Heart illness is the number one killer in the United States and it affects both men and women. It accounts for 40 percent of all recorded deaths in America.
What makes heart illness so deadly? Well, many are slow to ask for help when the symptoms of heart attack arise. While an individual who experiences sudden chest pain will perhaps call the emergency hotline immediately, this does not necessarily mean the individual is having a heart attack.
Since it can be difficult to make sense of signs, physicians warn against overlooking the potential symptoms of heart attack; people shouldn’t hastily associate such with muscle soreness, heartburn, or other less grave, non-cardiac issues. This is particularly true for individuals aged 65 and above, as well as for patients who face certain risk factors such as diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
Chest pain or discomfort – pain in the chest is considered the most common symptom of a heart attack. In fact, it is the number one symptom that physicians look for. However, keep in mind that not all cases of heart attacks result to chest pain. Pain in the chest can originate from other illnesses that do not necessarily have anything to do with the heart.
Heart-associated chest pain is usually concentrated in the breastbone, probably slightly to the left of the center.
Anxiety – heart attack can result to fear of death or intense anxiety. Patients who manage to overcome a heart attack usually report having experienced feelings of “imminent doom”.
Fatigue – particularly in women, unusual fatigue can take place during a heart attack and also during the days and the weeks that lead up to one. Feeling lethargic most of the time may also be a sign of heart failure.
Dizziness – heart attacks may result to loss of consciousness or lightheadedness.
Cough – continuous wheezing or coughing can be an indication of heart failure. This is a result of the buildup of liquid in the lungs. In certain cases, individuals suffering from heart failure tend to produce bloody sputum.
Lack of appetite or nausea – during a heart attack, it is not uncommon for some individuals to throw up or feel sick in their stomach. In addition to this, abdominal swelling related to heart failure may affect one’s appetite.
Irregular or rapid pulse – according to physicians, there is typically nothing wrong with the occasional skipped heartbeat. Although an irregular or rapid pulse, particularly when accompanied by shortness of breath, dizziness, or weakness, can be an indication of an arrhythmia, heart failure, or a heart attack. When left untreated, certain cases of arrhythmias can result to sudden death, heart failure, or stroke.
Pain in other body parts – in a lot of heart attack cases, the pain starts in the chest and radiates to the abdomen, jaw, neck, back, elbows, arms or shoulders.
Simply put, now that you’re aware of symptoms of heart attack, you shouldn’t hesitate to get in touch with your physician the moment you notice any of them.
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