It is commonly known that sharp chest pains, or a pain that carries down the neck and into the arm (or both arms) is likely a sign of an imminent heart attack. This particular warning is hopefully significant enough to encourage you to call the emergency services immediately. Best advice is to do so whilst exerting the least amount of effort and then to rest whilst you wait for the medics to arrive. Whereas Aspirin can be helpful if they are close by, dont hunt the house for them. You want to put as little strain on your heart as possible. You may have only 10 seconds until you lose consciousness so, particularly if you are on your own, commit the following advice to memory. You need to cough repeatedly. Every 2 seconds take a deep breath and then cough deeply and as hard as is possible. The deep breath will help oxygen get into your lungs. The coughing movements squeeze your heart and allows the blood to keep circulating. The squeezing pressure on your heart may help your heart to regain its natural rhythm.
The Sensation of Pain May Vary
Dont be deluded into thinking the above scenario is the only evidence of a heart in danger. People report the experience of chest pain in differing ways. Symptoms reported by men are often different from those reported by women. Some people say that the pain is like a tight feeling in the chest, whilst others experience a feeling of heaviness. For some, the pain is described as severe, whereas others report it as merely uncomfortable. Women have reported the pain to be more like burning, or a minor ache. Men have said it is like having an elephant sitting on their chest. If you are experiencing any kind of unusual pain around your chest area, or into your neck, arms, back or abdomen, it is wise to seek immediate medical assistance.
What is a Heart Attack?
The majority of heart attacks are caused by an underlying condition of Coronary Heart Disease. This is when the arteries become restricted or blocked. Fatty material (hardened plaque) accumulates in the arteries limiting the amount of Oxygen that can be pumped around the body. Sometimes fatty residue can break free creating a complete enough blockage that there is not enough Oxygen reaching the heart. This will cause a heart attack. In light of this underlying cause, there are often warning signs prior to a heart attack that you may have symptoms of Coronary Heart Disease. If you know the signs, you can speak to a physician before the situation becomes an emergency.
Warning Signs Your Heart is at Risk
Sweating increased sweating is common in those who may have the onset of heart problems. It is difficult work attempting to pump blood through clogged arteries and your body compensates for this exertion by working hard to regulate your temperature. Women in particular may experience night sweats. If you notice unusual sweating, cold sweats or feeling clammy, you must consult a physician.
Unusual fatigue and shortness of breath this is, once again, quite common for women and can occur months before an actual heart attack. These symptoms are caused by the stress that is being put on your heart whilst attempting to pump blood around your body. With restricted arteries this requires a lot of effort. Additionally, light headness, or in more severe cases, complete black outs have been reported. Obviously, an unusual heart rate could indicate an abnormality with your heart and should be discussed with a doctor.
Mild indigestion or gastrointestinal problems this is a tricky one as it is often dismissed as being insignificant. However, if these symptoms are unusual for you, or if you know that you could be in a high-risk category for Heart Disease, it is important to seek advice.
Swelling in the body swelling in the feet, ankles, or abdomen can often be a warning sign of Heart Disease and hence a potential heart attack. This could be a signal that your heart is not able to circulate blood around your body sufficiently.
A feeling of intense anxiety or fear of death this is another difficult symptom, as most of us would feel uncomfortable going to a doctor on these grounds. However, many heart attack survivors report a sensation of impending doom leading up to their heart attack. This symptom requires an acute knowledge of yourself and your body, and an ability to trust your intuition. You may fear looking silly, but if this kind of foreboding is unfamiliar to you, confessing to a doctor may save your life.