How Healthy is Your Heart?
Warning Signs Of A Heart Attack
Many individuals who experience signs of a heart attack allow them to go unnoticed. Ignoring the tale-tell signs of a heart attack can cause the problem to be much more serious than necessary, potentially leading to heart failure and even death.
If you think you are experiencing a heart attack, seek medical attention immediately. This is especially true for individuals who have previously had a heart attack or at a greater risk for a heart attack due to medical conditions or current prescriptions.
Remember the old adage, “better safe than sorry” and immediately seek medical help if you can identify a single sign that the pain or discomfort you are experiencing may be a heart attack.
There are a great many myths when it comes to dealing with heart attacks and the symptoms of individuals who are having a heart attack. Many people believe the pain has to be extreme or intense before they should seek medical attention. This is a common myth and completely false, as some sufferers say their heart attack was simply discomforting or mildly painful.
When an individual is having a heart attack, they will probably not look like sufferers in movies or on television. The mental association of heart attacks with individuals clutching their chests and falling to the ground is usually incorrect, as many heart attack victims say their attack began very slowly with an unusual feeling. If left undetected, a heart attack can significantly magnify in scale, but usually heart attacks are not a sudden burst of pain.
Women are prone to having heart attacks without knowing it, putting them at a greater risk for complications or problems. Most women think they are not at risk for a heart attack, but may actually be at a high risk for one. Speak with your doctor about any potential problems with heart attack in your family history or as a result to a current medical issue before dismissing the threat.
There are four main warning signs when it comes to determining whether or not the symptoms you are experiencing may be a heart attack. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, seek medical attention for potential heart attack immediately.
1. Chest pain or discomfort. The chest pain associated with a heart attack may not be overwhelming, but rather an uncomfortable feeling. This discomfort has been said to come and go, feeling like a pressure on the sufferer’s chest or an uncomfortable squeezing feeling. Usually, during a heart attack, any pain or discomfort originates in the center of the victim’s chest.
2. Upper body discomfort. Many heart attack victims relate that they experienced discomfort in their upper body, especially their shoulder, back, jaw, or arms, before the sensation affected their chest. This can also include an unusual sensation in the stomach. For this reason, a heart attack can be easily mistaken for heartburn or a simple stomach ache.
3. Shortness of breath. Usually occurring simultaneously with pain or discomfort in the chest, shortness of breath can be anything from the inability to catch one’s breath to being unable to properly breathe. Many heart attack victims dismissed this symptom as a side effect of whatever activity in which they were participating when the heart attack occurred.
4. Nausea. The feeling of being sick to one’s stomach is commonly associated with early warning symptoms of a heart attack. This symptom coupled with discomfort in the stomach can lead the heart attack to dismiss the symptoms as a simple stomach ache or stomach flu.
Other symptoms can include a general feeling of lightheadedness or dizziness. Many heart attack victims relate they received an overall feeling of unease and had an idea that something was out of the ordinary. Also, many victims have been known to break out in a cold sweat, which can also lead to a misdiagnosis of a flu bug or a less serious problem.
Since heart attacks are quite common in both men and women, you should make it a point to speak to your primary health care provider about your risk for a heart attack. Many individuals are unaware of any potential risk or heart problems until it is too late and they have already experienced a heart attack. By treating any problems before it is too late, you will be more likely to experience the least damage to your heart as possible.