Heart Attack Warning Signs

Last updated: Tuesday, January 7, 2014 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment

A heart attack occurs when a blockage forms in the heart or in the arteries around the heart, resulting in restricted blood flow to a section of the heart muscle. The heart muscle requires a constant supply of oxygen to remain alive and optimally functioning.

A heart attack (also called myocardial infarction) must be treated promptly after early detection if this danger is to be averted. Heart attacks are the leading cause of death all over the world. Heart attacks is a state of disease that involves the interruption of the bloody supply to part of the heart.

Risk factors of heart attack include a history of angina or vascular disease, a previous stroke or heart attack, excessive alcohol, old age, obesity, high levels of stress, the abuse of illegal drugs, smoking, episodes of abnormal heart beat, high blood pressure, high or low cholesterol, high triglyceride levels and diabetes.

Causes of a heart attack include the slow buildup over time of plaque in the coronary arteries that supply blood and oxygen to the heart. The condition of excessive plaque buildup in the arteries is called atherosclerosis. Plaque is a fatty substance that is more prevalent in people with high cholesterol.

Symptoms of heart attacks include chest pain, a feeling of impending doom, anxiety, shortness of breath, palpitations, sweating, nausea, and vomiting. The pain often radiates from here to the upper stomach, neck, angle of the jaw or left arm. The pain does not relent with time or medication, and may even get worse.

The symptoms for heart attacks in men are often different from the symptoms in women. Women most often experience shortness of breath, fatigue and a feeling of weakness.

The vital warning signs of a heart attack are :

1. Chest Pain
The most important indicator of heart attack is chest pain. The person could feel slight to sever discomfort in the chest area that could last for a few minutes. It could be accompanied by pain, burning sensation or a feeling of tightness in the chest.

2. Fatigue
A general feeling of tiredness and exhaustion that extends for longer periods of time. Body fatigue and shortness of breath are the most common symptoms of a possible cardiac arrest, especially in women.

3. Discomfort in the Upper Part of the Body
Sometimes, the pain from the chest could radiate to the upper part of the body. The person may feel mild or intense pain in the back, shoulders, throat, neck, upper stomach and arms.

4. Excessive Sweating: Another indicator of heart trouble is sweating in excess even when the person is not actively doing anything. Sometimes women may have night sweats.

5. Swelling: Another indicator of heart attack is swelling in the abdomen, feet, ankles or legs.This happens because of fluid accumulation in those places.

6. Gastrointestinal Problems: Mild gastrointestinal (GI) disorders could be an indication of a heart attack. On an average, it has been observed that older people with GI troubles are more susceptible to cardiac problems.

7. Body Weakness: The person may feel very lethargic, weak and tired out, especially on the days before the heart attack. So,if a person who enjoys a good health suddenly feels tired and weak for no concrete reason, they should consult a doctor to get the condition checked.

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