Heart attack is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Almost 25% of all deaths are caused by heart attack, which is more than cancer-caused ones.
The most common reasons for heart attack are high levels of cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as smoking. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention adds another 5 conditions which can increase the risk of heart attack: obesity and overweight, diabetes, diet rich in fats but poor in nutrients, lack of physical activity, as well as too much alcohol.
About half of heart attack cases happen outside the hospital, and it requires a fast reaction to prevent fatal consequences. But only 27% of people are aware of the symptoms and know that they should immediately call 911. So, we have to be aware of the major heat attack symptoms in case we need to save ours or someone else`s life.
The first signs of heart attack can be noticed even a month before it happens. If we know how to recognize them, we can react in time or even prevent it from happening.
1. Chest pain: One of the most common symptoms. It goes from chest pressure to a burning or pinching feeling. It can occur when we are physically active or when we rest. In case you notice any strange feeling in the chest, contact your doctor, but be aware that you can have a heart attack even without this symptom, especially if you are a female.
2. Dizziness: Weak heart results in restricted blood circulation, so that the brain can`t receive enough oxygen. This causes a constant feeling of dizziness, which can announce a heart attack in the near future.
3. Shortness of breath: This is another strong sign of a possible heart attack. When the heart gets weak, the heart and the lungs can`t get enough oxygen, which results in difficulties breathing.
4. Tiredness: If you constantly feel tired, no matter how much you sleep, it can be a sign of a possible incoming heart attack. The feeling of exhaustion is a result of the hard work of the heart, due to closed arteries. If you sleep unusually long or need naps a couple of times during the day, consult your doctor.
5. Swelling: When the heart has problems pumping blood, the veins can swell, especially in the ankles, legs and knees, since they are farthest from the heart and the circulation here is very bad. Another symptom can be peripheral cyanosis, a blue discoloration in the lips or the extremities.
6. Unusually long colds or coughs: Another possible sign of heart failure can be a cough or a cold which can`t go away for a long time, due to blood in the lungs caused by the heart`s struggle to supply the body with blood. One of the byproducts of blood leakage can be white or pink mucus with the cough.
We need to know how to recognize and be aware of these symptoms, because they can occur even a month before the possible heart attack. Any combination of these symptoms should be reported immediately to the doctor, in order to prevent fatal consequences. Also, try changing your lifestyle, introduce more healthy options and avoid the bad ones.