Blood Pressure And Heart Rate Are Always Linked
False: It is true that blood pressure and heart rate often rise and fall together, Dr. Laffin says. When you face danger, for example, your blood pressure and pulse may both jump upward at the same time. However, if your heart rate rises, that doesnt automatically mean your blood pressure will rise or vice versa.
When the two are disconnected, you may be looking at a specific problem, Dr. Laffin says. For example, if you are dehydrated, bleeding or have a severe infection, blood pressure typically decreases and heart rate increases.
Quick Action Can Save Your Life: Call 911
If you think you or someone else may be having heart attack symptoms or a heart attack, don’t ignore it or feel embarrassed to call for help. . Acting fast can save your life.
Do not drive to the hospital or let someone else drive you. Call an ambulance so that medical personnel can begin life-saving treatment on the way to the emergency room. Take a nitroglycerin pill if your doctor has prescribed this type of treatment.
Breaking Out In A Cold Sweat
Another common symptom is finding yourself breaking out in a cold sweat. The reason behind this symptom is that when you have clogged arteries, your heart requires more effort to pump blood, and sweating keeps your bodys temperature down during this extra effort.
For women, this means night sweats may not just be the result of menopause. They might also be a sign of heart problems.
If you experience any of these symptoms, make sure to consult your physician. Dont wait until it becomes urgent.
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Questions To Ask Your Doctor
Getting answers to these questions will give you vital information about your heart health and what you can do to improve it. You may want to bring this list to your doctor’s office.
Is A Change In Blood Pressure A Sign Of A Heart Attack
Blood pressure is not an accurate predictor of a heart attack. Sometimes a heart attack can cause an increase or decrease in blood pressure, but having a change in blood pressure reading doesnt always mean its heart-related. Instead, a better strategy for gauging a heart attack is to look at your overall symptoms. A heart attack may cause multiple symptoms, just a few symptoms, or even no symptoms at all.
Chest pain is the most common symptom of a heart attack. However, its not the only symptom. Possible symptoms of a heart attack include:
- chest pain
- mild to severe squeezing sensations in the chest area
- pain in the arms
- cold sweats
- jaw, neck, and upper-back pain
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What Are The Early Signs Of A Heart Attack
There are heart attack symptoms in women that are different from heart attack symptoms in men. But the common signs and symptoms they usually share are as follows:
- Chest pain or discomfort: The discomfort usually lasts for more than a few minutes or it may go away and come back. The discomfort may feel like pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain at the center of the chest.
- Discomfort in other areas of the upper body: This may include pain or discomfort in the back, jaw, stomach or in one or both arms.
- Shortness of breath: This may occur with, before or without chest pain or discomfort.
- Breaking out in a cold sweat
- Nausea or light-headedness
Meanwhile, heart attack symptoms in women sometimes go unnoticed. These include the following:
- Back pain
- Pressure, fullness, squeezing pain in the center of the chest, spreading to the neck, shoulder or jaw
- Unusual fatigue
- Treating or managing conditions that can be a risk factors of heart attack such as diabetes
Low Blood Pressure Can Be A Sign Of Heart Disease
Throughout recent history, the discussion surrounding blood pressure has consistently been regarding the high blood pressure epidemic. This is, in part, thanks to the dangerous health ramifications of hypertension organs and blood vessels can be damaged. In addition, hypertension can result in the rupture of a blood vessel and lead to bleeding or other complications. It is a commonly accepted fact that within certain limits, the lower your blood pressure reading is, the better. However, dangerously low blood pressure is also a cause for concern, as it has the potential to result in long-lasting health issues namely heart disease.
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Catch The Signs Early
Dont wait to get help if you experience any of these heart attack warning signs. Some heart attacks are sudden and intense. But most start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Pay attention to your body and call 911 if you experience:
- Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes or it may go away and then return. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
- Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
- Shortness of breath. This can occur with or without chest discomfort.
- Other signs. Other possible signs include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
Download the common heart attack warning signs infographic |
History Of High Blood Pressure
Hypertension is one of the common cardiovascular conditions. These days it often arises by the 40s and sometimes may start even earlier in life. Most cases of hypertension are not due to any identifiable disease. Therefore it is known as primary hypertension. Persistent elevation of the blood pressure can cause damage to the walls of the arteries which contributes to fatty plaque buildup .
Narrowing of the coronary artery by these plaques is one of the main causes of a heart attack. If you have a history of blood pressure, you are considered at risk of a heart attack even if you do not have any other risk factors or symptoms. High blood pressure can be effectively managed with medication and antihypertensive drugs should always be used as prescribed by a doctor.
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Sometimes My Heart Beats Really Fast And Other Times It Feels Like My Heart Skips A Beat Am I Having A Heart Attack
Most people have changes in their heartbeat from time to time. These changes in heartbeat are, for most people, harmless. As you get older, you’re more likely to have heartbeats that feel different. Don’t panic if you have a few flutters or if your heart races once in a while. If you have flutters and other symptoms such as dizziness or shortness of breath , call 911.
The Warning Signs Of Stroke Are:
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden, severe headache with no known cause
F.A.S.T. is an easy way to remember how to recognize a stroke and what to do. Spot a stroke FAST. Face drooping. Arm weakness. Speech Difficulty. Time to call 911.
Not all these signs occur in every heart attack or stroke. Sometimes they go away and return. If some occur, get help right away. Every minute counts if you’re having a heart attack or stroke. The sooner you get medical help, the more likely you are to recover. Don’t delay you can save your heart or brain from severe damage if you act quickly. Learn these symptoms and share them with your family, friends and caregivers.
Women sometimes have different symptoms than men, so learn the signs of heart attack in women.
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What Does A Mini Heart Attack Feel Like
You must have often heard of other people having something called a mini heart attack or mild heart attack. Although there is no such term as a mini heart attack in the medical dictionary, it can be compared with a mild heart attack or a silent heart attack.
Mild heart attack
- You get a mild heart attack when there is a partial block in your coronary artery that causes mild signs and symptoms of a heart attack.
- If your doctor tells you that you have had a mild heart attack, it probably means your heart is not damaged much and is working properly.
Silent heart attack
- Sometimes, you may not even know that you have suffered a heart attack. Such a heart attack is usually said to be a silent heart attack. Your doctor accidentally may discover a past attack on your routine ECG when you go for your regular check-up.
- While in other instances, a heart problem or another heart attack could make the doctor suspect that you may have had a silent heart attack. This may similarly show up in your ECG when you visit your doctor for a different heart problem.
- Such a heart attack might have occurred months or years before without you even knowing about it.
- A silent heart attack is usually lacking the typical signs and symptoms of a heart attack, such as shortness of breath. Symptoms of a heart attack like mild pain in the throat or chest can be confused with hyperacidity, indigestion, and heartburn.
What Is Cardiac Arrest
Sudden cardiac arrest occurs suddenly and often without warning. It is triggered by an electrical malfunction in the heart that causes an irregular heartbeat . With its pumping action disrupted, the heart cannot pump blood to the brain, lungs and other organs. Seconds later, a person loses consciousness and has no pulse. Death occurs within minutes if the victim does not receive treatment.
Stroke And Brain Problems
High blood pressure can cause the arteries that supply blood and oxygen to the brain to burst or be blocked, causing a stroke. Brain cells die during a stroke because they do not get enough oxygen. Stroke can cause serious disabilities in speech, movement, and other basic activities. A stroke can also kill you.
Having high blood pressure, especially in midlife, is linked to having poorer cognitive function and dementia later in life. Learn more about the link between high blood pressure and dementia from the National Institutes of Healths Mind Your Risks®external icon campaign.
What Can You Do About A Heart Attack
There is not much that can be done to help people overcome a heart attack.
Medical intervention is needed as soon as possible and machines are needed to help the heart survive a heart attack.
If you or someone you know experiences a heart attack, the most effective thing you can do is seek medical attention as soon as possible.
People are often embarrassed or feel ashamed when something is wrong with them, so encourage them to seek help so they can find out for sure if they are okay or not.
Wait with the person while medical help arrives and dont try to give them anything to eat or drink.
If you call 911, or another emergency service in your area, follow the instructions the operator gives you.
If you have a family history of heart attacks and you think you might be having one or you have early symptoms of a heart attack, dont ignore it.
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Is There Anything That Distinguishes These Symptoms How Do You Know When Those Subtle Atypical Symptoms Are Concerning
Its important to know your risk for heart disease in order to assess early symptoms. Dr. Xu says when he works with a patient, they discuss his or her family and personal history, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, age and disease history to determine a risk level for heart attacks.
Within this context of risk, they talk about symptoms. Are they typical or not? How are they experienced? At rest or during exertion? Are they associated with emotional stress or cold weather? Are they happening in conjunction with other symptoms such as shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat or cold sweats? This is the starting point for a treatment plan.
What Is The Link
These two distinct heart conditions are linked. Sudden cardiac arrest can occur after a heart attack, or during recovery. Heart attacks increase the risk for sudden cardiac arrest. Most heart attacks do not lead to sudden cardiac arrest. But when sudden cardiac arrest occurs, heart attack is a common cause. Other heart conditions may also disrupt the hearts rhythm and lead to sudden cardiac arrest. These include a thickened heart muscle , heart failure, arrhythmias, particularly ventricular fibrillation, and long Q-T syndrome.
Fast action can save lives. Find out what to do if someone experiences a heart attack or cardiac arrest.
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A Simple And Highly Sensitive Blood Test Can Detect If You Just Suffered A Heart Attackand This Test Is So Super Sensitive That It Can Detect Even A Mild Heart Attack
The blood test is for an enzymatic protein called troponin. The troponin blood test for heart attack is highly sensitive and is considered the gold standard for determining damage to cardiac muscle.
Cardiac enzymes are chemicals contained within heart cells, says Christopher J. Hanifin, PA-C, who was previously a physician assistant in open heart surgery with Cardiothoracic Surgery of South Bend in South Bend, IN.
Normally, they are essentially undetectable in the bloodstream, continues Hanifin.
When a person suffers a heart attack, cells in the heart die and rupture, releasing these enzymes into the blood where they can be detected.
Diagnosis of a heart attack is usually based upon the detection of elevated levels of these chemicals in the blood.
If you go into an emergency room complaining of current or recent chest pain, the doctor or physician assistant will order a blood draw to check your troponin levels.
So if a patient goes to the emergency department with chest pain and their cardiac enzymes tests are negative, are they in the clear? Not necessarily, says Hanifin.
It takes some time for cardiac enzymes to appear in the blood. If a patient is tested in the early stages of a heart attack, it is very possible that their levels will be within normal ranges.
However, an elevated troponin level alone should not be used to outright diagnose heart attack.
Its never elevated by accident. As mentioned, this blood test is super sensitive.
About Half Of All Heart Attacks Are Mistaken For Less Serious Problems And Can Increase Your Risk Of Dying From Coronary Artery Disease
You can have a heart attack and not even know it. A silent heart attack, known as a silent myocardial infarction , account for 45% of heart attacks and strike men more than women.
They are described as “silent” because when they occur, their symptoms lack the intensity of a classic heart attack, such as extreme and pressure stabbing pain in the arm, neck, or jaw sudden shortness of breath sweating, and dizziness.
“SMI symptoms can feel so mild, and be so brief, they often get confused for regular discomfort or another less serious problem, and thus men ignore them,” says Dr. Jorge Plutzky, director of the vascular disease prevention program at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
For instance, men may feel fatigue or physical discomfort and chalk it up to overwork, poor sleep, or some general age-related ache or pain. Other typical symptoms like mild pain in the throat or chest can be confused with gastric reflux, indigestion, and .
Also, the location of pain is sometimes misunderstood. With SMI, you may feel discomfort in the center of the chest and not a sharp pain on the left side of the chest, which many people associate with a heart attack. “People can even feel completely normal during an SMI and afterward, too, which further adds to the chance of missing the warning signs,” says Dr. Plutzky.
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Causes Of A Silent Heart Attack In Women
A silent heart attack happens when the flow of blood is blocked in the coronary arteries by a build up of plaque. Studies differ, but some suggest that silent heart attacks are more common in women than in men.
Ekery points out that women and their physicians may also be more likely to chalk up symptoms of a silent heart attack to anxiety and dismiss them.
Take The Ehac Oath With Us
We encourage you to start taking care of your heart health today. We can kick this commitment off by taking the EHAC oath together.
I understand that heart attacks have beginnings and on occasion, signs of an impending heart attack may include chest discomfort, shortness of breath, shoulder and/or arm pain and weakness. These may occur hours or weeks before the actual heart attack. I solemnly swear that if happens to me or anyone I know I will call 9-1-1 or activate Emergency Medical Services.
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