10 Critical Signs of an Impending Heart Attack
Myocardial infarction is the medical name for a heart attack. When the blood flow to a section of your heart muscle is blocked, the result is a heart attack. When this occurs, the blocked section is deprived of oxygen and begins to die if the normal flow of blood is not quickly restored. When certain blood vessels in the heart that supply it with blood become blocked, the reduced blood flow and oxygen causes that particular part of the heart to actually die. Heart muscles do not regenerate because they are permanent cells.
A heart attack can result in cardiac arrest, the interruption of blood to the heart, in only a matter of seconds. Fortunately, there are some warning signs of an impending heart attack that you must take seriously in order to prevent damage to your heart or even death. Educating yourself about the “red flags” that may precede any heart attack symptoms can help you avoid a possible heart attack and can potentially save your life.
Risk Factors Contributing to a Heart Attack
There are number of risk factors that research has shown can be attributed to the increased incidence of heart attacks, which are the leading cause of death for both men and women. Reducing some of these risks in your life can reduce your chances of having a heart attack.
Some factors such as a family history and previous heart attacks have a significant impact on developing heart problems that can lead to a heart attack. It is important to reveal anything that might have an impact on your chances of developing a heart problem that could lead to a heart attack.
Some other significant risk factors include the following:
- Having high blood pressure.
- Being overweight
- Having diabetes.
- Being physically inactive.
- Excessively high cholesterol levels.
In both men and women, undue fatigue is a common symptom of an impending heart attack. Even though excessive fatigue can signal other health problems, it is one of the first signs of heart problems. Many people ignore it as a sign indicating heart disease, but it should never be taken lightly. You might attribute it to just being tired from overworking or from lack of sleep, but you should not ignore it completely if resting does not relieve it immediately. If fatigue is accompanied by any chest pain, you should recognize it as a warning sign and seek medical help right away.
Before an impending heart attack, you may also suffer from extreme insomnia. Problems with the heart can prevent you from getting enough sleep.
Shortness of Breath
Dyspnea is difficult or labored breathing. It occurs with many conditions, but is a common sign of impending heart attacks. If you have difficulty breathing, it may be a sign of a serious problem with the lungs or heart. You may also have significant chest discomfort along with a severe shortness of breath.
If routine activities such as walking upstairs or attending to household duties causes shortness of breath, you need to pay careful attention to this dangerous symptom. It may be an indicator of an impending heart attack and should not be ignored.
Any discomfort in the center of the chest and shortness of breath that does not improve in a few minutes is a sign of heart distress. A feeling of pressure in the chest, with or without pain, is a common sign of impending heart attack. If you begin breathing faster than normal or have the feeling that you cannot catch your breath, do not ignore it. You should seek help immediately without delay. This is a life-threatening situation.