Heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of death in India. Latest statistics suggest that there are some 30 million Indian heart patients today, and 25 percent of deaths are attributed to heart disease. Yet, it is difficult to predict this common disease. More than half of women who die from a sudden heart attack have no prior symptoms. Nevertheless, it is best to be prepared ahead of time. If you are at risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) then do no ignore the warning signs of a heart attack.
Dizziness Accompanied by Panic Attack
Panic attacks are usually accompanied by shortness of breath, palpitations, chest pain, and dizziness. If you feel these symptoms go to an emergency room right away.
Chest Discomfort or Heartburn
Chest palpitations or pain is a typical symptom of a heart attack, but the degree varies from person to person. It can feel like extremely painful pressure on your chest or just an uncomfortable sensation. Only about half of all women experiencing a heart attack feel chest pain. Women sometimes feel minor aches and what can seem like heartburn or indigestion.
Neck, Shoulder or Jaw Pain and Muscle Soreness
While chest pain is normal during and before a heart attack, shoulder and neck constrictions are common too. The pain can be mild or severe. It usually begins in the chest and spreads and radiates to the back, shoulders, arms, neck, throat jaw, or abdomen. Men get the pain first in their left arm during a heart attack, while women feel pain either between the shoulder blades or in the arm. Overall your body will become severely weak when the heart is unable to pump enough blood. Blood gets diverted to the critical organs (heart, lungs and brain), leaving the oxygen-deprived muscles weak.
Shortness of Breath and Hiccups
During a heart attack, lungs can fill up with fluid, causing breathlessness, even at rest. If you feel your breathing is heavy or laboured, it may be due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or heart failure. It can also be a sign of certain arrhythmias. It is a little-known fact, but persistent hiccups are one of the first signs of heart muscle damage. If you are getting the hiccups for several days or weeks, and they do not go away, you should notify your doctor.
Sweating for no reason
Breaking out suddenly into a cold sweat for no reason is actually a more common symptom of a heart attack than people think. Suspect something is wrong if you are sweating profusely without a fever or exertion or the weather is cool, especially if it is accompanied by a shortness of breath or chest pain.
Symptoms of heart attacks in women
It is worth mentioning that the warning signs in women are more subtle. Women usually experience heart attacks without chest pain and have less obvious signs:
- Extreme Fatigue and Sleep Disturbances
- Upper back pain or pressure, throat or jaw pain
- Feeling Faint or Light Headed
Take home message
If you are male, over 65, with a strong family history of heart disease, then you have a higher risk of getting a heart attack, and should not ignore the above heart attack symptoms.
Getting medical attention quickly is important.
If you show any of the warning signs, you should contact your doctor or a cardiologist immediately. In case it is an attack, you should be admitted to a hospital or ER.
Also, you can try to lower your risk of cardiovascular diseases by making simple lifestyle changes. People often ignore the basics: Quit smoking, follow a fitness & diet, routine eat right, control cholesterol, check your blood pressure. Monitor your blood sugar levels and your heart rate from time to time at home using health devices from Zotezo.