(Joe Kita/ Web MD) — Rita Conrad was saying goodbye to friends in the parking lot of a Mexican restaurant when she started feeling fatigued and uncomfortable. It was 10:30 on a Thursday night, so she assumed it was the late hour or maybe the enchiladas. But when she got home, she started to feel discomfort in her back, shoulders, and chest.
“It wasn’t a sharp stabbing pain,” she recalls. “It was more of an uncomfortable squeezing.”
Then the squeezing got worse and she started dry heaving. Her husband wanted to take her to the ER. She insisted it was fatigue, took an aspirin, and lay down. Her symptoms eventually stopped, and she fell asleep.
Although Conrad, 51 at the time and in good health, didn’t know it then, she was having an unusual type of heart attack called MINOCA that puzzles doctors and affects women more often than men.
MINOCA stands for myocardial infarction with non-obstructive coronary arteries. As its name suggests, it’s a type of heart attack without any blockages (obstructions) in the main coronary arteries. (…)