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How to Know If You're Having a Heart Attack - BM Birla Hospital

Some people might feel a sudden weird act of the body especially as they grow old. This could be an ache or pain felt in the body or fatigue that often comes and goes. Apart from these, there can be some pains or aches that can point out an underlying medical issue. It could be chest pain, an aching left arm, or shortness of breath that could mean the person is having a heart attack.

It’s very important to know about the warning signs of a heart attack to be able to catch them early and provide the best medical attention. The Cardiology Department at the best cardiac hospital in Kolkata, BM Birla Heart Research Centre, provides comprehensive cardiac care and quality treatment at an affordable cost. Following are the common signs and symptoms that can mean a possible heart attack.

Common symptoms of a heart attack:

  • A sharp pain, tightness, pressure, or squeezing sensation is felt in the chest or left arm. Sometimes, these could also radiate to the jaw, back, or neck regions of the body. The pain becomes intense with stress and physical activities and could not resolve even with rest.
  • Difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath- People might feel as if they have walked upstairs or did some vigorous exercise even if they haven’t. This is a sign that the heart is not pumping efficiently.
  • Lightheadedness, nausea, or vomiting
  • Easily becoming exhausted or fatigue
  • Suddenly starting to sweat (a cold sweat) or become clammy
  • Snoring
  • A prolonged cough
  • Swollen feet or ankles
  • Heartburn, indigestion, or Abdominal pain

These symptoms may vary in both men and women. Some people may experience fewer symptoms or no symptoms at all while others might have a feeling of impending doom.

A heart attack can be experienced differently by every person. Some people might have symptoms of having a silent heart attack that stays for weeks while others may have a major heart attack suddenly. In either case, the damage to the heart could be extensive because of the insufficient flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart and other body parts for their healthy functioning. Even the degree of pain felt may vary (i.e. no pain, mild, moderate, or severe pain). Some people may experience a nearly complete loss of blood flow for days or weeks before having a heart attack. It is important to consult the best cardiologist in Kolkata if one experiences any of these symptoms to prevent the risk of life-threatening conditions.

Who is at high risk of having a heart attack?

  • Old age people who have poor heart health (in men, it could be in above 45 age group and women, it could be above 55).
  • Patients suffering from an autoimmune disease.
  • Patients who have coronary artery disease or have a family history of heart disease.
  • Obese and/or diabetic individuals
  • People having high levels of cholesterol in their blood or those with atherosclerosis.
  • People suffering from metabolic syndrome.
  • People who have a sedentary lifestyle and a poor heart-healthy diet.
  • Individuals who have high blood pressure.
  • Tobacco smokers
  • People under a lot of stress
  • People who make use of illicit drugs
  • People with a history of gestational hypertension, preeclampsia, or gestational diabetes
  • Women who have experienced early menopause (i.e. before age 40)

Diagnosis:

A health care provider usually screens the patient during their physical examination for risk factors that can result in a heart attack. Electrocardiograms that record the electrical activity of the heart and blood tests that could detect the leakage of proteins into the blood due to damage from a heart attack are generally recommended to diagnose a heart attack.

What to do if you have a heart attack?

If a person feels that he/she is having a heart attack, it’s important to call an emergency helpline number to seek immediate help. In case the number is not being connected, someone should drive the patient to the hospital without any delay. Waiting may make the health of the patient more serious and could lead to death. Medication that dissolves the blood clots can be taken by the patient, which may help in some cases if the heart attack is caused due to a blocked artery.

A heart attack is a life-threatening experience. A person can make their experience less scary by watching out for the symptoms and also having a proper lifestyle to maintain a healthy heart. Remember that early action can save the life of a patient with a failing heart.

For more information consult now with the best heart doctors at BM Birla Heart Research Centre, best heart hospital in Kolkata.

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