Warning Signs Of Heart Failure
By themselves, any one sign of heart failure may not be cause for alarm. But if you have more than one of these symptoms, even if you haven’t been diagnosed with any heart problems, report them to a healthcare professional and ask for an evaluation of your heart. Congestive heart failure is a type of heart failure which requires seeking timely medical attention, although sometimes the two terms are used interchangeably.
If you have been diagnosed with heart failure, it’s important for you to manage;and keep track of symptoms and report any sudden changes to your healthcare team.
This table lists the most common signs and symptoms, explains why they occur and describes how to recognize them.
Classic Signs Of A Heart Attack
These are the most commonly expected symptoms of heart attack. If you suddenly experience these symptoms, call 911 or get to your nearest emergency room immediately:
- chest pain, pressure or discomfort that lasts for several minutes or disappears, then returns
- pain or discomfort that affects either or both arms
- back, neck or jaw discomfort
- stomach pain or discomfort
- feeling fatigued
If you notice any or all of these symptoms, call 911 and seek emergency medical care immediately, even if you arent experiencing chest pain.
When Is Chest Pain A Heart Attack
Many people delay calling 999 when having chest pain as they often think it isnt serious. You should dial 999 immediately if your chest pain:
- is sudden
- spreads to you arms, back, neck or jaw
- feels heavy or tight.
- you become short of breath or start to feel sick.
If your chest pain doesnt match these characteristics and you arent experiencing any other heart attack symptoms, there may be other explanations for your chest pain. These include angina, indigestion or a strained muscle.If you frequently experience unexplained chest pain, book an appointment with your GP as its possible you may have an undiagnosed heart condition.;;
Is It Normal To Feel So Depressed
Heart attack patients will feel a wide range of emotions, typically for about two to six months after the event. Depression;is quite normal, along with fear and anger. For example, every time you feel a little pain, you may feel afraid it’s going to happen again afraid you’re going to die. That’s normal and will begin to pass as time goes by. You may be angry that this happened, and you’re probably feeling irritated and have a “short fuse” with others. Resentment is common after a heart attack. Try to understand that your family and friends are just as worried as you are. Although depression is normal after a heart attack, if it interferes with sleeping, eating, self-esteem, or if you have thoughts of suicide, you should talk to your doctor and those close to you about your feelings. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Recovery is much faster with a trusted support team of healthcare professionals, family and friends.
Should I Still Call 999 Or Go To Hospital If I’m Worried About My Health
Whether or not you have coronavirus symptoms, it’s 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.
Don’t 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.;
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What’s The Difference Between Angina And A Heart Attack
Angina is pain felt in your chest often caused by coronary heart disease. As the symptoms of angina are similar to a heart attack, its important to know how to distinguish between the two.;If you havent been diagnosed with angina and you start experiencing chest pain that feels similar to the symptoms of a heart attack, phone 999 immediately.If you have angina and you start experiencing chest pain symptoms similar to a heart attack:
- sit down and rest
- use your glyceryl trinitrate spray that youve been prescribed;
- if the pain still persists after a few minutes, take another dose of your spray;
- if the pain doesnt go away a few minutes after your second dose, dial 999 immediately.;;
Can Coughing Help You Survive A Heart Attack
This is generally not helpful, according to the American Heart Association. In a hospital setting, a nurse or physician may instruct someone to cough forcefully and repetitively during the initial seconds of a sudden heart rhythm problem. This is to try to maintain blood flow to the brain for a few seconds. Outside of a hospital, coughing really isn’t useful and “cough CPR” is a myth.
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What If Your Doctor Assures You It’s Just Stress Or Fatigue
If a young, healthy patient doesnt have other risk factors, the likelihood of having significant coronary artery disease is low. It may not be appropriate to jump into testing. But the important thing is to always keep coronary risks in mind. Anyone who is experiencing symptoms that dont go away or get worse should go back to a doctor for further evaluation.
When Should I See A Doctor
Its important not to ignore symptoms and wait until they become severe. If you have a concern, talk to your doctor. If heart disease is caught early, there are many lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your risk of further problems: eat a;healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, get regular;exercise , maintain a healthy weight, drink alcohol in moderation , and dont smoke.
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Why Are Lifestyle Changes Important
Making changes in your lifestyle is one of the most important things you can do to prevent another heart attack, heart disease and stroke. The ABCs of prevention are:
- Avoid Tobacco As a nonsmoker, you can go so many places and enjoy so many experiences that were off limits to you as a smoker.
- Become More Active Regular physical activity will ease stress and depression, help control weight and help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
- Choose Good Nutrition Good nutrition will help control your weight, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Even if you’re taking prescription medication, it’s still extremely important to lead a heart-healthy lifestyle. Learn more about the lifestyle changes;for heart attack prevention.
Treatment For A Heart Attack
Treatments for a heart attack may include:
- strong blood thinning medications to rapidly dissolve blood clots that may be blocking a coronary artery
- angioplasty and stent implantation a procedure to open up a blocked coronary artery using a balloon at the point of narrowing.
Once the artery is open, a special expandable metal tube is left in place to keep it open, and the balloon is withdrawn
- long-term use of medicines to lower the risk of heart attack or death in the future. Be advised by your doctor. Medicines may include: a small regular dose of aspirin and an additional blood thinning medication , a statin and a beta-blocker.
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Chest Pain Pressure Squeezing And Fullness
Picture someone having a heart attack, and chances are you imagine them gasping for air and clutching their chest before falling unconscious. While you may experience chest pain during a heart attack, it may not be as dramatic. In some cases, it may not even be described as pain. Instead, it may feel more like pressure or squeezing in the chest.
Chest pain or chest discomfort is caused by an insufficient supply of oxygen-rich blood to your heart. During a heart attack, you may feel this pain in the center of the chest. It can last for a few minutes and disappear, or it may recur after a short break.
This symptom is a warning sign of blocked or narrowed arteries. Dont hesitate to report this to your doctor, even if this and other symptoms are not intense.
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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What Is A Heart Attack
Each year, approximately 1.2 million Americans suffer a heart attack, also known as a myocardial infarction. It is a medical emergency that occurs when a part of the heart muscle does not get enough blood. This usually happens when fatty deposits build up over time and form plaque in the heart’s arteries, blocking the blood flow. The blockage also limits the oxygen and nutrients that go to your heart.
Heart attacks are sometimes thought to be a mans problem. But the truth is, more women in the United States die of heart disease each year than men. In general, over 80,000 people die every year from a heart attack and on average, 50% of these patients displayed, but ignored, the warning signs.
Describe Chest Pain To Your Doctor
Doctors use several pieces of information to determine who is, and who isn’t, having a heart attack. In addition to the description of your symptoms and your heart risk profile, doctors use the results of an electrocardiogram and a blood test called cardiac troponin. But sometimes these don’t immediately show abnormalities. So, what you describe to the doctor and your medical history are extremely important in determining the initial steps in your treatment.
Here are some things your doctors will want to know about what you are experiencing:
What is it that you are feeling ?
Where is the discomfort?
Has it gotten worse or stayed the same?
Is the feeling constant, or does it come and go?
Have you felt it before?
What were you doing before these feelings started?
Clear answers to these questions go a long way toward nailing down a diagnosis. A few seconds of recurrent stabbing pain is less likely to be a heart attack , while pain centered in the chest that spreads out to the left arm or jaw is more likely to be one.
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Shortness Of Breath Nausea And Lightheadedness
Shortness of breath can occur with or without a chest pain during a heart attack. Most people dont realize this can happen before or after a heart attack as wellespecially for women..
Research has found that shortness of breath is the third most reported symptom before a heart attack among women and the top symptom during a heart attack.
Sweating And/or Shortness Of Breath
As women age, a lack of exercise and gradual weight gain cause issues like shortness of breath. Hot flashes are a common complaint for many women during menopause.
But these symptoms can signala heart problem when they happen in certain situations:
- Sudden sweating or shortness of breath without exertion.
- Breathlessness that continues to worsen over time after exertion.
- Shortness of breath that worsens when lying down and improves when propping up.
- Stress sweat when there is no;real cause for stress.
- Sweating or shortness of breath accompanied by other symptoms such as chest pain or fatigue.
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What Is A Panic Attack
A panic attack is a sudden overwhelming feeling of dread, anxiety, or fear. They can come on suddenly for no reason or can be triggered by certain phobias or fears. Most panic attacks share many common symptoms, but the one defining characteristic of panic attacks is the crippling sense of fear.
Panic attacks can happen once or twice in someones life, or they can be chronic and happen on and off for years. You may not realize youre having a panic attack at first. Some people describe the symptoms as feeling like theyre having a heart attack. The most common feeling many people have is a sense of dread and impending doom and the urge to fight or flee.
If youre experiencing a feeling of fear or dread and have at least four of the following symptoms, you may be having a panic attack. Panic attack symptoms include:
- Chills or hot flashes
- Trouble breathing or feeling like youre being smothered
- Shakiness or trembling all over
- Feeling detached from events around you or feeling like youre looking at things from far away
- A sudden sense of dread or feeling like youre dying
- Feeling like youre losing control or going crazy
- Tightness in the chest or trouble breathing
Signs Of Heart Attack That You Shouldnt Ignore
About every 40 seconds, someone has a heart attack in the US. Most people imagine that having a heart attack is always intense. But the truth is that sometimes you may be unsure if your are suffering from a heart attack because the signs can be subtle and different from what you may typically think of.
This makes heart attacks very dangerous. In fact, 1 in 5 heart attacks goes unnoticed, meaning the heart muscle is damaged due to lack of blood supply but the person is not aware of that this has occurred.
So what are the signs of a heart attack both subtle and not-so-subtle? Here are 4 signs of heart attack to be on the lookout for:
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When You See Your Doctor:
- Bring;a list of your symptoms and when they are occurring.
- Let them know about any related;family history.
- Talk about stress or anything going on in your life that might contribute to a problem.
Your doctor likely willlisten to your symptoms and check your pulse and blood pressure. They may orderblood work, which will show whether your heart is;damaged.
They also may use an electrocardiogram ;to tell whether the electrical activity of your heart is normal, or an echocardiogram to view images of the heart to see if damage has occurred.;
All this is important inidentifying any problems and taking steps to intervene before a possible heartattack.
Arm Back Neck Jaw Or Stomach Pain Or Discomfort
Heart attack pain may not be confined to the chest area. Pain or discomfort in your arm, back, neck, jaw, or stomach can also be heart attack-related.
But many people do not associate pain in these areas with having a heart attack which may prevent them from getting immediate medical attention.
Some head-to-toe signs of a heart attack include:
- Jaw, neck, or back pain
- Arm or shoulder pain or discomfort
- Shortness of breath
If you feel sudden discomfort in these areas, call 9-1-1.
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Heart Attack Symptoms In Women Vs Men
Women are more likely than men to have silent heart attacks and heart attacks without chest pain. Heart attacks are also more likely to start when a woman is at rest or experiencing mental stress.
That means its especially important for women to watch out for symptoms like shortness of breath, extreme fatigue, nausea or vomiting, or pain in the jaw, arms or back.
Also, we now know that young women are particularly prone to a type of heart event called a spontaneous coronary artery dissection , which we talk about in more depth below.
Whats A Depression Attack Like
A depression attack is different in nature from a panic attack or a heart attack. Heart- and panic attacks are short-lived . The symptoms of a depression attack can be just as gripping and intense, but their duration is more prolonged. In fact, to be considered an episode of major depression, symptoms must last at least two weeks.
In addition to lasting at least two weeks, to be considered a depressive episode, at least five of these depression symptoms must be present nearly every day :
- Low mood
- Unintended weight loss or weight gain
- Sleeping too much or difficulty sleeping
- Thoughts of death
That list of symptoms outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition is accurate but doesnt capture the essence of an attack of depression. Such episodes are forceful and can feel crushing. In a 2004 Psychiatric Times article, pediatrician Elizabeth Griffin describes her own depression attacks and echoes the experiences of countless others. Depression attacks, Griffin explains, can:
- Shut you down completely so that you miss work, separate from family and friends, and even withdraw from yourself, neglecting self-care and the activities of your life
- Cause frequent crying spells
- Create or intensify strong self-hatred
- Throw you into deep despair
- Overwhelm you with your own crushing thoughts
- Make you want to die
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Symptoms For A Heart Attack
I also will be looking to see how closely your symptoms;resemble the typical signs of a heart attack:
The challenge of identifying the cause of chest pain symptoms can be complex. That’s why if you do have chest pain seek medical attention immediately rather than checking Google for answers. Matters of the heart are often more than a mouse-click away.