine blood work and other screening.

Your doctor may order some routine blood work and other screening.

Your doctor may order some routine blood work and other screening.

There are a number of things you can do to live well with Afib and prevent problems.

A

Pay attention to risk factors for Afib, heart disease and stroke. Make sure your blood pressure and cholesterol levels are stable.

Make sure your blood pressure and cholesterol levels are stable.
Eat a healthy diet.
B

Eat a healthy diet.

C

Exercise regularly and monitor your weight.

Exercise regularly and monitor your weight.
alcohol, caffeine, upper respiratory infections and extreme stress.
D

Know what triggers an episode. Doing so will help you prevent or better anticipate Afib.
Common risks that triggers an AFib episode: alcohol, caffeine, upper respiratory infections and extreme stress.

E

Learn how to pace yourself. Most women living with Afib will tell you it is a livable condition

Learn how to pace yourself. Most women living with Afib will tell you it is a livable condition
Have a plan to stay calm. Anxiety can make episodes much worse.
F

Have a plan to stay calm. Anxiety can make episodes much worse.

G

Take your medications as prescribed.

Learn how to pace yourself. Most women living with Afib will tell you it is a livable condition
Know your risk of stroke & other health problems
H

Know your risk of stroke & other health problems

Possible treatments include lifestyle changes and medications and/or medical procedures

Possible treatments include lifestyle changes and medications and/or medical procedures

  • blood-thinning medications to prevent clots
blood-thinning medications to prevent clots
  • heart rate control medications that bring the heart rate to a normal level
heart rate control medications that bring the heart rate to a normal level
  • heart rhythm control medications that restore or maintain normal heart rhythm
heart rhythm control medications that restore or maintain normal heart rhythm
  • electrical cardioversion –paddles are applied to the chest to shock the heart back into a normal rhythm
electrical cardioversion –paddles are applied to the chest to shock the heart back into a normal rhythm
catheter ablation
  • catheter ablation – wires are inserted into veins in the leg or arm and threaded to the heart to alter abnormal areas that may be causing the abnormal heart rhythm
surgical maze
  • surgical maze – small cuts are made in the heart, creating a “maze” that prevents the abnormal beats from controlling the heart. This is a very effective treatment, but because this requires open heart surgery, it is often used when other options have failed.
Afib is often an ongoing condition that needs to be managed.
  • It’s not a one-time episode!

    Afib is often an ongoing condition that needs to be managed. Women say having regular appointments with their cardiologists and taking medicines to steady their hearts is something you need to follow to maintain a healthy life.



Heart Attack Signs in Women

Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.

Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest
Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach

Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.

Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.

Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
Breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somehow more likely than men to experience these common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.

Even though heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, women often chalk up the symptoms to less life-threatening conditions like acid reflux, the flu or normal aging. Heart disease is the world’s biggest killers, accounting for a combined 15 million deaths in 2015. These diseases have remained the leading causes of death globally in the last 15 years.

Heart disease in Women

Angina in Women Can Be Different Than Men

Angina (chest pain)

Angina (chest pain) is a warning sign of heart disease, and recognizing it and getting treated early may prevent a heart attack. Fatty build-up in your coronary arteries, called plaque, prevents blood flow that’s needed to provide oxygen to your heart muscle.

Women more frequently develop heart disease within the very small arteries that branch out from the coronary arteries – microvascular disease (MVD) and occurs particularly in younger women.

Heart disease in men

On the other hand, Heart disease in men usually is due to blockages in their coronary arteries – obstructive coronary artery disease (CAD). Up to 50 percent of women with anginal symptoms who undergo cardiac catheterization don’t have the obstructive type of CAD.

You may have tightness, pressure or discomfort in your chest during physical activity or when stressed. But it goes away shortly after you stop the activity or get rid of the stress.

You may have tightness, pressure or discomfort in your chest during physical activity or when stressed
feeling out of breath, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain or sharp chest pain

Angina symptoms in women can also include feeling out of breath, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain or sharp chest pain.  Once the extra demand for blood and oxygen stops, so do the symptoms.



Three symptoms you should watch for, including information about how to tell if they are benign or cause for concern

1- Unusual fatigue

Like many women, you’re probably busy most of the time. You may take care of a family, run a household, work outside the home and care for aging parents. You are probably also tired a lot of the time. Most likely this is normal.

Unusual fatigue

But you should pay attention to fatigue if it is new or dramatic. Here’s what to watch out for:

  • You are suddenly exhausted after your typical exercise routine.
  • You aren’t exerting yourself, but have fatigue or a “heavy” chest.
  • Simple activity like making the bed, walking to the bathroom or shopping makes you excessively tired.
  • Although you feel exceptionally tired, you also experience sleep disturbance.
Unusual fatigue

2- Sweating and/or shortness of breath:

As women age, a lack of exercise and gradual weight gain cause issues like shortness of breath. Hot flashes are a common complaint for many women during menopause.

Sweating and/or shortness of breath

But these symptoms can signal a heart problem when they happen in certain situations:

  • Sudden sweating or shortness of breath without exertion
  • Breathlessness that continues to worsen over time after exertion
  • Shortness of breath that worsens when lying down and improves when propping up
  • “Stress” sweat (cold, clammy feeling) when there is no real cause for stress
  • Sweating or shortness of breath accompanied by other symptoms such as chest pain or fatigue
Sweating and/or shortness of breath

3- Neck, jaw, back pain:

As intricate as our body’s systems are, they are very adept at giving signals when there is something wrong. When there is a problem with the heart, it triggers nerves in that area, but you sometimes feel pain elsewhere.

Neck, jaw, back pain
Pain in the jaw, back or arms may signal a heart condition

Pain in the jaw, back or arms may signal a heart condition, especially if the origin is hard to pinpoint (for example there is no specific muscle or joint that aches). Also, if the discomfort begins or worsens when you are exerting yourself, and then stops when you quit exercising, you should get it checked out.



The table below outlines a basic plan of care that may or may not apply to you, based on the cause of your heart failure and your special needs. Ask your doctor to explain therapies that are listed if you do not understand why you are or are not receiving them.

Stages of Heart Failure

Stage A

Definition of Stage

People at high risk of developing heart failure (pre-heart failure), including people with:

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • History of cardiotoxic drug therapy
  • History of alcohol abuse
  • History of rheumatic fever
  • Family history of cardiomyopathy
Usual Treatments
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Treat high blood pressure.
  • Treat lipid disorders.
  • Discontinue alcohol or illegal drug use.
  • An angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor (ACE inhibitor) or an angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB) is prescribed if you have coronary artery disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, or other vascular or cardiac conditions.
  • Beta blockers may be prescribed if you have high blood pressure or if you’ve had a previous heart attack.
Usual Treatments for Stage A
Usual Treatments for Stage A

Stage B

Definition of Stage

People diagnosed with systolic left ventricular dysfunction but who have never had symptoms of heart failure (pre-heart failure), including people with:

  • Prior heart attack
  • Valve disease
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • The diagnosis is usually made when an ejection fraction of less than 40% is found during an echocardiogram test.
Usual Treatments
  • Treatment methods above for Stage A apply
  • All patients should take an angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor (ACE inhibitors) or angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB)
  • Beta-blockers should be prescribed for patients after a heart attack
  • Surgery options for coronary artery repair and valve repair or replacement (as appropriate) should be discussed
  • If appropriate, surgery options should be discussed for patients who have had a heart attack.
Usual Treatments for Stage B

Stage C

Definition of Stage

Patients with known systolic heart failure and current or prior symptoms. Most common symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Reduced ability to exercise
Reduced ability to exercise

Reduced ability to exercise

Shortness of breath

Shortness of breath

Fatigue

Fatigue

Usual Treatments
  • Treatment methods above for Stage A apply
  • All patients should take an angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor (ACE inhibitors) and beta-blockers
  • African-American patients may be prescribed a hydralazine/nitrate combination if symptoms persist
  • Diuretics (water pills) and digoxin may be prescribed if symptoms persist
  • An aldosterone inhibitor may be prescribed when symptoms remain severe with other therapies
  • Restrict dietary sodium (salt)
  • Monitor weight
  • Restrict fluids (as appropriate)
  • Drugs that worsen the condition should be discontinued
  • As appropriate, cardiac resynchronization therapy (biventricular pacemaker) may be recommended
  • An implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD) may be recommended

Stage D

Definition of Stage

Patients with systolic heart failure and presence of advanced symptoms after receiving optimum medical care.

Usual Treatments

Treatment methods for Stages A, B & C apply
Patient should be evaluated to determine if the following treatments are available options: heart transplant, ventricular assist devices, surgery options, research therapies, continuous infusion of intravenous inotropic drugs and end-of-life (palliative or hospice) care.

Usual Treatments of Stage D


You may not have any symptoms of heart failure, or the symptoms may be mild to severe. Symptoms can be constant or can come and go. The symptoms can include:

Congested lungs. Fluid backup in the lungs can cause shortness of breath with exercise or difficulty breathing at rest or when lying flat in bed. Lung congestion can also cause a dry, hacking cough or wheezing

What Are the Symptoms of Heart Failure?

irregular heartbeat

irregular heartbeat

Abdominal Pain

Abdominal (belly) pain is pain or discomfort that is felt in the part of the trunk below the ribs and above the pelvis.

It comes from organs within the abdomen or organs adjacent to the belly.

It is caused by inflammation, distention of an organ, or by loss of the blood supply to an organ.

In irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) it may be caused by contraction of the intestinal muscles or hyper-sensitivity to normal intestinal activities.

Abdominal Pain

Symptoms associated with it may include:

Bloating

Bloating

rarely, 

Chest Pain

Treatment for chest pain depends upon the cause.

It is best to be safe. Always seek medical care for the assessment of chest pain.

Chest Pain

Cough (Chronic Cough)

chronic cough is a cough that persists over time. Chronic cough is not a disease in itself, but rather a symptom of an underlying condition.

Cough(Chronic Cough)
Decreased Appetite

Decreased Appetite

A decreased desire to eat is a symptom that is common to numerous medical and psychological conditions. Almost any illness can lead to a decrease in appetite.

Decreased Exercise Tolerance

Decreased Exercise Tolerance

Difficulty Sleeping

Difficulty Sleeping
Fatigue

Fatigue

Nearly everyone is overtired or overworked from time to time. Such instances of temporary fatigue usually have an identifiable cause and a likely remedy.

Nausea and vomiting

Nausea and vomiting are common symptoms that can be caused by numerous conditions. Nausea and vomiting most often are due to viral gastroenteritis — often mistakenly termed “stomach flu” — or the morning sickness of early pregnancy.

Nausea and vomiting
Shortness of breath

Shortness of breath

Few sensations are as frightening as not being able to get enough air. Shortness of breath — known medically as dyspnea — is often described as an intense tightening in the chest, air hunger or a feeling of suffocation.

Wheezing

Wheezing is a high-pitched whistling sound made while breathing. It’s often associated with difficulty breathing. Wheezing may occur during breathing out (expiration) or breathing in (inspiration).

Wheezing


Emirates Cardiac Society

SHARING MATTERS OF HEART

SHARING MATTERS OF HEART




About Us


Emirates Cardiac Society (ECS) is a non-profit organization comprising of cardiologists within the UAE that work under the umbrella of the Emirates Medical Association.


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