There are five symptoms you may experience if an impending heart attack is on its way. All of them are felt within the body. What are they?
The American Heart Association (AHA) advises people to “pay attention” to their body.
1. Clue one
The first symptom of a heart attack, according to AHA, is “pain or discomfort in the chest”.
Chest pain is commonly centred in the middle of the chest, and lasts for more than a few minutes.
The sensation is described as “uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain”. This type of feeling may go away and reappear.
2. Clue two
Another symptom of an approaching heart attack is feeling lightheaded, alongside a sense of nausea.
The person may also vomit while feeling off balance, and could break out in a cold sweat.
3. Clue three
Chest discomfort that spreads to the jaw, neck or back is indicative of a heart attack and must not be ignored.
Again, any pain or discomfort felt in these body parts would replicate the sensation felt in the chest – whether it is mild discomfort or more debilitating.
4. Clue four
Chest pain may radiate to the arm or shoulder, which is a warning sign of a heart attack.
Although the NHS attested that it’s normally the left arm that is affected, the chest pain can travel to both arms.
5. Clue five
The AHA finishes off that “shortness of breath” is the fifth and final sign of a heart attack.
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It’s important to note that shortness of breath can occur with or without chest pain.
If you suspect you, or someone you know, may be suffering from a heart attack, do call 999.
The emergency services would rather be called out to make sure everything is okay, rather than let a person suffer in silence.
Paramedics will be able to tell if you’ve suffered from a heart attack, and will know the best next move.
Reduce your risk of a heart attack
The AHA encourages people to “set goals to reduce your risk” – even if you’ve already got heart disease.
Heart disease is the biggest leading cause of a heart attack, but steps you take today could minimise the risk of having one.
One of the best things you can do for your health is to not smoke, and to avoid “second-hand smoke”.
The AHA advises people to “treat high blood pressure, if you have it”, which means taking any prescribed medication.
The organisation continued: “Get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week.”
In addition to keeping fit, the AHA suggests that people need to “reach and maintain a healthy weight”.
You can find out your ideal weight by checking your body mass index (BMI) using this NHS BMI calculator.
Another preventative measure is to eat a heart-healthy diet that’s low in saturated and trans fats.
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