Would you know it if you are at the potential risk of a heart attack?
Unlike most reenactments in movies, not all heart problems happen with a sudden chest clutch followed by a fall to the ground. Sometimes, heart symptoms don't even happen in your chest, and a chest pain doesn't always mean you are at the risk of a heart attack.
Getting a health checkup is the best way to figure things out when you are not sure, especially when you are over 60 years old, have diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol, or are overweight.
Additionally, don’t wait to get help when you experience the warning signs. Paying attention to your body and staying aware of these important symptoms may save your life.
Chest discomfort is considered the most common symptom of a heart attack. When you are having a heart attack, or have a blocked artery, you will feel tightness, pain, and pressure in your chest. The feeling can vary from person to person as well. Some people experience chest discomfort as that feeling when an elephant is sitting on them. For others it's like a burning or pinching sensation.
The feeling typically lasts for more than just a few minutes, and it can happen during physical activity or at rest. Nonetheless, if the pain lasts for just a brief duration, and if it's a spot that hurts when you touch it, it's probably not a heart attack. However, it is better to get yourself checked out by a doctor to rule out any life-threatening conditions.
Lightheaded or Dizziness
There are a lot of factors that can make you feel dizzy or lightheaded. For instance, maybe you stood up too fast, or you haven’t eaten or drank enough. However, if dizziness is accompanied by chest discomfort and shortness of breath, it is an indication that your blood pressure has dropped due to your heart not pumping blood the way it should. In such instances, call for urgent medical assistance right away.
Pain that Spreads to the Arm
Another common symptom of heart attack is pain that spreads across the left side of your body. Typically, the pain breaks out from the chest and radiates outward. There are many documented instances of arm pain being the first sign of a heart attack, so don’t ignore this symptom.
You Easily Get Exhausted
One big warning sign of heart attack is your tolerance to physical work. Unexplained weakness and extreme exhaustion that lasts for a few hours or sometimes for days can indicate a potential heart attack. If you quickly feel winded or fatigued after doing an exercise or physical work you had no problem doing in the past this may be an early warning sign of a heart attack. Fatigue from everyday activities like carrying groceries, or climbing stairs mean it’s time you make an appointment with your doctor.
Swollen Legs, Ankles, and Feet
Swollen legs, ankles, and feet are signs that your heart isn’t pumping blood as efficiently as it should. Bloating occurs when your heart doesn’t pump fast enough causing the blood to back up in the veins. Furthermore, heart failure also leads to decreased efficiency of the kidney in removing extra sodium and water from the body which also leads to bloating.
Sometimes, symptoms of heart attack risks can show up years before in surprising ways and places. Additionally, your body will also send signals which are associated with risks of heart disease or a heart attack.
You can minimize your risk of heart attack with small everyday activities that promote heart health. Making exercise a part of your normal routine can strengthen your heart and help you maintain a healthy heart rate. Eating nutritious heart-healthy foods can help keep your arteries from getting blocked.
For more information on heart health, heart attacks, and preventing heart related illnesses, reach out to BASS Urgent Care.