Heart Attack Symptoms

The premature death of James Gandolfini yesterday made me want to post this today.  Most everyone knows if you have sudden, gripping chest pain, you need to call 911 - like now.  But how many people are tuned in enough to their hearts to know if they’re having a problem without those obvious, intense symptoms? “Oh, I’m just having a bout of heartburn.”  Maybe not.  

Some potential Heart Attack Symptoms:

Anxiety Attack:  An anxiety attack is a sign you may be having a heart problem.  Additionally, ongoing stress plays a major role in health, or more so, the un-health of your heart. 

Appetite Loss:  A symptom of heart failure is abdominal swelling, which in turn can cause appetite loss.

Chest Discomfort:  This is certainly the most recognizable symptom of a heart attack, and it’s always wise to take it seriously, even if it turns out to be something else.  Symptoms can include pressure in the chest, squeezing, a feeling of fullness, or a burning sensation (hence the often misconception of heartburn). 

Dizziness:  Along with a heart attack, arrhythmias (heart rhythm abnormalities) can cause lightheadedness, even the loss of consciousness. This is something to take seriously, but it could be an adrenal gland related problem or, potentially, a dehydration issue

Fatigue:  Feeling tired all the time can be a symptom of heart failure.  And, before a heart attack, a person can feel unusually fatigued, particularly true for women. This is because your heart is probably having a hard time getting the blood to the rest of your body and you can't oxygenate your tissues, including your brain, very well.

Irregular and/or Rapid Pulse:  If a rapid or irregular pulse is accompanied by dizziness, shortness of breath or weakness, it could be an indication of heart attack, failure, or an arrhythmia. Arrhythmias, if left untreated, can lead to strokes and sudden death. This could be related to your diet and is one of the major symptoms of food allergies or sensitivities. 

Nausea:  During a heart attack, a person may feel sick to their stomach, even throw up.

Other Bodily Pains:  While chest pain is the most common heart attack symptom, sometimes pain may not present in the chest but, instead, in the shoulders, arms, elbows, back, abdomen, neck, even jaw. 

A persistent cough:  A sign of heart failure may be coughing or wheezing, particularly if bloody phlegm is expectorated.

Shortness of Breath:  While becoming winded with minimal exertion could show a pulmonary condition such as asthma or COPD.  Being out of breath could also be a sign of heart failure or a heart attack. 

Sweats:  A relatively common symptom of a heart attack is suddenly breaking out in a cold sweat.

Swelling:  With heart failure fluid can accumulate in the body, causing feet, ankles, legs or abdomen to swell.  An indication of this could be sudden weight gain.

Weakness:  An early warning sign of a heart attack may be an overwhelming and unusual weakness. The most dangerous statement you can make is "maybe it will just go away."  If you have any of these symptoms, you should get checked out by a qualified healthcare practitioner!

Five steps you can do to increase your health:

  1. MOVE MORE! Just the act of getting up and walking at a moderate pace will help you begin reversing the signs and symptoms of heart disease.
  2. Eat more Fish!  The omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce inflammation in the arteries and hopefully reverse some of the damage.
  3. De-stress! Look at all aspects of your life and figure out where your biggest stress is!
  4. Get all sugar, wheat, corn, dairy and soy out of your diet.  These food allergies and sensitivities can lead to inflammation that is contributing to your heart conditions.
  5. Drink at least 2/3 your body weight in ounces of water.  Your blood is mostly water if you aren't getting enough water your blood won't travel through your arteries as efficiently.

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