Heart attacks and strokes are life-threatening medical emergencies. They may share some similarities, but they are very different medical conditions. It is important to understand the signs and symptoms of each to ensure immediate treatment.
The early heart attack symptoms you must know:
1. Chest pain
This is the most obvious sign of an impending heart attack. If you have a blocked artery or are having a heart attack, you may feel pain, tightness, or pressure in your chest.
Men and women experience chest pains in different intensities and forms. In men, this symptom refers to the most important early signs of an impending heart attack that should not be ignored. On the other hand, it affects only 30% of women.
Unusual fatigue is one of the main symptoms that indicates an impending heart attack. Extreme exhaustion or unexplained weakness, sometimes for days at a time, can be a symptom of heart disease, especially for women.
Description: Physical or mental activity is not the reason for the fatigue, and it increases by the end of the day. This symptom is quite apparent and will not go unnoticed: sometimes it’s exhausting to perform simple tasks, like making a bed or taking a shower.
Dr. Christopher, an American herbalist, has not lost a single patient who had suffered a heart attack, thanks to cayenne peppers. He gave a cup of cayenne pepper tea (a teaspoon to a cup of water) to patients who were still conscious. Within a minute, they were all alive and safe.
3. Irregular heartbeat
It’s normal for your heart rate to increase when you’re nervous or excited, but if you feel like your heart is beating out of time for more than just a few seconds, or if it happens often, it might be a sign that you’re heading for a heart attack.
“Skipped beats or arrhythmias are often accompanied by a panic attack and anxiety, especially among women. It appears unexpectedly and reveals itself differently: arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) or tachycardia (increased heart rate). Physical exercises might give an extra stimulus to the increase of heart rate, especially in cases with atherosclerosis disease,” reports Bright Side.
Description: The irregular heartbeat lasts for 1-2 minutes. If it doesn’t fade, you might feel dizziness and extreme fatigue. Call the doctor right away.
4. Abdominal pain
Abdominal pains, empty/full stomach nausea, feeling bloated, or an upset stomach are several of the most common symptoms. It’s easy to attribute these to indigestion problems instead of a heart problem. The symptoms are equally likely to occur among women and men.
Poor circulation and lack of oxygen circulating in the blood (caused by a weak heart or blocked arteries) can lead to ongoing nausea, indigestion, or vomiting, particularly in women or people over 60.
Description: Abdominal pains before a heart attack have an episodic nature, easing and then returning for short periods of time.
Insomnia is also associated with an increased risk of a heart attack or stroke. A decrease in oxygen levels — caused by changes in the heart due to heart disease — may trigger subtle changes that lead to anxiety, insomnia, and agitation that can’t be explained by normal circumstances.
People who’ve had a heart attack often realize afterwards they began to experience anxiety and sleep problems in the months before the attack. Could this be the body’s way of warning you that something’s not right?
Description: Symptoms include difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying sleep, and waking up very early.
6. Shortness of breath
Breathlessness, or dyspnoea, is a common symptom of several medical conditions, heart problems being one of them. If the heart muscle is not pumping effectively, pressure can build up within the lungs and the chambers of the heart, creating the sensation of breathlessness.
It often occurs among men and women for up to 6 months prior to having a heart attack.
Description: Feeling like you can’t get enough air, dizziness, and shortness of breath.
7. Excessive perspiration
Unusual or excessive sweating is an early warning sign of a heart attack. It might occur at any time of the day or night. According to WebMD, breaking out in a cold sweat for no obvious reason could also signal a heart attack.
It’s more common for women to experience excessive sweating and it’s often confused with the hot flushes associated with menopause.
Description: Flu-like symptoms, clammy skin, or experiencing sweatiness regardless of air temperature or physical exertion. Sweating seems to be more excessive at night.
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