Heart attack symptoms: Why it’s so easy to overlook signs of the deadly condition

Heart attack symptoms: Why it’s so easy to overlook signs of the deadly condition

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With the extreme pressure on hospitals and healthcare staff, one may be hesitant to reach out for medical assistance. However, if you’re at risk of a heart attack and you experience niggling symptoms, it’s time to get checked out. You’re more likely to have a heart attack if you’re over the age of 45, you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol and are overweight, confirmed the Mayo Clinic. Other risky factors include having diabetes, a family history of heart attacks, experiencing stress, smoking and/or using illicit drugs.

This at-risk list extends to those who have rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, and those who have a history of pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy).

Lack of physical activity also puts you at risk of a heart attack – as you can see, many people are already vulnerable to the deadly condition.

A person experiencing a heart attack may feel lightheaded or suffer from sudden dizziness.

How many times have you brushed off a feeling of lightheadedness as nothing to worry about?

Feelings of nausea could also be a sign of a heart attack, as can fatigue.

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Some people may experience a cold sweat, or feel nauseous, or feel as though they’re suffering from indigestion or heartburn (i.e. acid reflux).

Then there’s the more telling signs of a heart attack which can include breathlessness.

The most noticeable sign of the condition is pressure, tightness, pain, or a squeezing or aching sensation in the chest that may spread to the arms, neck, jaw or back.

“The more signs and symptoms you have, the greater the chance you’re having a heart attack,” said the Mayo Clinic.

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Anytime you suspect you could be having a heart attack, call 999 to request an ambulance.

You’ll usually be admitted to an acute cardiac care unit (ACCU) to confirm the diagnosis, said the NHS.

An electrocardiogram should be performed within 10 minutes of being admitted to hospital.

If it’s confirmed you’ve had a heart attack, depending on the severity of the damage, surgery may be a treatment option.

Recovery from a heart attack can take several months, taking time to restore your physical health so you can resume normal activities.

In addition, you’ll be given information on how to reduce your risk of another heart attack.

“Making lifestyle changes is the most effective way to prevent having a heart attack (or having another heart attack),” said the national health body.

This includes keeping your blood pressure at a healthy level, not smoking and eating a healthy, balanced diet.

In order to eat healthily, the NHS advises to avoid eating fatty foods, such as:

  • Pies
  • Fried foods
  • Sausages and fatty cuts of meat
  • Butter
  • Ghee (a type of butter often used in Indian cooking)
  • Lard
  • Cream
  • Hard cheese
  • Cakes and biscuits
  • Foods that contain coconut or palm oil

Following a Mediterranean diet – full of fruit and vegetables – will also help to lower blood pressure.

Exercising regularly can also help to reduce your blood pressure reading and lower your risk of a heart attack.

Binge drinking can raise your blood pressure too, so people are advised not to drink more than 14 units in one week.

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