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Earliest Signs Of Heart Attack

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Early Symptoms Of A Heart Attack

Know the Early Warning Signs of a Heart Attack?

A lot of heart damage happens in the first 2 hours following a heart attack, which means that paying attention to any early symptoms is critical. The sooner you receive help for a heart attack, the better.

According to the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care, early heart attack symptoms may occur in 50 percent of all people who have heart attacks.

Early symptoms of heart attack can include the following:

  • mild pain or discomfort in your chest that may come and go, which is also called stuttering chest pain
  • shoulder pain

nearly twice the rate that women do. Men also have heart attacks earlier in life compared to women. If you have a family history of heart disease or a history of cigarette smoking, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, obesity, or other risk factors, your chances of having a heart attack are even higher.

Symptoms of a heart attack in men include:

  • standard chest pain/pressure that feels like an elephant is sitting on your chest, with a squeezing sensation, heaviness, or pressure in the chest that may come and go or remain constant and intense
  • upper body pain or discomfort, including arms, left shoulder, back, neck, jaw, or stomach
  • rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • stomach discomfort that feels like indigestion
  • shortness of breath, which may leave you feeling like you cant get enough air, even when youre resting
  • dizziness or feeling like youre going to pass out
  • breaking out in a cold sweat

What Are The Risk Factors For Heart Disease And Heart Attack

Several health conditions, your lifestyle, your age and family history can increase your risk for heart disease and heart attack. These include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Abnormal cholesterol and high triglycerides
  • Obesity
  • Your age
  • You have someone in your family with a heart attack
  • You are African-American

Early Signs Of A Heart Attack

Are your vague symptoms just fatigue or something serious? Learn the early warning signs that could signal a heart attack.

Contributor

Sutter Medical Foundation

Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento

Many of us have experienced that moment. Perhaps were driving in traffic or working out at the gym when we feel a twinge in our chest, or an aggressive pulse. Or maybe we just dont feel right. We might pause at these moments and wonder if its time to hightail it the doctor or if this is normal.

The reality is people can notice subtle heart attack symptoms months before an actual event occurs, says Sutter Zi-Jian Xu, M.D., a cardiologist in the Sutter Health network.

Dr. Xu frequently discusses heart attack symptoms and prevention with his patients. Heres what you need to know.

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What Do These Early Symptoms Typically Look Like

Dr. Xu says the majority of patients experience somewhat typical symptoms, such as radiating chest pain, heaviness or discomfort, heart palpitations, cold sweats, and shortness of breath. Others — women more so than men — will experience some atypical symptoms as well, which may include fatigue, a general sense of unease, vague discomfort, back or abdominal pain and declining stamina. Both types of symptoms can be experienced months before an actual heart attack occurs.

Warning Signs Your Body Gives You Before A Heart Attack

Know the Signs of a Heart Attack

Heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death in both men and women worldwide. Contrast to what you may see in a movie, the signs of a heart attack can be hard to miss. “Two-thirds of women will have less-typical, non-Hollywood heart attack symptoms,” says C. Noel Bairey Merz, M.D., director of the Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in Los Angeles.

Though symptoms like chest tightness and upper body pain are more obvious, heart attacks present a host of symptoms that can be easily mistaken for another ailment . Identifying the signs of a heart attack and seeking early intervention can be the difference between life or death. Here are the most common symptoms to look out for.

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Prepare For The Worst And Hope For The Best: Signs And Symptoms Of A Heart Attack

Heart disease remains one of the leading killers in the world.

With obesity levels on the rise and more people being diagnosed with medical conditions than ever before, the strain on our bodies continues to increase.

We are more stressed out than humans have ever been before. We work harder than we ever have before. Our jobs are more demanding and we spend less time at home than we ever did before.

No wonder people are suffering heart attacks all around us. People in their twenties are starting to have heart attacks now.

With anxiety, depression, and dwindling economic status, people are getting older before their time.

But if you know what to look for and you get help fast enough, you can come through a heart attack.

Not everyone survives, but not everyone dies either. There is hope. Heres what to look for if you think you or someone you know is having a heart attack.

Waiting For An Ambulance

If you have had a heart attack, it’s important that you rest while you wait for an ambulance, to avoid unnecessary strain on your heart.

If aspirin is available and you are not allergic to it, slowly chew and then swallow an adult-size tablet while you wait for the ambulance.

Aspirin helps to thin your blood and improve blood flow to your heart.

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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 Are The Common Early Symptoms Of Heart Failure In Adults

Heart Attack: Early Signs and Symptoms – Lakeview Hospital

Most of the common symptoms of heart failure are also associated with other conditions.

But if you have any symptoms that are recurrent or persistent, or if you have two or more common early signs of heart failure, its a good idea to seek medical care. A medical professional can assess your symptoms and determine if heart failure is the cause.

Common early symptoms of heart failure include:

  • shortness of breath
  • trouble sleeping, or sleeping on extra pillows
  • waking up at night short of breath
  • loss of appetite or nausea
  • heart palpitations

Next, well explain a bit more about why each of these symptoms can be caused by heart failure.

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Never Ignore These 11 Heart Symptoms

If something went wrong with your heart, would you know it?

Not all heart problems come with clear warning signs. There is not always an alarming chest clutch followed by a fall to the floor like you see in movies. Some heart symptoms donât even happen in your chest, and itâs not always easy to tell whatâs going on.

“If you’re not sure, get it checked out,” says Charles Chambers, MD, director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at Penn State Hershey Heart and Vascular Institute.

Thatâs especially true if you are 60 or older, are overweight, or have diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure, says Vincent Bufalino, MD, an American Heart Association spokesman. “The more risk factors you have,” he says, “the more you should be concerned about anything that might be heart-related.”

Especially watch out for these problems:

Symptoms Of A Heart Attack In Men

Youre more likely to experience a heart attack if youre a man. Men also have heart attacks earlier in life compared to women. If you have a family history of heart disease or a history of cigarette smoking, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, obesity, or other risk factors, your chances of having a heart attack are even higher.

Fortunately, a lot of research has been done on how mens hearts react during heart attacks.

Symptoms of a heart attack in men include:

  • standard chest pain/pressure that feels like an elephant is sitting on your chest, with a squeezing sensation that may come and go or remain constant and intense
  • upper body pain or discomfort, including arms, left shoulder, back, neck, jaw, or stomach
  • rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • stomach discomfort that feels like indigestion
  • shortness of breath, which may leave you feeling like you cant get enough air, even when youre resting
  • dizziness or feeling like youre going to pass out
  • breaking out in a cold sweat

Its important to remember, however, that each heart attack is different. Your symptoms may not fit this cookie-cutter description. Trust your instincts if you think something is wrong.

In recent decades, scientists have realized that heart attack symptoms can be quite different for women than for men.

Symptoms of heart attack in women include:

In a 2012 survey published in the journal Circulation, only 65 percent of women said theyd call 911 if they thought they might be having a heart attack.

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What Are The Atypical Presentation Signs

In an atypical presentation, the signs and symptoms are different. How? The patient may not complain about pain or pressure in the chest. Be alert for the following:

  • A sharp or knife-like pain that occurs with coughing or breathing
  • Pain that spreads above the jawbone or into the lower body
  • Difficult or labored breathing

When To Call The Doctor

Know the symptoms for early heart attacks

If you have any signs of heart disease, call your health care provider right away. Don’t wait to see if the symptoms go away or dismiss them as nothing.

  • You have chest pain or other symptoms of a heart attack
  • You know you have angina and have chest pain that doesn’t go away after 5 minutes of rest or after taking nitroglycerine
  • You think you may be having a heart attack
  • You become extremely short of breath
  • You think you may have lost consciousness

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Chest Pain Or Discomfort

Chest pain is a common symptom of a heart attack.

During this stage of a heart attack, people may experience the following sensations in their chest:

  • pain
  • aching
  • heaviness

Some people also say that they experience a sense of tightness that can feel as though they are being squeezed.

Sometimes, these sensations can appear suddenly and intensely. This happens when the blockage occurs suddenly. If the blockage is slowly progressing over time, then the symptoms appear gradually. In these cases, people may mistake the sensations for heartburn or indigestion.

Anyone who experiences symptoms that occur with exertion and resolve with rest, even if they occur gradually, should always discuss them with a doctor, especially if they progress over time.

However, people should not wait to seek medical care for their chest pain. They should seek medical treatment immediately, particularly if other signs of a heart attack occur as well.

Angina And Heart Attacks

Angina is a syndrome caused by the supply of oxygen-rich blood to the heart becoming restricted.

People with angina can experience similar symptoms to a heart attack, but they usually happen during exercise and pass within a few minutes.

However, occasionally, people with angina can have a heart attack. Its important to recognise the difference between the symptoms of angina and those of a heart attack. The best way to do this is to remember that the symptoms of angina can be controlled with medicine, but symptoms of a heart attack cannot.

If you have angina, you may have been prescribed medicine that improves your symptoms within 5 minutes. If the first dose does not work, a second dose can be taken after 5 minutes, and a third dose after a further 5 minutes.

If the pain persists, despite taking 3 doses of glyceryl trinitrate over 15 minutes, call 999 and ask for an ambulance.

Page last reviewed: 28 November 2019 Next review due: 28 November 2022

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Dont Hesitate To Call 911

Learn the signs for heart attack, and remember: Even if youre not sure its a heart attack, have it checked out.

Minutes matter. Fast action can save lives – maybe your own.

if you experience heart attack warning signs. Calling 911 is almost always the fastest way to get lifesaving treatment.

An emergency medical services team can begin treatment when they arrive up to an hour sooner than if someone gets to the hospital by car. EMS staff are also trained to revive someone whose heart has stopped. Patients with chest pain who arrive by ambulance usually receive faster treatment at the hospital, too.

For many reasons, its best to call 911 so that an experienced EMS team can begin treatment and arrange rapid transport to the emergency room.

How To Reduce Your Risk Of Heart Disease

Heart Attack Symptoms – Peter Dale (Tubes) | NHS

About 75% of heart disease cases in women can be prevented by making changes to your lifestyle.

Some ways to reduce your heart disease risk include:

  • Eat healthy. Eat foods that are high in fiber. Choose foods that are low in cholesterol, trans fats, and saturated fats. Eat less salt and sugar.
  • Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every week.
  • Stop smoking. Smoking increases your risk for heart disease.
  • Limit alcohol. Women should have no more than one drink a day.
  • Learn to cope with stress.

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What Does A Heart Attack Feel Like

    Knowing the early warning signs of heart attack is critical for prompt recognition and treatment. Many heart attacks start slowly, unlike the dramatic portrayal often seen in the movies. A person experiencing a heart attack may not even be sure of what is happening. Heart attack symptoms vary among individuals, and even a person who has had a previous heart attack may have different symptoms in a subsequent heart attack. Although chest pain or pressure is the most common symptom of a heart attack, heart attack victims may experience a diversity of symptoms. The following list describes the symptoms of a heart attack in more detail.

    Do You Know The Early Signs Of A Heart Attack

    Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . Its estimated that one American dies every 37 seconds from cardiovascular disease. The most common type of heart disease among Americans is coronary artery disease, which can lead to a heart attack.

    Most heart damage occurs within the first two hours of a heart attack. Therefore, its very important to act quickly if you are experiencing any heart attack symptoms. The Early Heart Attack Care Program is a great resource from the American College of Cardiology to help you recognize the early and subtle signs of a heart attack before heart damage occurs.

    Most Americans know about the most common heart attack symptoms which include chest discomfort, shortness of breath, nausea, lightheadedness and pain extending to the shoulder, arm or back. However, many heart attack patients experience symptoms hours or even weeks before the actual attack.

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    Heart Attack Treatment: Time Is Muscle

    People who experience some of these subtle signs are oftenhesitant to head to the hospital. After all, nausea or neck pain can haveother, not-so-serious causes. And a feeling that something just isnt right?Thats frustratingly vague and hard to explain to a doctor.

    But if theres even a chance you are having a heart attack, its better to act fast and early thanlate.

    A heart attack occurs when blood flow to the heart is blocked, damaging the heart muscle. Without urgent treatment, heart tissue will begin to die. Time is muscle, Dr. Abdallah says. The sooner your doctor starts treatment, the better the outcome.

    Doctors can give medications and perform procedures to remove blockages and restore blood flow to the heart. And such therapy has gotten better and more effective over the years, he adds. Treating heart attacks has been one of the great interventions in the history of medicine.

    Recovery After A Heart Attack

    30 Minute or Less ER Pledge

    If you suffered from a heart attack, the muscle may be damaged, which may impact your hearts ability to pump blood to the body. Having a heart attack also puts you at risk for another heart attack, peripheral artery disease, and kidney disorders.

    Here are some tips for recovering after a heart attack:

    • You may have to limit physical activity for some time after a heart attack.
    • Making crucial lifestyle changes, such as maintaining a healthy diet and managing stress, will also help with recovery. You may also want to consider cardiac rehabilitation to assist you with these changes.

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