Cardiovascular disease kills an average of 2,200 Americans every day. That’s 1 death every 40 seconds. About 92.1 million Americans are living with some form of cardiovascular disease. Unfortunately, others are still dealing with the aftereffects as a result of a heart attack or stroke. Ultimately, cardiovascular disease is the #1 killer of Men and Women in America. Due to the deadly nature of this disease, it’s important to be aware of the early warning signs of a heart attack. For many men and women, these signs are subtle and easily dismissed. As a result, they suffer a heart attack. These 15 signs are not to be ignored.
Everyone experiences chest pains occasionally, however frequent and increasingly painful chest pains are problematic. It’s not always a sharp and shooting pain. This pain can manifest in the form similar to a heavy compression on the chest. It might feel like someone is sitting on your chest. Similarly, some people have noted a burning pain similar to heartburn. Cardiac events are becoming increasingly common among younger individuals. Cigarette smoking, heavy drinking, poor sleep, poor diet, and poor exercise patterns can all contribute to early development of cardiovascular disease.
Anxiety and Sensitivity
Everyone experiences anxiety and sensitivity at various points in their life. Work, social life, family, and friends all require a delicate balancing act. In the months leading up to a heart attack, some people will experience an increase in irritability. As a result of the heart being unable to pump enough blood to the brain, some studies suggest feelings of anxiousness rise, too. Agitation and irritability also play a role in the development of hypertension. Stress can put adults of any age at risk for having a major heart attack.
Nausea and upset stomach are common symptoms, though they should not be frequent. According to men and women who have suffered a heart attack, frequent bouts of stomach pain occurred leading up to the attack. Still, stomach issues are the most commonly overlooked symptoms surrounding risk of an upcoming heart attack. Regrettably, this oversight has serious implications and can even result in death. Frequent stomach pains and digestive issues should always be addressed with your doctor. Women are most likely to experience this symptom prior to a heart attack.
Excessive sweating can indicate a heart attack is looming. Be that as it may, everyone does experience inconvenient sweating. However, sweating while it’s not hot or just while relaxing is serious. After ruling out the possibility of a regular fever, keep an eye on your health. Those who experience sweating right before an attack will also have skin that appears light or grey. Secondly, these individuals may also struggle to form certain words or make a coherent sentence. Excessive sweating is not normal and should be addressed immediately by a medical professional.
Pain in the Armpit
Severe to mild pain in the armpit area could indicate you are about to have a heart attack. This type of pain can come in waves and last days or weeks at a time. Occasionally, the pain will disappear all together for several weeks only to return with intensity. Your nerves are sending out pain signals from your heart to your spinal cord. At the same time, be sure to monitor when the pain occurs. If strenuous activity and exercise are immediately followed by pain, be very careful and speak with your doctor.
Of course everyone experiences coughing related illness now and again. Viruses, colds, and allergies can all negatively impact your lung health. However, a lingering or unproductive cough is a sign that you are not getting enough oxygen. A cough that lasts for more than a few weeks could mean there are more serious, underlying issues at hand. If you feel week or tired after a coughing fit, and allergies or seasonal related illness is not the cause, there is definitely cause for concern. Shortness of breath is a sign of an oncoming heart attack and frequently combined with coughing.
Dizziness or Fainting
Just before a heart attack happens, the blood flow to your brain begins to slow and can ultimately stop all together. Consequently, you may begin to feel dizzy or lightheaded. As a result, fainting can occur. Individuals who experience dizziness that is accompanied with chest pains, shortness of breath, or coughing need to seek medical attention immediately. Occasional, but frequent, dizziness should be approached with caution. Operating a vehicle or machinery while dizzy could result in serious injury. Make sure that any medications you’re taking do not have dizziness listed as a side effect.
When the heart is not working at its full potential, the body will feel weak and tired. Many people who experience heart attacks note a sudden wave of extreme exhaustion. This isn’t anything like a 2pm slump. Fatigue that persists longer than a week is a real issue and a major sign. Feeling groggy, tired, and exhausted not as a result of any heavy activity should not be ignored. Feelings of anxiety or sudden anxiousness may also suddenly come on prior to a heart attack event.
A rapid or erratic heartbeat isn’t normal at all. Actually, this type of heartbeat is a sign that your heart is not working properly. Noticing an irregular heartbeat is an important indicator that you need to seek medical attention immediately. Incidentally, if a heartbeat continues to beat irregularly, dizziness and fainting may occur. Alone, these symptoms do not indicate a heart attack is coming, but in combination they do. An erratic or irregular heartbeat could also indicate other very serious heart health issues that have not been addressed.
Shortness of Breath
Shortness of breath accompanied with feeling faint or dizzy is a major sign of a heart attack. You will also likely experience chest pains similar to the effect of someone compressing or sitting on your chest. Heavy smoking and poor exercise habits can also contribute to heavy or troubled breathing. If a sudden bout of short breath occurs while exercising, take a break and check in with your body. It’s important to ensure that any breathing troubles are not occurring alongside any other pains happening in the body.
Swelling of hands, fingers, ankles, and feet can be a sign of poor blood circulation. When the heart is struggling to pump blood out, this can result in fluid buildup in the body. At times, your feet or hands can appear to be extremely puffy. Drinking plenty of water or taking water pills can help reduce swelling caused by water retention. Puffy bags under the eyes or swollen eyes can also occur when the body is suffering from cardiovascular disease. If you are experiencing severe swelling, seek medical attention.
Lack of Strength
Endurance and strength can suffer if your heart is not healthy. Those who experience cardiac events mention a significant decline in their endurance and strength. This sudden onset of feeling weak is frequently mistaken for flu-like symptoms and illness. While the flu can leave you feeling weak, periods of weakness coupled with tingling or numbness are serious. Sleeping and lifestyle habits play an important role in your endurance and strength abilities. For example, poor diet and exercise can leave you feeling run down and weak.
Blood clots can cause a sudden heart attack or stroke. As a result of the blocking of the blood flow, the heart, as well as the brain, cease to receive blood. Jaw and neck pain that’s shooting or throbbing can indicate a blood clot is at play. Women frequently report jaw and neck pain just prior to the onset of a heart attack; more so than men. Jaw pain can be a result of clenching the jaw or grinding your teeth at night. If you are experiencing jaw or neck pain, see your doctor to rule out anything serious.
Numbness or Tingling
Tingling or numbness in the arms or chest is a common sign of an oncoming heart attack. As a result of poor blood flow or lack of blood flow, the body experiences feeling numb or tingles. Certain medications can adversely affect the blood flow or cause numbness or tingling. Symptoms of a heart attack appear in groups, but certain symptoms may appear alone or separate. This can cause difficulty in identifying a future serious cardiac event like a heart attack. If you experience numbness or tingling anywhere in the body, talk to your doctor.
Victims of heart attack or stroke frequently report that a sudden onset of confusion and difficulty understanding their surroundings occurs. If there is a lack of oxygen in the blood a number of life-threatening effects are possible. This is one of the most dangerous symptoms as it is easily dismissed and hard to identify. Confusion is subjective, but someone who is on the verge of suffering a cardiac event will show a dramatic change in his or her level of understanding. This should not be confused with a simple misunderstanding.