Heart Attack Symptoms & Warning Signs
It also describes treatments, associated symptoms, methods of prevention, and when to see a doctor. They should call 911 at once if they think they may be having signs of a heart attack. It can sometimes be difficult to know if symptoms are due to a heart attack or heartburn. Doctors often find making a diagnosis based on symptoms alone difficult and rely on tests. People with angina are at greater risk of having a heart attack.
If you’re having a heart attack, your doctor will discuss treatment options with you. Your risk of severe heart damage is lowered if you start treatment within several hours of developing symptoms. When you call emergency services, the dispatcher may ask you about the medicines you take and your allergies. If you don’t currently take a blood thinner and you aren’t allergic to aspirin, the dispatcher may advise you to chew an aspirin while you’re waiting on medical attention. If you have nitroglycerin tablets, you may also wish to use these as directed by your doctor to reduce chest pain.
If your pain is similar to heartburn, but it seems worse or different than what you normally experience, you should get emergency help. This is especially important if you’re experiencing other symptoms such as shortness of breath, sweating, dizziness, nausea or pain that moves into your shoulder and arm. While some heart attacks are sudden, some start slowly.
The research looked at 1,000 men and women admitted to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh with chest pain, and found that the more sensitive test doubled the diagnoses of heart attack in the female patients. “This suggests women have a lower threshold of troponin levels for diagnosis of heart attack and that if we keep using the same threshold as used in men, we will keep missing some heart attacks in women,” says Dr Knapton. The researchers are now set to carry out a clinical trial of 26,000 women to confirm their findings. If you get symptoms such as indigestion out of the blue – especially if this is accompanied with pressure or pain in the chest, neck and arms, breathlessness, nausea, sweating and pallor – it’s reasonable to call 999, says Dr Knapton.
These symptoms infrequently or rarely occur with heartburn. 7. Nausea/vomiting. Waves of nausea, stomach ache, cramps, vomiting and/or diarrhea are often reported by women who are having a heart attack.
I’d only just turned 50. I’m fit and active, I eat well, I don’t smoke. I have healthy cholesterol levels, normal blood pressure. No diabetes, no family history of early heart disease – no risk factors. According to the NHS, it’s the overall pattern of symptoms that helps to determine whether you are having a heart attack.
Is it indigestion or a heart attack?
Again, if you are not sure seek medical attention immediately. Call your doctor if you had an episode of unexplained chest pain that went away within a few hours and you did not seek medical attention. Both heartburn and a developing heart attack can cause symptoms that subside after a while.
If your doctor placed cardiac stents to keep your heart vessels open or you had to have bypass surgery for your heart, taking the medications your doctor prescribed to you are vital to preventing a future heart attack. If you’re having a heart attack, an EKG is performed to look for unusual electrical patterns in your heart. The EKG can help your doctor determine if the heart muscle is damaged and what part of your heart was damaged.
This ache or pain is called angina. It is important to know that angina can manifest in many different ways and does not always need to be experienced as chest pain. The chest pain feels like a tightness, fullness, pressure, or ache, which may radiate from the chest to the neck, jaw, shoulder, or back, associated with shortness of breath, nausea, and sweating.
Heart disease symptoms in women may differ from men. Use a heart disease risk calculator to determine your heart attack risk. Coronary AngiogramCoronary angiogram is an angiogram (an X-ray image of blood vessels filled with contrast material) used to diagnose coronary artery disease responsible for heart attacks, strokes, angina, and other coronary artery diseases.
Never Ignore These 11 Heart Symptoms
“No one will criticise you for misusing the health service because the sooner you get treatment, the less damage to the heart muscle there will be. This is crucial.” Diagnosis is straightforward and involves an electrocardiogram (ECG) which is painless and a blood test to measure levels of troponin, a protein that can indicate damage to the heart muscle, the most common cause of which is heart attack. Next month, the British Heart Foundation launch a major campaign raising awareness of heart disease symptoms in women. These often differ from men’s, and may not include the well-known sudden chest or arm pain.
But what symptoms can we look out for that might indicate a potential heart problem? David Newby, BHF John Wheatley Professor of Cardiology at the BHF Centre of Research Excellence at the University of Edinburgh, tells us more about 11 signs that could mean it’s time to see a doctor. People who may be less likely to experience symptoms when having a heart attack include older people and those with diabetes. These people may still show other symptoms though, such as breathlessness. Heartburn and heart attack pain can be similar.
A heart problem usually makes you hurt “on the left side of the upper chest,” Watson says. Any pain from the navel to the nose, pain you might describe as “discomfort,” or the kind that comes on with emotional or physical stress and goes away with
Shortness of breath from heart failure usually happens gradually over a long period of time. Sudden shortness of breath, even without chest pain, can mean a heart attack. There are usually other symptoms with a heart attack, such as nausea, sweating, and lightheadedness, but sudden shortness of breath is an emergency, even when there are no other symptoms.
Don’t try to drive yourself. Of course, you can have an upset stomach for many reasons that have nothing to do with your heart. It could just be something you ate, after all. But you need to be aware that it can also happen during a heart attack.