Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- Is there a test I can take to see if my arteries or blocked so I know if Im at risk of a having a heart attack?
- What is the likely cause of my heart attack?
- How serious was my heart attack?
- What course of treatment do you recommend? Do I need medicine? Surgery?
- Do I need to participate in a cardiac rehabilitation program?
- When can I return to normal physical and sexual activity?
- What is my risk of having another heart attack?
- Are my family members at an increased risk of heart attack?
- Do I need to take medicine to prevent another heart attack?
- Will the medicine interact with any of the medicine I already take?
- What lifestyle changes should I make at home to prevent another heart attack?
- Can sexual activity cause a heart attack?
Sign Of Potential Heart Attack: You Feel Sick To Your Stomach
Sometimes nausea, indigestion, or a burping feeling that wont go away is just a sign of a stomach bug. But it can also signal a problem with your heart.
The nervous system sometimes confuses signals coming from various parts of the body, says Park. The nerves in your gastrointestinal tract are closely intertwined with the nerves from the heart. As a result, a problem that could be brewing in your heart can sometimes translate as stomach discomfort, he explains.
Theres a way to tell a stomach bug from something more serious, though. Usually nausea caused by an impending heart attack will get worse with physical exertion and ease up when you rest.
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.
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Who Is At Risk For Pvcs
Almost everyone has PVCs at some time, from childhood through adulthood. In a study of healthy members of the military, the incidence of PVCs was 0.5% among those under the age of 20 and 2.2% in those over the age of 50. This study shows the rise in PVCs as in all types of abnormal heart rhythms that occurs with age. PVCs occur more commonly in older people and in individuals with underlying heart disease, including a history of heart attack. People with a family history of cardiac arrhythmias also have a higher risk for PVCs.
What Are The Symptoms Of Pvcs
When a PVC occurs as a single premature beat, patients may describe the feeling as a “palpitation” or “skipped beat.” The beat following the PVC can be strong enough to cause pain or discomfort in the chest. Individuals who have frequent PVCs or a series of them may experience a fluttering sensation in the chest or neck. If PVCs are frequent enough to reduce the hearts pumping ability, the individual may experience weakness, dizziness or fainting.
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Your Legs Feet And Ankles Are Swollen
This could be a sign that your heart doesnât pump blood as effectively as it should.
When the heart can’t pump fast enough, blood backs up in the veins and causes bloating.
Heart failure can also make it harder for the kidneys to remove extra water and sodium from the body, which can lead to bloating.
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.;;
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Cardiac Arrest Vs Heart Attack
Sometimes there is confusion between the terms “cardiac arrest” and “heart attack.” A heart attack, or myocardial infarction, is damage to the heart muscle that occurs due to reduced blood flow to the heart muscle, depriving the heart muscle of the oxygen it needs to function properly.
Cardiac arrest means that the heart stops beating and death is imminent. A heart attack, if severe, can lead to cardiac arrest, and this is what occurs when a heart attack is fatal. However, other conditions, such as serious arrhythmias or shock, can also cause cardiac arrest.
Causes Of A Heart Attack
Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of heart attacks.
CHD is a condition in which the major blood vessels that supply the heart get clogged with deposits of cholesterol, known as;plaques.
Before a heart attack, 1 of the plaques bursts , causing a;blood clot to develop at the site of the rupture.
The clot may block the supply of blood to the heart, triggering a heart attack.
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Chest Pain And Heart Attack Symptoms
Chest pain is only one of the possible signs of an impending heart attack. If you notice one or more of the signs below in yourself or someone else, call 911 or your local emergency number right away.
Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, burning, tightness, or pain in the center of the chest
Pain, numbness, pinching, prickling, or other uncomfortable sensations in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach
Shortness of breath
Heat/flushing or a cold sweat
Sudden heaviness, weakness, or aching in one or both arms
What Causes A Heart Attack
A heart attack occurs when part of the heart muscle is damaged or dies from lack of oxygen. When a blockage occurs in your coronary arteries, blood and oxygen dont get to the heart. This can lead to a heart attack if it isnt treated quickly
Most heart attacks are a result of coronary heart or artery disease. A waxy substance called plaque builds up in the arteries. This is called;atherosclerosis. It takes years for the plaque to build up. When the plaque breaks up,;it travels through the blood stream. This creates blood clots. The clots slow or stop blood flow to the heart. Then the heart doesnt get enough oxygen. The tissue not receiving the oxygen begins to die.
Risk factors for a heart attack include:
- Gender. More men have heart attacks. But heart disease is the leading cause of death for American women.
A less common cause of heart attack is a severe spasm, or tightening, of a coronary artery. This can happen in an artery that doesnt have plaque build-up. Instead, the tightening cuts off the blood flow. Spasms arent as well understood as a cause for heart attack. They seem to be related to:
- Taking specific drugs, such as cocaine.
- Cigarette smoking.
- Severe emotional pain or stress.
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Sign Of Potential Heart Attack: Your Leg Or Hip Cramps Up When You Walk
A cramping or burning sensation in your calves that slowly moves up to your thighs and hips could be bad news. Its a common sign of peripheral artery diseasea narrowing of the arteries that limits blood flow to your limbs, stomach, and head.
That discomfort is caused when not enough blood flows through your legs. Most patients will admit to not being able to walk normal distances without symptoms, or having to stop to rest before they can walk again without symptoms, says Park.
This discomfort could mean your heart is at-risk for potential problems, too. PAD is similar to coronary artery disease, where plaque builds up around the hearts major blood vessels. So the plaque buildup that contributes to the narrowing of your arteries in your limbs may also be occurring in arteries by your heart, too, according to the Mayo Clinic.
And that buildup can significantly up your risk for a heart attack, says Park.
Cleveland Clinic Heart Vascular & Thoracic Institute Cardiologists And Surgeons
Choosing a doctor to treat your abnormal heart rhythm depends on where you are in your diagnosis and treatment. The following Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute Sections and Departments treat patients with arrhythmias:
- Section of Electrophysiology and Pacing: cardiology evaluation for medical management or electrophysiology procedures or devices – Call Cardiology Appointments at toll-free 800.223.2273, extension 4-6697 or request an appointment online.
- Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery: surgery evaluation for surgical treatment for atrial fibrillation, epicardial lead placement, and in some cases if necessary, lead and device implantation and removal. For more information, please contact us.
- You may also use our MyConsult second opinion consultation using the Internet.
The Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute has specialized centers to treat certain populations of patients:
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Sign Of Potential Heart Attack: Your Erection Falters
Erections occur when more blood flows into your penis, making it firm and hard. But if those blood vessels are damaged, blood flows less freely, meaning youre less likely to get an erection, or maintain an erection, when aroused. Thats a main cause of erectile dysfunction.
As Segal explains, if your blood vessels down there are damaged, theres a good chance the ones near your heart could be damaged as well.
A major cause of this blood vessel damage is plaque buildup. When that occurs in the vessels to your heart, you could be at risk of a heart attack, he says.
Having a one-time performance problem isnt likely a big dealit could just mean youre tired or stressed. But if the issue persists after a few sessions in the sack, it could be a sign of something more serious.
Warning Signs Your Body Gives You Before 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.
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.”
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.
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.
Risk Factors For A Silent Heart Attack In Women
Still, Ekery says, the risk factors for a silent heart attack are the same as those for a recognized heart attack, and:
A silent heart attack can be just as dangerous as its more obvious counterpart, says Ekery. Because the event often leaves scarring and damage to the heart, it puts the person at greater risk of other heart problems. And because the person didnt know to seek treatment, blood flow to the heart might not have been restored early on, and no medications were administered, so the impact could potentially be greater.
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What Should I Do If I Have Symptoms Of Heart Attack
If you think you may be having a heart attack, get treatment right away. Follow these steps:
- Dial 911 Do not have someone else drive you to the hospital. Do not try to drive yourself. EMTs can give you life-saving treatment in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.
- After calling for help, take 1 uncoated adult aspirin or 4 uncoated baby aspirins . Dont take this if youre allergic to aspirin.
- If you are alone and are able, unlock your door to let emergency personnel enter your home.
- Sit in a comfortable chair and wait for help.
- Keep a phone near you.
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.
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Heart Attack Symptoms In Women
Heart disease is not a mans disease.
Heart disease is the number one killer of women. It is more deadly than all forms of cancer combined.
One in thirty-one US women die from cancer each year. One in three die from a heart attack annually.
Protect yourself by knowing your risk factors for heart disease, such as obesity, smoking, menstruation has stopped, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, physical inactivity, and family history of arteriosclerotic heart disease before age 60.
According to Dr. Larry Weinrauch, very few pre-menopausal women have heart attacks, unless they smoke, have diabetes, or are on birth control pills for a long period of time. Smoking seems to be the biggest risk factor.
Heart disease symptoms can be different for women than men, which can lead to misdiagnosis and/or delayed treatment.
Heart attack warning signs for women:
Eight Warning Signs Of A Heart Attack You Get A Month Before Having One
It’s important to know the symptoms of a heart attack to get help as fast as possible
Whether you’ve suffered one yourself or have experienced the shock of a loved one being struck by a heart-attack, it can be devastating.
Especially when it seems like a bolt out of the blue. And sadly, this is the case for thousands of people across the UK each year.
A heart attack is one of the most serious medical emergencies and they can often be fatal or life-changing. They require immediate medical attention and can seemingly strike from nowhere – happening when blood cannot reach the heart, usually due to a blood clot.
Known medically as myocardial infarctions, where ‘myo’ means muscle, ‘cardial’ refers to the heart, and ‘infarction’ refers to the death of cell tissue due to a lack of blood supply, a heart attack is when the heart muscle is damaged because it doesn’t have enough oxygen to function.
Thankfully, your body will display eight warning signs at least a month before a heart attack. Some of these signs are quite common symptoms of other conditions, so don’t worry if you have only one, although all are worth checking.
And if you’ve noticed a few of them recently, it’s definitely worth consulting your GP or phoning the NHS on 111.
Remember, if you’re suffering a medical emergency, always dial 999 immediately.
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