Delaying medical attention can lead to permanent disability – or death – once you’ve had a heart attack. Unfortunately, it’s not always obvious you’ve had one. Here are the warning signs of a ‘silent’ heart attack.
This type of myocardial infarction (i.e. heart attack) is more likely to happen to those who have type 2 diabetes.
Reasons being, diabetics – those who have to monitor their blood sugar levels – are prone to neuropathy.
Neuropathy is damage to the nerve cells, caused by excess levels of glucose (sugar) in the bloodstream.
If the nerves supplying your heart are damaged because of neuropathy, you’re less likely to feel chest pain.
The Heart Foundation attested that chest pain can occur when the heart muscles becomes short of oxygen.
The organisation added that neuropathy can lead to a “silent” heart attack, but there are three warning signs you must rely on.
These are: shortness of breath; unexpected nausea; and consistently high blood glucose levels that don’t seem to have an explanation.
For diabetics who don’t suffer from neuropathy, or those who don’t have nerve damage, here’s what to look out for.
Are you experiencing “heaviness, tightness, pressure, discomfort or pain”?
Is it felt in any of the following areas: chest, shoulder, jaw, arm, neck, pr back?
You may also experience: sweating, shortness of breath, nausea, fatigue, or dizziness.
Any of the above describes how a heart attack may feel, which requires a call to the emergency services (999).
The NHS urges people to realise that “every second counts” when somebody is having a heart attack.
It explained that a heart attack occurs when “the supply of blood to the heart is suddenly blocked”.
While waiting for paramedics, it’s recommended to chew slowly on an aspirin if you have one within arm’s reach.
The leading cause of heart attacks is coronary heart disease (CHD) – a condition whereby the blood vessels that supply the heart get clogged up.
Fatty deposits of cholesterol, known as plaques, form in the major blood vessels.
When one of the plaques rupture, a blood clot can develop, which happens right before a heart attack.
There are five main steps you can take to minimise your future risk of having a heart attack.
Firstly, any smokers need to quit smoking for good; secondly, if you’re overweight, it’s imperative to slim down.
Thirdly, perform at least 150 minutes of exercise each week of moderate intensity.
Fourthly, eat a low-fat, high-fibre diet, including wholegrain and at least five portions of fruit and vegetables per day.
Lastly, it’s important to moderate your alcohol consumption if you want to lower your chances of a heart attack in the future.
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