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Early Sogns Of Heart Attack

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Is There Anything That Distinguishes These Symptoms How Do You Know When Those Subtle Atypical Symptoms Are Concerning

Heart Attack: Early Signs and Symptoms – Lakeview Hospital

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.

Detect Early Warning Signs Of Heart Attack Using Remote Patient Monitoring

Remote Patient Monitoring , a type of telehealth, utilizes technological advances to enable the collection of patient-generated health data outside of the typical healthcare setting. With the use of remote patient monitoring devices such as home blood pressure monitor or wearable health technology like a smartwatch, your healthcare provider may detect early warnings and deviations in vital signs such as heart rate and blood pressure that could point to early signs of heart attack.

Here are early warning signs of heart attack that you should know:

Testing: What To Expect

The hours following a heart attack can be scary and confusing. Your medical team may be incredibly busy and focused, and hard-pressed to explain everything thats happening.

You and your caregivers are sure to have questions. You may wonder about the tests and procedures that are being performed.

In the section below, youll find descriptions of the kinds of diagnostic procedures you may encounter as your doctors strive to identify the underlying causes of your heart attack.

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Heart Attack Types And Diagnosis

A heart attack is also called a myocardial infarction, sometimes simply referred to as an MI. A heart attack occurs when a blockage in one or more coronary arteries reduces or stops blood flow to the heart, which starves part of the heart muscle of oxygen.

The blood vessel blockage might be complete or partial:

  • A complete blockage of a coronary artery means you suffered a STEMI heart attack which stands for ST-elevation myocardial infarction.
  • A partial blockage translates to an NSTEMI heart attack a non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction.

Diagnostic steps differ for STEMI and NSTEMI heart attacks, although there can be some overlap.

Remember: Never try to diagnose yourself. Always dial 911 if you think you might be having a heart attack. The EMS crew in your ambulance will route you to the right hospital based on your location.

What Should I Do If I Think Im Having A Heart Attack

Heart Attack: Early Signs Of Heart Attack

The first thing you must do is dial 999 immediately for an ambulance. Dont worry if youre not completely sure whether your symptoms are a heart attack, its really important that you seek medical attention regardless as quickly as possible.

Next, you should:

  • take a 300mg aspirin if you have one within arms reach
  • stay calm and wait for the paramedics.

People often dismiss that theyre having a heart attack and will delay seeking medical attention. If youre with someone whos experiencing heart attack symptoms but theyre putting off or refusing to call an ambulance, its really important that you call one for them.

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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. It’s 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

Let’s Win This Together

Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women. Support the innovative research, education and prevention services that protect the women we love.

Although men and women can experience chest pressure that feels like an elephant sitting across the chest, women can experience a heart attack without chest pressure, said Nieca Goldberg, M.D., medical director for the Joan H. Tisch Center for Women’s Health at NYUs Langone Medical Center and an American Heart Association volunteer. Instead they may experience shortness of breath, pressure or pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen, dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting, upper back pressure or extreme fatigue.

Even when the signs are subtle, the consequences can be deadly, especially if the victim doesnt get help right away.

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What Are The First Signs Of A Heart Attack In A Woman

Heart Attack Symptoms in Women

  • Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest.
  • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
  • Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

What To Do If You Experience Heart Attack Symptoms

Know the Early Warning Signs of a Heart Attack?

Unlike the classic crushing chest pain, these symptoms dont guarantee that your heart is in immediate danger. But they could indicate that trouble could be brewing down the road, so make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as you can.

If youre fortunate enough to have symptoms, listen to your body and get them checked out, Park says.

If your doctor suspects that a heart attack could be looming, he might recommend an EKG, a test measures the hearts electrical activity and shows if your heart is damaged. He might also call for a coronary angiogram, which detects blockages in your arteries.

And if you experience any classic symptoms that signal youre having a heart attack right now, call 911 ASAP. These include chest pressure or tightness, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, breaking out into a cold sweat, or discomfort in the arms, neck, or jaw.

Of course, the best way to prevent a heart attack is to improve overall health by lowering high blood pressure, maintaining a normal body weight, and abstaining from smoking.

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You Had A Heart Attack Now What

Its no surprise that many people feel scared, confused and overwhelmed after a heart attack. A heart attack represents a life-changing event.

After your treatment for heart attack, you likely received instructions and a lot of information from your doctor. With time to reflect, you may be trying to understand what happened. Youre sure to want to know what you can do to avoid heart problems in the future.

Navigating the road to recovery isnt easy. Questions, confusion, uncertainty and even fear are common. Get answers to your questions and learn more about what to expect.

How Is A Heart Attack Diagnosed

Doctors typically diagnose a heart attack after they perform a physical exam and review your medical history. Your doctor will likely conduct an electrocardiogram to check your hearts electrical activity.

An echocardiogram, which uses sound waves to create an image of the hearts chambers and valves, can reveal how blood is flowing through the heart and what parts of the heart, if any, have been damaged.

Your doctor may also order a cardiac catheterization. This is a probe inserted into the blood vessels through a flexible tube called a catheter. It allows your doctor to view areas in and around your heart where plaque may have built up. They can also inject dye into your arteries, order an X-ray to see how the blood flows, and view any blockages.

Your healthcare team will likely also take a sample of your blood or perform other tests to see if theres evidence of heart muscle damage.

A commonly used blood test checks for levels of troponin T, a protein found in the heart muscle. Elevated levels of troponin T in the bloodstream is associated with a heart attack.

If youve had a heart attack, your doctor may recommend a procedure . These procedures can relieve pain and help prevent another heart attack from occurring.

Common procedures include:

Your doctor may also prescribe medications to treat your heart attack, including:

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How To Get Checked Out

Men may not be aware they had an SMI until weeks or even months later when they see their doctor for a regular visit, or because of persistent symptoms like fatigue, shortness of breath, or heartburn.

SMI is usually detected from an electrocardiogram or echocardiogram, which can highlight heart muscle damage. Another method is a blood test for the molecular footprints of troponin T, a protein released by injured heart cells. That test is often used in emergency departments for patients with heart attack symptoms.

Once an SMI is diagnosed, your doctor can identify your main risk factors and help design a treatment strategy, including changing your diet, exercising regularly, and taking a statin as well as other medication to help prevent a second heart attack .

“If you do notice any symptoms of a SMI, do not brush them aside, even if you do not think they are serious,” says Dr. Plutzky. “Playing it safe is always a better move than risking the potential harmful downside.”

Heart Attack In Women Over 50

Know the Signs of a Heart Attack

After menopause, which generally occurs around age 50, your risk of heart attack increases. During this period of life, your levels of the hormone estrogen drop. Estrogen is believed to help protect the health of your heart, which could explain why the average age of first heart attack is roughly 5 years older in women than in men.

There are additional symptoms of a heart attack that women over the age of 50 may experience. These symptoms include:

  • severe chest pain

A silent heart attack is like any other heart attack, except it occurs without the usual symptoms. In other words, you may not even realize youve experienced a heart attack.

The American Heart Association estimates that as many as 170,000 Americans experience heart attacks each year without even knowing it. Though less symptomatic than a full heart attack, these events cause heart damage and increase the risk of future attacks.

Silent heart attacks are more common among people with diabetes and in those whove had previous heart attacks.

Symptoms that may indicate a silent heart attack include:

  • mild discomfort in your chest, arms, or jaw that goes away after resting
  • shortness of breath and tiring easily
  • sleep disturbances and increased fatigue
  • abdominal pain or heartburn
  • skin clamminess

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Lets Win This Together

Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women. Support the innovative research, education and prevention services that protect the women we love.

Although men and women can experience chest pressure that feels like an elephant sitting across the chest, women can experience a heart attack without chest pressure, said Nieca Goldberg, M.D., medical director for the Joan H. Tisch Center for Womens Health at NYUs Langone Medical Center and an American Heart Association volunteer. Instead they may experience shortness of breath, pressure or pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen, dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting, upper back pressure or extreme fatigue.

Even when the signs are subtle, the consequences can be deadly, especially if the victim doesnt get help right away.

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Know Your Heart Care Options

You cant predict if a heart attack will happen. But knowing where you can get the right heart care is one thing you can do. Our nationally recognized cardiac centers include:

  • Regions Hospital Heart Center in St. Paul, MN, is consistently recognized as one of the nations top cardiac centers. Youll get the highest level of care in every situation, starting with emergency treatment all the way through the recovery process.
  • Park Nicollet Heart and Vascular Center, located in St. Louis Park, MN, is nationally recognized for offering outstanding, responsive care for heart attacks and other cardiac conditions. This center is accredited as a Mission: Lifeline® Heart Attack Receiving Center by the American Heart Association, so you can expect first-rate treatment, especially in time-sensitive situations.
  • Cardiac rehabilitation services are offered across the Twin Cities and western Wisconsin. Recovering from a heart attack takes time, but you dont have to go through it alone. We offer personalized cardiac rehabilitation at seven convenient locations, so its easy to get the support you and your heart need.

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Chest Pain Or Discomfort

Dr. Mitchell tells us, Chest pain or discomfort signifies that your heart is filling with plaque. When plaque accumulates in your coronary arteries, it causes them to narrow and makes it difficult for oxygen-rich blood to flow to your heart muscle. This can lead to chest pain or discomfort, known as angina. Angina can feel heaviness, pressure, squeezing, or pain in your chest. It may also radiate to your jaw, neck, shoulders, or arms. If you have angina, you must see a doctor immediately. Angina is a symptom of coronary artery disease and can be a warning sign of a heart attack. A heart attack occurs when blood flow to the heart muscle is blocked entirely. Depending on the severity of your coronary artery disease, treatment may involve lifestyle changes, medication, surgery, or a combination of these approaches. Chest pain or discomfort is a severe symptom and should not be ignored. If you experience chest pain or discomfort, seek medical attention immediately.

Symptoms Of A Heart Attack In Men

Warning signs symptoms of a heart attack

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 Symptoms Of Heart Attack

The major symptoms of a heart attack are

  • Chest pain or discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center or left side of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes or that goes away and comes back. The discomfort can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain.
  • Feeling weak, light-headed, or faint. You may also break out into a cold sweat.
  • Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, or back.
  • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms or shoulders.
  • Shortness of breath. This often comes along with chest discomfort, but shortness of breath also can happen before chest discomfort.

Other symptoms of a heart attack could include unusual or unexplained tiredness and nausea or vomiting. Women are more likely to have these other symptoms. Learn more about women and heart disease.

Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a heart attack.1Learn more facts about heart attack and heart disease.

Womens Signs Of Heart Attack

The most common heart attack sign is chest pain or discomfort however, women can experience a heart attack without chest pressure. They may experience shortness of breath, pressure or pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen, dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting, upper back pressure or extreme fatigue.

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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

How Do You Stop A Heart Attack Immediately

What are some noticeable early signs of heart disease?

Acting quickly can save lives. If given quickly after symptoms, clot-busting and artery-opening medications can stop a heart attack, and having a catheterization with a stent put in may open a closed blood vessel. The longer you wait for treatment, the more chances of survival go down and damage to the heart goes up.

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