It is estimated that thousands of women below 50 years old have heart attacks every year in the United States. On the other hand, heart issues can be easily confused with other ailments such as indigestion. It is vital that you are well aware of the symptoms of heart attack.
How a heart attack develops
In most cases, it is triggered by the accumulation of fatty deposits known as plaque in the coronary arteries. Once the plaque stiffens and solidifies, atherosclerosis develops which is a prevalent heart condition that is a predisposing factor to the attacks. This condition can block the flow of blood, thus resulting to a heart attack.
Some risk factors for heart disease include the family history, obesity, high blood pressure, high stress levels, smoking and sedentary lifestyle. The uncommon causes include blood clots and a blood vessel tear in the heart but this is considered rare.
Symptoms of a heart attack
The following are signs and symptoms of heart attack to watch out for.
Tingling on one or both arms or legs
Even though this might indicate a pinched nerve or neck arthritis, it is vital to rule out heart issues first. Once an individual experiences any tingling in the extremities, it is best to consult a doctor as soon as possible.
Nausea and/or vomiting
An individual might have more than just a stomach issue if it occurs along with other heart-related symptoms such as cold sweat, shortness of breath and back or chest pain.
The jaw might hurt if an individual is experiencing a heart attack since the nerves connected to it are positioned close to those that come out of the heart. In case the pain is persistent, it might be a dental issue. If it pops up in an intermittent manner and worsens upon exertion, it is likely to be heart-related.
Shortness of breath and racing heart beat
Differentiating between a panic attack and heart attack can be difficult since they have similar symptoms. A panic attack is usually triggered by a stressful event and other signs include intense terror, trembling and impending sense of doom. In addition, an attack occurs abruptly and must pass within 5 minutes. As for a heart attack, the symptoms tend to start slowly and linger. The best way to be sure on what is happening is to bring the individual to the emergency department.
Feeling faint for no apparent reason can indicate that not enough blood reaches the heart, particularly if accompanied by shortness of breath and a cold sweat.
Burning or discomfort in the chest or back
An attack is often described as heaviness, tightness, squeezing or pressure. The pain does not have to be abrupt or severe. It can come and go for a week which is why it can be mistaken as heartburn or indigestion.
If it does not occur right after a meal, the individual does not normally have indigestion or other symptoms are present such as nausea, it should be assessed by a doctor right away.
If the individual could not walk comfortably or feels the need to pause and rest while engaging in normal activities, it can indicate that the blood could not effectively reach the heart.