For almost 10 years, Shirley says her doctor told her the tenderness in her chest was caused by acid reflux or GERD, gastroesophageal reflux disease. Then, Shirley says she sought a second opinion and discovered her heart was the real problem.
It's no secret that men and women differ when it comes to matters of the emotional heart, but Dr. Oz says that misdiagnosing the physical heart is fairly common. In fact, he says 50 percent of people having a heart attack won't have typical chest pains. "Women especially, but men as well, [can have] no pain of any kind," he says.
When women like Shirley have heart trouble, Dr. Oz says they have different symptoms than their male counterparts. "Most men having a heart attack have shortness of breath, break out into cold sweats and feel severe pain or discomfort in their upper body," he says. "One-third of women feel no discomfort in their chest, which can cause them to wait longer to go to the emergency room."
Dr. Oz says women who are having a heart attack may feel shortness of breath, weakness, flu-like symptoms, indigestion and nausea. If you think you might be having a heart attack, Dr. Oz recommends calling 911 immediately.