Do you know if your lifestyle decreases or increases your risk of heart attacks? Some of the major contributing factors to heart attacks are poor diet, obesity, smoking, low physical activity, alcohol abuse, hypertension, and diabetes.
Taking into account that around 1.5 million heart attacks and strokes happen on a yearly basis in the U.S., it is of utmost importance to improve our lifestyles, but also to know the major indicating signs so that we can react timely.
With this in mind, this article will present the 8 major early heart attack symptoms that we discovered on Hack Spirit.
9 Most Common Heart Attack Symptoms
- Pain and discomfort in the chest
If there is a blocked artery in your body or if you are experiencing a heart attack, you may feel tightness, pressure, and pain in the chest. Though both men and women can experience this symptom, it is more common in men whereas it only happens in 30 percent of women. The pain may also spread to both or one of the arms, the neck, shoulders, stomach or jaw.
- Strong perspiration
Sudden sweating or sweating a lot may indicate a pending heart attack. Patients describe this symptom as “sweating for no obvious reason”. Although it may happen in both genders, women are more prone to it and may confuse it with hot flashes happening during menopause. The sweating may be stronger at night.
- Irregular heartbeat
Excitement or nervousness is known to elevate the heart rate; however, if you feel as if your heart is beating much faster for no apparent reason, it may be a symptom of a heart attack. A skipped heartbeat or arrhythmia is usually followed by anxiousness and panic attack, particularly in women. If the irregular heartbeats last for more than a minute or two and you also experience tiredness and dizziness, you need immediate medical attention.
- Loss of hair
Though it can be a result of other health problems, it may also signal a heart attack and heart illness. Usually, this symptom is the most common in men older than 50, but women may also experience it. Therefore, be careful about rapid hair loss, especially one happening on the crown of the head.
- Shortness of breath
Though it may signalize several health problems, it may also be a result of heart-related issues. When the heart muscle fails to pump properly, this can lead to build-up of pressure in the lungs and heart chambers and thus, cause a breathlessness sensation. It can happen in both men and women for up to 6 months before the heart attack takes place. Look for immediate medical care if you feel that you cannot get enough air or if you feel dizzy and shortness of breath.
The reduction in the oxygen levels (a result of the changes in the heart caused by heart illness) may cause changes leading to insomnia, anxiousness, and agitation. A lot of heart attack patients report feeling intense anxiousness and sleeping problems several months before the heart attack happened. Other problems associated with an upcoming heart attack are waking up too early and inability to fall or stay asleep.
- Abdominal ache
Nausea, bloating, abdominal ache, and an upset stomach are common indicators of a heart attack. Though they can be mixed with indigestion or other digestive problems, they may actually be a result of a heart problem. They are a consequence of poor blood flow and insufficient oxygen in the blood due to a weak heart or arterial blockage.
Tiredness without any apparent reason may be signalizing a heart attack, especially in women. This fatigue usually elevates in the evening and it makes even the simplest of tasks very challenging, for example, making your bed or taking a shower.