Do you have a healthy heart?
Published on February 14, 2014
DUBAI Not all heart attacks begin with the sudden, crushing chest pain that often is shown on TV or in the movies. In one study, for example, one-third of the patients who had heart attacks had no chest pain. These patients were more likely to be older, female, or diabetic. The warning signs and symptoms of a heart attack aren’t the same for everyone. Many heart attacks start slowly as mild pain or discomfort. Some people don’t have symptoms at all. Heart attacks that occur without any symptoms or very mild symptoms are called silent heart attacks.
CHEST PAIN OR DISCOMFORT
The most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. This includes new chest pain or discomfort or a change in the pattern of existing chest pain or discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the centre or left side of the chest that often lasts for more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back. The discomfort can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain. The feeling can be mild or severe.
Heart attack pain sometimes feels like indigestion or heartburn. The symptoms of angia can be similar to the symptoms of a heart attack. Angina is chest pain that occurs in people who have coronary heart disease, usually when they’re active. Angina pain usually lasts for only a few minutes and goes away with rest. Chest pain or discomfort that doesn’t go away or changes from its usual pattern (for example, occurs more often or while you’re resting) can be a sign of a heart attack. All chest pain should be checked by a doctor.
COMMON SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
Other common signs and symptoms of a heart attack include new onset of:
- Upper body discomfort in arms, the back, neck, jaw, or upper part of the stomach
- Shortness of breath, which may occur with or before chest discomfort
- Nausea, vomiting, light-headedness or sudden dizziness, or breaking out in a cold sweat
- Sleep problems, fatigue or lack of energy
Remember, not everyone having a heart attack has typical symptoms.
The signs and symptoms of a heart attack can develop suddenly. However, they also can develop slowly — sometimes within hours, days, or weeks of a heart attack. Call for help right away if you think you or someone else may be having a heart attack. Do not drive to the hospital, instead let someone else drive you. Call an ambulance so that medical personnel can begin life-saving treatment on the way to the emergency room.
- Steps to lower your risk of heart attack:
- Get your cholesterol checked at least once every five years
- Get your blood pressure checked at least once every two years
- Your family’s health history can give your doctor important information about your risk for heart disease
- Quit smoking
- Aspirin improves blood flow to heart and brain. It reduces your risk of heart attack or stroke. However, it’s is not recommended for all. Consult your doctor before taking aspirin
- Eat healthy, especially heart-healthy diet that are low in cholesterol, fat and sodium
- Watch your weight as extra weight can lead to high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes. If you are overweight, losing 10 pounds can lower your risk of heart disease
- Walk fast, dance or bike. Remember, regular physical activity can help prevent heart disease.
- So get active.
- Drink only in moderate amount
- Managing stress can help prevent serious health problems like heart disease, depression, and high blood pressure
- Over time, if diabetes is not controlled, it can cause heart disease, stroke, and blindness. The good news is that you can prevent or delay getting Type 2 diabetes
You are at higher risk for heart disease if:
- You are a woman over age 55
- You are a man over age 45
- Your father or brother had heart disease before age 55
- Your mother or sister had heart disease before age 65
- The good news is that heart disease can be prevented