Signs of a Heart Attack

Signs of a Heart Attack

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It is estimated that there are 1.5 million heart attacks and strokes every year in the United States. More than 800,000 people die from cardiovascular disease each year and one in every three deaths occur in people under the age of 65. Recognizing those signs can help you save your own life or someone else’s life. In this article, we will go over the warning signs of a heart attack and what you should do if you notice any of these signs. We will also discuss things you can do in your everyday life to prevent heart attacks from happening altogether. 

What Causes Heart Attacks?

Having a heart attack or even thinking you may be having a heart attack is a terrifying experience. People may experience small mini heart attacks, some they may not even know they’ve had, or they may experience classic heart attacks all of which can be life-threatening.

That’s why it’s important to know more about what causes heart attacks and to understand your risk factors. Being informed can be a life saver.

First, it’s important to know what a heart attack is. Heart attacks, also called a myocardial infarction, are caused when the flow of blood to the heart is blocked. The blockage is typically a buildup of fat, cholesterol or other substances that form plaque in the arteries that feed the heart. Sometimes this plaque can rupture, forming a clot that blocks blood flow. This can damage or even destroy part of the heart.

What Are The 4 Signs Of An Impending Heart Attack?

When we think of a person experiencing a heart attack, we may envision someone grabbing at their chest and leaning over. And while chest pain is a common symptom there are others to look out for.

  • Any type of pain in the chest including pressure, tightness, or a squeezing or aching sensation. This pain may spread to the neck, jaw or back
  • Nausea, indigestion, heartburn or abdominal pain
  • Shortness of breath, nausea or lightheadedness
  • Breaking out in a cold sweat

People may also experience fatigue as well. It’s important to note that people with heart problems may experience the signs listed below that shouldn’t be ignored especially if you may be at risk for heart issues:

Snoring

It’s normal to snore a little bit, but if it’s loud or sounds like you are gasping or choking, it could be a sign of sleep apnea. This can put extra stress on the heart.

Lingering Cough

A cough that won’t go away could be a sign of heart failure, especially if it produces a white or pink mucus. This happens when the heart can’t keep up with the body’s demands.

Swollen Legs, Feet Or Ankles

This is a sign that your heart isn’t pumping blood as effectively as it should.

Heart attack symptoms can vary and not everyone who has a heart attack will experience the same symptoms or severity of symptoms (1). Heart attacks can strike suddenly, but it is possible for people to have warning signs hours, days, or even weeks in advance.

How To Reduce Risks of a Attack 

There are risk factors that people have control over and ones that they do not. Heart disease risk increases with age. That is something that cannot be changed. People also can’t change their family history. It’s important to keep these things in mind when assessing risk factors and know what you can do to prevent a heart attack.

If you know you are at risk of heart disease, or even if you just want to lead a heart-healthy life, it’s important to follow these steps:

Control Your Blood Pressure

One of the biggest risk factors to heart disease is having high blood pressure. There are lifestyle changes that can prevent or manage high blood pressure.

Know Your Cholesterol Levels

Keep cholesterol levels under control. High levels can clog arteries and raise your risk of having a heart attack. Both lifestyle changes and, in some cases medicine, can lower it.

Maintain A Healthy Weight

Being overweight or obese can increase your risk of heart disease mostly due to the link between an unhealthy weight to high blood pressure and cholesterol.

Eat A Healthy Diet

Make sure to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Limit saturated fats, added sugars and sodium.

Exercise Regularly

Being physically active can strengthen the heart and improve circulation. It also helps to maintain weight, as well as lower cholesterol and blood pressure.

Drink In Moderation

Alcohol consumption should only be done in moderation due to the effect it has on blood pressure.

Don’t Smoke

Smoking raises blood pressure. Quitting can lower your risk of heart disease.

Manage Stress

This one may be easier said than done because of the busy lives most of us lead, but it’s important to keep stress under control. High stress can raise blood pressure and lead to other unhealthy activities like indulging in the wrong foods, smoking or drinking heavily.

Get Enough Sleep

Our bodies need sleep to function properly. Not getting enough sleep can increase blood pressure as well as lead to obesity.

What Is The Leading Cause Of Heart Attacks?

The leading cause of heart attacks is coronary heart disease (CHD). This is a condition in which the coronary arteries become clogged with plaque. Before a heart attack happens, plaque can rupture causing a blood clot to form that may block the supply of blood to the heart triggering a heart attack. CHD is caused by:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Eating a high-fat diet
  • Being overweight

It can also be caused by drug misuse, especially of stimulants  as well as lack of oxygen in the blood.

What Lifestyle Causes Heart Attacks?

Not taking care of ourselves is a big contributor to heart disease and the risk of having a heart attack (2). We know that our lifestyle is one of the risk factors we can change and it starts by making small changes every day. The biggest lifestyle change we can make is eating a healthy diet.

Good nutrition is one of the best lines of defense to fight cardiovascular disease. What we eat and how much we eat can affect the other risk factors that we have control over including:

  • Blood pressure
  • Cholesterol
  • Weight
  • Diabetes

It’s important to choose foods high in nutrients such as fruits, vegetables. This provides the vitamins, minerals, fibers and other nutrients that the body needs. And it is lower in calories. Low-fat dairy products and lean cuts of meats can be eaten as well. Added sugars and salts should be avoided. Red meat should also be limited.

Supplements That Support Heart Health

Please note, we cannot claim to heal or cure any diseases. But read on to learn how supplements may work alongside other elements in leading a heart-healthy life.

We consist of cells. Our body is made up of cells in order to function properly. We are born with cells and as they get old and damaged throughout our life, our body has a natural process known as autophagy that recycles old and damaged cell parts, allowing for the cells to become healthier.

Spermidine is a supplement that is found in food. It aids the autophagy process therefore assisting in cellular renewal. Like most nutrients, we often don’t get what we should through diet alone. And as we age, our need to replenish the amount needed for proper autophagy increases.

Supplementing with spermidine assists the body with replenishing needed blood polyamine levels. This leads to cellular renewal resurgence. Healthy cells allow the body to function at the highest efficiency possible.

 

Resources: 

  1. Mayo Clinic, Heart Attack Symptoms & Causes
  2. CDC, Know Your Risk for Heart Disease