Heart attack is the leading cause of death in men and women in the USA. Some warning signs indicate a heart attack is imminent. If you experience one or all of these symptoms, you must seek immediate help.
Do you know that:
“About 659,000 people in the United States die from heart disease yearly—1 in every four deaths. Heart disease cost the United States about $363 billion annually from 2016 to 2017. It includes the cost of health care services, medicines, and lost productivity due to death.” (Source)
Warning signs of a heart attack
Below are warning signs of an impending heart attack that you must not ignore:
Chest pain is one of the most common warning signs of a heart attack. Generally, you have an uncomfortable feeling in your chest. You may also experience severe pain in the middle section of your chest.
If you experience this feeling repeatedly, you must see a doctor.
The feeling of sudden dizziness is another warning sign of a heart attack. Although, there can be other reasons for it. For example, you are dehydrated or have not taken enough nutrients.
However, you can also have this feeling due to low blood pressure. The reason could be your heart is not pumping as it must.
Heartburn or indigestion
Heartburn or indigestion is also an indication of underlying heart disease. You must not ignore it if it coexists with other heart attack symptoms. A person with heart problems may also feel nauseous after a meal.
It is concerning if you break into cold sweat without any physical activity. It is an indication that your heart is not performing to the best of its capacity. If you experience cold sweating with other warning signs of a heart attack, you must immediately call for help.
Sudden exhaustion or weakness for no apparent reason is also a symptom of heart problems. You may feel bone-tired after doing a routine task. If this feeling occupies you for days, you must consult your doctor.
It is not unusual to experience a rapid heartbeat during exercise or in tense situations. But if it gets uneven for no reason, you need to be worried a little. You must consult a heart specialist to find the actual cause.
Pain in your left arm
If you experience pain in the left arm that starts from the chest, it is a common symptom of a heart attack. This pain may also appear in your jaw or throat. If it happens, you must seek immediate help and not wait for the situation to worsen.
Factors leading to a heart attack
The primary factors leading to a heart attack are your lifestyle choices. If you make better choices, you will likely live a long healthy life. But indulging in activities like smoking, drug use, etc., exposes you to the risk of a heart attack.
Cigarette contains chemicals that thicken your blood. It makes the blood flow difficult through arteries and veins. Therefore not enough blood reaches your heart. It damages the heart muscles and leads to a heart attack.
You must be extremely careful if you are a smoker or someone who absorbs secondhand smoke.
If there is a family history of heart problems, you may also have heart disease at some stage. Therefore you need to be more cautious about the state of your health. Exercise daily and adopt healthy habits to maintain good fitness.
Age can also prove a decisive factor in causing a heart attack. As you grow old, your heart and arteries weaken. It impacts the capacity of the heart to pump and retrieve blood.
If you are under constant stress, it impacts the health of your heart.
Chronic stress has several implications for your health. It leads to high blood pressure and may also cause diabetes. Coupling these health problems with a constant state of tension will likely result in a heart attack.
It is one of the primary causes of a heart attack.
Obesity increases the cholesterol levels in your body. More importantly, it not only boosts the level of bad cholesterol in your system. It also reduces the quantity of good cholesterol. Good cholesterol is vital to minimizing the risk of heart diseases.
Obesity also causes diabetes and high blood pressure. People with high blood pressure and diabetes are more likely to have heart problems.
Eating a balanced diet is essential to having a healthy heart. If your routine diet comprises saturated fats, trans fats, and excessive salt, it increases your chances of having a heart attack. Such a diet increases blood pressure and cholesterol, harming your heart’s health.
Drug use and excessive alcohol consumption can also lead to a heart attack. Drugs like cocaine, heroin, opioids, and alcohol addiction are hazardous to your physical and mental health. Individuals with these addictions also display poor eating and sleeping habits. It damages their system and results in premature death.
Measures to prevent a heart attack
The measures to prevent a heart attack are relatively simple. You only need to discipline yourself and follow a healthy routine. By taking small steps, you can change your life for the better. Below are the details:
Adopting a healthy lifestyle is essential to avert a heart attack. A healthy lifestyle comprises exercising daily, maintaining good eating and sleeping habits, and curbing the stress triggers. If you live a happy and disciplined life, you are unlikely to have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. These are the precursors of a heart attack.
If you have chronic stress, you need to take significant steps to manage it. It has severe consequences for your overall health. You need to identify the stress triggers and how to deal with them.
You can take the help of your friends and family members or have sessions with a psychologist.
If you face health problems like high blood pressure or diabetes, you must regularly take medicines as your doctor recommends. Medication helps keep these conditions under control. By behaving recklessly, you make matters complicated for yourself.
Along with medication, you also need to exercise daily. It minimizes the chances of having a heart attack. Physical exercise is also vital for those who previously had a heart attack.
In the end, if you experience any warning signs of a heart attack, don’t take it lightly. By seeking timely help, you can curtail the damage to your heart. Also, ensure that you take care of yourself by making healthy choices.