Early Warning Signs of a Heart Attack
Heart disease is one of the leading causes for death in Americans who are in their mid 30s and 40s. Moreover, the number of individuals at risk from heart disease is on the rise as more and more people make poor lifestyle choices and turn to unhealthy habits such as eating junk food and refusing to exercise. As such, a number of questions are often raised as to heart disease as well as the early warning signs of a heart attack. Knowing whether or not you are having a heart attack, regardless of the cause, could actually help save your life. Here are some of the common early warning signs of a heart attack.
One of the most common signs that you or someone you love may experience is the presence of a rapid pounding or an irregular heartbeat. If you have unexplained episodes of rapid, irregular heartbeat, it could be an early warning that you are having problems that need to be examined closely. Such signs can predate a heart attack by weeks or even months. While skipped beats or arrhythmias which are not accompanied by an elevated heart rate are regarded as less serious they still require medical attention. However, if you experience an irregular heartbeat accompanied by an increase in your heart rate, medically referred to as a ventricular and supraventricular tachycardia, it can indicate a serious problem. As such, you should consult your doctor immediately
Nausea, stomachaches and indigestion are some of the common early warnings signs of a heart attack. This combination of symptoms commonly affects women. As such, they are likely to mistake them for common gastrointestinal problems and avoid going to the emergency room to seek medical attention. Fatty deposits may cause blockages in the arteries which could reduce the blood supply to the heart casing an angina. Angina feels like a squeezing or cramping pain and is normally associated with chest pain. However, in a number of individuals the pain may be reflected in the abdomen since poor circulation as well as lack of oxygen could lead to nausea, indigestion as well as vomiting. One of the top clues that you might have this warning sign is that the symptoms are episodic rather than feeling like one long bout of indigestion. Moreover, these symptoms are worsened by exertion and get better with rest. As such, if you find you get nauseous whenever you are carrying out physical activity you should contact your doctor immediately.
Other common early warning signs of a heart attack include extreme fatigue, anxiety attacks and insomnia. With fatigue, it may seem that you are experiencing crushing fatigue that lasts days or even weeks. This could signal heart problems months before you experience an attack. The fatigue may also come on suddenly, especially after physical exertion. It should be noted that fatigue is considered a sign only if it is not linked to lack of sleep or illness.
Most heart attacks can be avoided by simple lifestyles changes such as not smoking, losing weight, getting plenty of exercise and acquiring good eating habits. Unfortunately, many individuals are not willing to do this. If you are among this group, it is even more important that you pay heed to any early warning signs of a heart attack. However, it must be noted that in many cases there are no warning signs, so it is better to make lifestyle changes to be on the safe side.