Heart Attack Warning Signs And Symptoms: Digestive Problems
Nausea or feeling sick on your stomach is a less common but possible symptom of a heart attack. Sometimes belching or burping can accompany nausea, and some patients have described a feeling like indigestion associated with a heart attack. Women are more likely than men to report these less typical symptoms of heart attack, and some patients have described feeling as though they are developing the flu.
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:
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.
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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
Symptoms Of A Heart Attack
Symptoms;of a heart attack can include:
- chest pain;;a sensation of pressure, tightness or squeezing in the centre of your chest
- pain in other parts of the body;;it can feel as if the pain is travelling from your chest to your arms , jaw, neck, back and tummy
- feeling lightheaded or dizzy
- feeling sick or being sick
- an overwhelming sense of anxiety
- coughing or wheezing
Although the chest pain is often severe,;some people may only experience;minor pain, similar to indigestion. In some cases, there may not be;any chest pain at all,;especially in women, older people, and;people who have diabetes.
It’s;the overall pattern of symptoms that helps to determine whether you are having a heart attack.
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Take The Ehac Oath With Us
We encourage you to start taking care of your heart health today. We can kick this commitment off by taking the EHAC oath together.
I understand that heart attacks have beginnings and on occasion, signs of an impending heart attack may include chest discomfort, shortness of breath, shoulder and/or arm pain and weakness. These may occur hours or weeks before the actual heart attack. I solemnly swear that if happens to me or anyone I know I will call 9-1-1 or activate Emergency Medical Services.
Surprising Signs You May Be Having A Heart Attack
Luis Astudillo, M.D. contributes to topics such as Cardiology.
When people have heart attacks in movies, they usually clutch their chests dramatically, break out in a cold sweat and drop to the floor. In real life, some people experience heart attacks this way, but there are many other less obvious symptoms which may indicate that someone is having a heart attack.
Its important to know all of the signs including subtler ones to ensure that you get the emergency care that you need.
Many people who have heart attacks dont have classic symptoms, so they may think that theyre experiencing indigestion, fatigue or muscle soreness from physical exertion, says Luis Astudillo, M.D., a cardiologist at Palisades Medical Center. Women and older adults in particular may not exhibit the typical signs that many people would immediately recognize.
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Sign Of Potential Heart Attack: You Feel Strangely Anxious
Studies show that women with anxiety are more likely to have reduced blood flow to the heart compared to those without anxiety. And though the same hasnt been shown for men, its still important for guys to consider the relationship between anxiety and heart attack risk, warns Segal.
Thats because many symptoms of anxietylike chest pain, shortness of breath, and heart palpitationsare also signs of a heart attack, especially if youre not in the middle of dealing with a stressful situation that might normally cause these kinds of symptoms.
This can potentially mask heart problems in many patients and lead to significant delays in diagnosis and treatment, explains Segal. In other words, youre probably not going call 911 if you think your racing heart is just a mood thing.
Anxiety can put extra strain on your heart too. Thats because feeling tense causes your blood vessels to constrict and speeds up your heart rate, which could both trigger a heart attack, says Segal.
What Is A Heart Attack
A heart attack occurs when a blocked artery prevents oxygen-rich blood from reaching a section of the heart. If the blocked artery is not reopened quickly, the part of the heart normally nourished by that artery begins to die. The longer a person goes without treatment, the greater the damage.
Symptoms of a heart attack;may be immediate and intense. More often, though, symptoms start slowly and persist for hours, days or weeks before a heart attack. Unlike with sudden cardiac arrest, the heart usually does not stop beating during a heart attack. The heart attack symptoms in women;can be different than men.
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Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection
SCAD is a type of heart attack that happens when the inner lining of a coronary artery tears for no clear reason, slowing or blocking blood flow down the artery.
SCAD can occur in otherwise healthy people who do not have the typical risk factors of heart disease. And according to an article in Clinical Cardiology , about 90% of SCADs happen to women between the age of 30 and 60.
Waiting For Emergency Medical Attention
If a doctor has previously prescribed heart medication for heart conditions, a person should make sure that they have taken this medication. Examples of such heart medication include beta-blockers and nitroglycerin.
Others may take an aspirin tablet, which can thin the blood. However, a person should only take aspirin if a doctor or first responder has recommended it.
Urgent treatment is necessary to reduce the risk of serious damage to the heart tissue.
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What Are The Four Signs Of An Impending Heart Attack
Some heart attacks are sudden and severe. But most begin slowly with chest discomfort as the first sign. You need to pay attention if you experience the following warning signs of a heart attack. These signs are as suggested by the American Heart Association :
- Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes.;
- Sometimes, you may have chest discomfort that goes away and then returns. You may feel uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain.
Discomfort in other areas of the upper body.;
- You feel pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, and jaw. You may also get a stomachache.
Shortness of breath.;
- You may suffer from shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
Other possible signs include;
Recovery After A Heart Attack
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.
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.
Is There Anything That Distinguishes These Symptoms How Do You Know When Those Subtle Atypical Symptoms Are Concerning
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.
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Heart Attack Warning Signs And Symptoms
Recognising the symptoms of a heart attack and calling Triple Zero could save your life or the life of a loved one. Its important that everyone, both male and female, know the warning signs and symptoms of a heart attack, because early treatment is vital. The longer a blockage is left untreated, the more damage occurs. ; ; ; ;The most common heart attack warning signs are:;;
- Chest discomfort or pain . This can feel like uncomfortable pressure, aching, numbness, squeezing, fullness or pain in your chest. This discomfort can spread to your arms, neck, jaw or back. It can last for several minutes or come and go;
- Dizziness, light-headedness, feeling faint or feeling anxious;
- Nausea, indigestion, vomiting;
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing with or without chest discomfort;
- Sweating or a cold sweat. ; ;
Heart Attacks In Older Adults
Many older adults may not experience chest pain during heart attacks, particularly those with diabetes. Older people may have silent heart attacks, or they may notice mild symptoms, including:
- feeling fatigued or tired
- shortness of breath
Sometimes, older adults experience some of the milder heart-attack symptoms that women experience, like heartburn, nausea or sweating.
If youre concerned that you could be having a heart attack because of these milder symptoms, call 911 to get checked out. Even if youre only having trouble catching your breath especially if you havent done anything to physically exert yourself its worthwhile to investigate.
The Dangers Of Having A Heart Attack And Not Knowing
Many people who have had a silent heart attack find out about it after the fact sometimes months or years later usually during a routine electrocardiogram, or EKG. Symptoms that arise afterward can also bring patients in to see a health care provider. Lager says people who have suffered a silent heart attack may notice a faster heart rate or increased exercise intolerance, for example.
Usually when someone finds out they had a silent heart attack, the damage has already been done. But identifying a past heart attack can help you and your doctor mitigate risks for future cardiac events. After all, a silent heart attack can increase risk of heart failure by 35 percent, one study shows. It also increases the likelihood of sudden death, stroke and having another heart attack.
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Dangerous heart arrhythmias are another concern your doctor may monitor for if you had an undetected heart attack in the past. These can develop when parts of the heart muscle are scarred from the loss of blood. And another worry: Because our blood gets thicker under stress, Lager says, blood clots are also more likely to crop up after you’ve had a heart attack.
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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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.”
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.
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Early Warning Signs Of A Heart Attack That You Should Notice
Getting help after experiencing heart attack is too late. According to WHO, heart attack is number one deadliest disease that cause of death globally. If you have hereditary record of family that having heart attack, you should catch the warning signs early.
Some heart attack are sudden and intense, meanwhile most start gradually which caused mild pain. Therefore, pay attention to your body and try to catch the warning signs of heart attack to prevent any unwanted condition.
1. Lie Down Method
It turns out that detecting the sign of heart attack can be done easily. The trick is to check how you feel when you lie down with no pillow.
Check out if you have the following symptoms:
- Feel dizzy
- Short of breath
- Irregular heartbeat
When laying down, some of the blood in the legs can return to the blood flow and create a strong enough flow to the heart. If your heart is in good health, then there will be no problem. But if not, the problems above can occur.
2. Frequent Urination
Drinking too much water and being in a room with a cold temperature can indeed make a person frequently go to the toilet to urinate. But is that the only cause of a persons frequent urination? Certainly not. Frequent urination can be the early warning sign that you have a heart attack.
3. Loss of Appetite
4. Cold in Hands and Feet
6. Irregular Heartbeat
7. Swollen Legs
8. Shortness of Breath
9. Exercise Feels Tougher Than Usual
10. Weight Gain