A heart attack occurs as a result of fat buildups in the arteries that carry blood to the heart muscle. The Plaque buildup narrows the inside of the arteries, making it very hard for blood to flow easily. If a plaque in a heart artery ruptures a blood clot forms, further blocking the blood flow.
When it completely stops blood flow to that part of the heart muscle, a heart attack occurs. Then the section of the heart muscle supplied by that artery begins to die. Damage increases the longer an artery stays blocked. In some cases, it may even die. Once that muscle dies, the result is a permanent heart damage.
Many individuals who experience signs of a heart attack ignore them at the beginning. Not paying attention to the signs of an impending heart attack can cause the problem to be much more serious than necessary, potentially leading to heart failure and even death.
If you think you are experiencing symptoms of a heart attack, go see your doctor immediately. This is especially important for people who have previously had a heart attack or who are at a greater risk for a heart attack due to medical conditions.
It is better to be safe than sorry, seek medical help immediately, if you can identify a single sign that the pain or discomfort you are experiencing may be a heart attack.
There are a lot of misconception, when it comes to dealing with heart attacks and the symptoms an individual who is having a heart attack is suppose to be experiencing. Many people believe the pain has to be extreme or intense before they should seek medical attention. This is a common myth and completely false, as some patients say their heart attack was simply a mild discomfort.
When an individual is having a heart attack, it will probably not look like what is shown in movies. The association of heart attacks with individuals clutching their chests and falling to the ground most times is not the way it goes, as many heart attack patients says their attack began very slowly with an unusual feeling. If left undetected, a heart attack can significantly magnify in scale.
Women are more prone to having heart attacks without knowing it, because they most times experience mild symptoms that could be associated with other health issues, putting them at a greater risk for complications. Most women think they are not at risk for a heart attack, but may actually be at a very high risk for one. Speak with your doctor if you have a history of heart attacks in your family, or if there is a current medical issue before dismissing the threat.
Symptoms of a Heart Attack
There are four major warning signs when it comes to determining whether or not the symptoms you are experiencing may be a heart attack. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.
Chest pain or discomfort
The chest pain associated with a heart attack may not be overwhelming, but rather an uncomfortable feeling. This discomfort has been said to come and go, feeling like a pressure on the patient’s chest or an uncomfortable squeezing feeling. Usually, during a heart attack, any pain or discomfort originates at the center of the victims chest.
Upper body discomfort
Many heart attack victims complain that they experienced discomfort in their upper body, especially their shoulder, back, jaw, or arms, before experiencing the discomfort in their chest. This can also include an unusual sensation in the stomach. For this reason, a heart attack can be easily mistaken for heartburn or a simple stomach ache.
Shortness of breath
Usually occurring simultaneously with pain or discomfort in the chest, shortness of breath can be anything from the inability to catch ones breath, to being unable to properly breathe. Many heart attack victims dismissed this symptom as a side effect of whatever activity in which they were participating when the heart attack occurred.
The feeling of being sick to ones stomach is commonly associated as an early warning signs of a heart attack. This symptom coupled with discomfort in the stomach can lead to a heart attack, but the symptoms can be easily dismissed as a simple stomach ache or stomach flu.
Other symptoms can include a general feeling lightheaded or dizziness. Many heart attack victims complain of an overall feeling of unease and feeling that something was out of the ordinary. Also, many patients have been known to break out in a cold sweat, which can also lead to a misdiagnosis of a flu bug or a less serious problem.
Since heart attack is quite common in both men and women, you should make it a point of duty to speak to your doctor about your risk for a heart attack. Many individuals are unaware of any potential risk or heart problems until it is too late and they have already experienced a heart attack. By treating any problems before it is too late, you will be more likely to experience the least damage to your heart as possible.