Vomiting And Nausea Can Be A Sign That A Heart Attack Is Imminent
This is not about an actual heart attack in progress, but vomiting and nausea as a warning sign that a heart attack is in the very near future.
Nausea and vomiting are very complex interactions between the brain and the stomach, says Michael Fiocco, MD, Chief of Open Heart Surgery at Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, one of the nations top 50 heart hospitals.
The scientific thinking behind myocardial ischemia or infarction associated with nausea relates to the vagus nerve, continues Dr. Fiocco.
Myocardial ischemia simply means depletion of oxygen to heart muscle. Infarction means tissue death.
The vagus nerve arises from the brain and travels through the neck, along the esophagus, and gives off nerve fibers to the heart before continuing into the abdomen where it supplies nerves to the stomach, explains Dr. Fiocco.
So there is the stomach-heart-brain connection. Why people get nausea prior to a heart attack may be similar to why people get arm, neck or jaw pain rather than chest pain.
A lot of overlapping circuits may cause the brain to misread the signals, leading to nausea or left arm pain rather than chest pain.
Of course, being overcome with nausea, as a result of conditions ripe for a heart attack, can then lead to vomiting.
Vomiting was a tip-off to me that my mother might be having a heart attack, or that a heart attack was looming around the corner for her.
How Long Does A Heart Attack Last
Initial heart attack symptoms, including chest pain and shortness of breath, may come and go. Symptoms often last around 10 minutes or longer.
A study published in Critical Pathways in Cardiology found that symptoms lasting less than five minutes are unlikely to indicate a heart attack, while symptoms lasting longer than five minutes should be taken seriously as signs of a myocardial infarction .
However, this finding comes from only one study. So if you have symptoms lasting longer than a few minutes, you need to call 911.
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Weve all seen the movie scenes where a man gasps, clutches his chest and falls to the ground. In reality, a heart attack victim could easily be a woman, and the scene may not be that dramatic.
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.
How Do You Stop A Heart Attack Immediately
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.
Chest Pain: How A Doctor Decides It Could Be A Heart Attack
Posted October 26, 2015
Patients with chest pain come to my clinic with a nervous expression and a million-dollar question, Doctor, is it my heart?
Such concern is valid. But understanding how medical providers think about chest pain may allay some fear.
If you come to a clinic with chest pain, your provider will have questions about the major factors for heart disease. I will ask if you:
- assess your age and gender
- check to see if you have a family history of heart disease.
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When Chest Pains Are Serious
Unlike an achy knee or crabby lower back, chest pain isn’t something to shrug off until tomorrow. It also isn’t something to diagnose at home. Don’t play doctor go see one, fast, if you are worried about pain or discomfort in your chest, upper back, left arm, or jaw or suddenly faint or develop a cold sweat, nausea, or vomiting. Call 911 or your local emergency number to summon an emergency medical crew. It will whisk you to the hospital in a vehicle full of equipment that can start the diagnosis and keep you stable if your heart really is in trouble.
There are oh-so-many reasons to delay calling for help.
- I’m too young .
- I’m in great shape .
- I have a family to take care of .
- I don’t want to bother anyone .
How Is A Heart Attack Diagnosed
A heart attack is a medical emergency. If youre experiencing the symptoms of a heart attack, call Triple Zero and ask for an ambulance. An ambulance is the safest way to go to hospital and the quickest way to seek treatment. Treatment can start when ambulance staff arrive, saving precious minutes and preventing damage to your heart muscle. Once you get to hospital, your doctor will perform tests to diagnose if youre having a heart attack. These tests will also measure the amount of damage caused to your heart and the best treatment course to take.These tests include:
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When To See The Doctor
Its important to call 911 immediately if you suspect a possible heart attack, which is a medical emergency that requires urgent treatment.
Routine physical exams and other preventive health care measures such as periodic blood pressure checks, diagnostic testing, etc., can also help identify risk factors for developing issues that may lead to heart disease and heart attack.
At Calvary Medical Clinic, we encourage individuals to come in any time they have concerns about their overall health. Schedule your visit today by the office location most convenient for you or requesting an appointment online. Were here to help.
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Difference Between Chest Pain And Heart
As previously stated, not all chest pain is related to the heart, so how can you tell the difference? While most heart and chest pain occur in the area behind the breastbone, cardiac pain may also radiate down your arms, back, shoulders, and neck. Chest pain related to the heart is also described differently. While those experiencing GERD describe their pain as sharp, cardiac related chest pains are said to feel deep, heavy, squashing, and tight.
Cardiac pain may also cause other symptoms such as dizziness, sweating, nausea, shortness of breath, numbness in the left arm or shoulder, and lightheadedness. In contrast, chest pain associated with acid reflux or GERD may cause difficulty swallowing, frequent belching, burning in your throat, chest, or stomach, and a sour taste in your mouth.
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Preventing A Heart Attack
There are 5 main steps you can take to reduce your risk of having a heart attack :
- smokers should quit smoking
- lose weight if you’re overweight or obese
- do regular exercise adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week, unless advised otherwise by the doctor in charge of your care
- eat a low-fat, high-fibre diet, including wholegrains and at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day
- moderate your alcohol consumption
Different Heart Attack Signs In Men And Women
Heart attack symptoms can be different in men and women. Why does it matter? Women are less likely to seek immediate medical care and are more likely to die. Differences include:
- Men normally feel pain and numbness in the left arm or side of the chest, but in women, these symptoms may appear on the right side.
- Women may feel completely exhausted, drained, dizzy or nauseous.
- Women may feel upper back pain that travels up into the jaw.
- Women may think their stomach pain is the flu, heartburn or an ulcer.
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Can A Woman Have Heart Attack Symptoms For Days
Some people have no symptoms. For others, the first sign may be sudden cardiac arrest. However, the more signs and symptoms you have, the greater the chance youre having a heart attack. Some heart attacks strike suddenly, but many people have warning signs and symptoms hours, days or weeks in advance.
What A Heart Attack Feels Like For A Woman
The most common symptom of heart attack in women is chest pain or tightness. Women may also experience pain in the upper abdomen. Women are also more likely than men to experience nontraditional symptoms, such as:
- fatigue, which may appear for several days prior to other symptoms and create the impression you have the flu rather than a heart attack
- upper back pain that may feel like burning, tingling, or pressure
- neck and jaw pain often without any chest pain
- pain, tingling, or discomfort in either or both arms
- nausea and vomiting
- shortness of breath, with or without chest pain that can come on suddenly
Because certain symptoms, such as nausea or fatigue, can signal any number of health concerns or illnesses, you should be particularly mindful of other possible heart attack symptoms.
If you suddenly become nauseated and youre having trouble catching your breath or youre feeling serious jaw pain, call 911. Tell the operator you may be having a heart attack.
Women are often reluctant to seek medical attention for heart attack symptoms. While women are slightly less likely than men to have heart attacks prior to menopause, the odds essentially are equal after menopause.
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How Long Do Heart Attack Symptoms Last
Posted by:Advanced Cardiology of Newmarket
If youre having a heart attack, how long does the chest pain last? Can it go on all day long?
According to the Mayo Clinic, heart attack symptoms often dont follow the classic pattern we see on television with a sudden onset pain. They can be much more subtle and sometimes begin with warning pains in the chest or other symptoms days or even weeks before the actual attack.
Typically, however, if youre having a heart attack, the severe pain lasts for about 15-20 minutes and then can linger for some time after. Im only a layperson though, and you should definitely talk to a doctor if youre having chest pain, or go to the ER if necessary.
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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A Cough That Wont Quit
In most cases, this isn’t a sign of heart trouble. But if you have heart disease or know you’re at risk, pay special attention to the possibility.
If you have a long-lasting cough that produces a white or pink mucus, it could be a sign of heart failure. This happens when the heart can’t keep up with the body’s demands, causing blood to leak back into the lungs.
Ask your doctor to check on whatâs causing your cough.
What Can Mimic A Heart Attack
One lung problem, pulmonary embolism, can mimic a heart attack and is equally serious. A pulmonary embolism is a blood clot in an artery in the lungs. This clot cuts off blood flow, and the lung tissue begins to die. A pulmonary embolism is a life-threatening medical emergency that requires immediate treatment.
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Are There Complications Of A Heart Attack
Complications following a heart attack can include:
- Arrhythmia your heart may develop an irregular heartbeat following a heart attack due to damaged heart muscles disrupting electrical signals.
- Heart failure your heart may have ongoing difficulty pumping enough blood, due to its muscles being too weak or stiff.
- Cardiogenic shock where your whole body goes into shock from extensive heart muscle damage.
- Heart rupture this is a rare but serious complication in which the hearts muscles, walls or valves split apart.
These can be dangerous if untreated, but your healthcare team will help to manage them if they occur.
I Thought I Had The Flu
Even though heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in the United States, women often chalk up the symptoms to less life-threatening conditions like acid reflux, the flu or normal aging.
They do this because they are scared and because they put their families first, Goldberg said. There are still many women who are shocked that they could be having a heart attack.
A heart attack strikes someone about every 43 seconds. It occurs when the blood flow that brings oxygen to the heart muscle is severely reduced or cut off completely. This happens because the arteries that supply the heart with blood can slowly narrow from a buildup of fat, cholesterol and other substances .
Many women think the signs of a heart attack are unmistakable the image of the elephant comes to mind but in fact they can be subtler and sometimes confusing.
You could feel so short of breath, as though you ran a marathon, but you haven’t made a move, Goldberg said.
Some women experiencing a heart attack describe upper back pressure that feels like squeezing or a rope being tied around them, Goldberg said. Dizziness, lightheadedness or actually fainting are other symptoms to look for.
Many women I see take an aspirin if they think they are having a heart attack and never call 911, Goldberg said. But if they think about taking an aspirin for their heart attack, they should also call 911.
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Should I Still Call 999 Or Go To Hospital If Im Worried About My Health
Whether or not you have coronavirus symptoms, its essential to dial 999 if you have symptoms that could be a heart attack, or if your heart symptoms get worse.
We are hearing that fewer people are being seen in hospital with heart attacks in recent weeks, which suggests that people are not seeking help when they should do. If you have any of the symptoms described above, you should call 999.
Dont delay because you think hospitals are too busy the NHS still has systems in place to treat people for heart attacks. If you delay, you are more likely to suffer serious heart damage and more likely to need intensive care and to spend longer in hospital.
Early Symptoms Don’t Really Sound Like The Hollywood Heart Attack Experience Is That Typical
There are two main ways that people present with heart attacks, Dr. Xu says:
- Sudden A person may or may not have any symptoms previously, but all at once a plaque deposit ruptures, triggering a chain of events and a sudden heart attack.
- Gradual The other presentation happens slowly as coronary disease progresses. In this situation, an artery is getting narrower over time. When the artery is narrowed down to more than 70 percent, a person will start to have warning symptoms ahead of time, especially with physical exertion.
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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
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Heart Attack Symptoms: Women Vs Men
Women may experience classic symptoms such as chest pain and shortness of breath as many men do, but they also tend to experience stomach pain, back pain, and other non-classic symptoms.
Because of the subtlety in those symptoms, many women brush off these warning signs and already have heart damage by the time they get to the Emergency Department.
And many women put their families before their own health. But you cant take care of your loved ones if your own health is not where it needs to be.