Heart attacks are not always as sudden and unexpected as many of us may believe them to be. In fact, one may feel the beginnings of a heart attack weeks before it actually occurs. Recognizing these early warning signs is crucial for getting the treatment you need.
Noticing the Signs
The warning signs of a heart attack are often mistaken for other ailments, such as a pulled muscle or heartburn. Moreover, heart attacks tend to be viewed as a male problem despite the fact that more women in the United States die from heart disease every year than men. The symptoms women experience also differ from the symptoms men may experience.
Below are some of the early signs of a heart attack:
- Chest pain that lasts for more than a few minutes.
- Discomfort and pain in the upper body, including the neck, jaw, back, and stomach.
- Pain or discomfort in one or both shoulders or arms.
- Shortness of breath that accompanies chest discomfort or occurs before chest discomfort.
- Nausea, cold sweat, and light-headedness.
The warning signs of a heart attack differ in women and tend to go unnoticed.
Here are some common early signs of a heart attack in women:
- Unusual fatigue
- Upper abdominal discomfort or pressure
- Squeezing pain in the chest that spreads to the shoulder, neck, or jaw
- Back pain
- Unusual shortness of breath
If you recognize the early warning signs of a heart attack in someone else or yourself, you should call 911 immediately. The faster you are able to get to an emergency room, the sooner you can receive the treatment you need to reduce the potential damage done to the heart muscle.
Recovery After a Heart Attack
If you suffered from a heart attack, the muscle may be damaged, which may impact your heart’s ability to pump blood to the body. Having a heart attack also puts you at risk for another heart attack, peripheral artery disease, and kidney disorders.
Here are some tips for recovering after a heart attack:
- You may have to limit physical activity for some time after a heart attack.
- Making crucial lifestyle changes, such as maintaining a healthy diet and managing stress, will also help with recovery. You may also want to consider cardiac rehabilitation to assist you with these changes.
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At ER of Texas, we can effectively handle a variety of emergency care needs. You can rely on us to provide the skilled treatment you need.