How to Identify the Signs of a Heart Attack

Posted in Health Insurance Blogs By Chanel Rick-May 30,2022
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The global health narrative took a massive hit during the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic. People grew panicked and paranoid about the limited availability of healthcare facilities. Those without health insurance suffered from hefty medical bills that left scores of people in debt. The notion of “staying healthy” had once been neglected as a worry for sickly and elderly individuals. However, since then, the sentiments on this matter have changed. 

Sit down for a moment and ask yourself the following questions, 

  1. When was your last health checkup? 
  2. How susceptible are your parents to heart diseases? 
  3. What’s your family medical history? 
  4. Are you exposed to risks of heart attacks or strokes? 

If you’re hesitant about any of the above questions, then it’s time to consider the risks of neglecting potential health conditions. After the pandemic, one thing has become certain – heart diseases are limited to age, prior health records or typical symptoms. 

The Hidden Causes of Heart Attacks 

Despite our best efforts to live a moderately healthy lifestyle, some people may still fall short. Unfortunately, these shortcomings are evident in the annual growth of heart attack cases, with over 25% of the patients being under 45 years old. Out of this, 30% of cases belonged to those in the range of young adults and middle-aged individuals. 

The most common cause of heart attacks is coronary heart disease, wherein the plaque buildup blocks blood flow in the arteries. It prevents your heart from functioning with adequate blood flow. There are two main types of heart attacks: Type I and Type II. 

  1. Type I: Plaque on the inner wall of the artery rupture and release cholesterol into the bloodstream, forming clots that block the artery
  2. Type II: While it doesn’t entirely block the arteries, it provides a low supply of oxygenated blood

Though, that’s not all. Other causes of heart attacks include torn blood vessels, drug misuse, blood vessel spasms and lack of oxygen in the blood (hypoxia). 

Signs of a Heart Attack 

People have encountered different types of symptoms while experiencing a sudden heart attack. Some reported feeling extreme pain in the left arm and shoulder, but others, in contrast, mentioned feeling nothing at all. That said, it’s crucial to understand the different signs of a heart attack. It could save your life or that of a loved one. 

Common Signs 

These are the typically reported symptoms that most victims of heart attacks have experienced. It applies to all genders and age groups. 

  1. Shortness of Breath: Difficulty in breathing may begin before or after experiencing chest pains 
  2. Sharp Chest Pains: Usually felt in the middle or left side of the chest; described as a feeling of discomfort, fullness or intense pain 
  3. Upper Body Aches: Pain in areas on the left side of the body, like the neck, jaw and back 
  4. Weakness: The onset of heart attacks might weaken a person, causing them to faint or break out in cold sweat 

Watch Out! Signs of a Heart Attack in Women 

In a study with 4.5 lakh patients, researchers found that diabetic women are 50% more likely to die of heart diseases. In general, health conditions like hypertension, high cholesterol, usage of contraceptive pills, alcohol and smoking are leading causes of heart attacks in women. 

Here are a few signs of heart attacks unique to women, regardless of age. 

● Poor or frequently interrupted sleep 

● Extreme difficulty in breathing 

● Nausea 

● Indigestion or upset stomach 

● Body aches 

● Weakness or generally unwell 

● Discomfort in the upper body or back 

Most women fail to seek medical attention for heart attacks due to poor information on symptoms specific to them. However, everyone must learn the different signs of heart attacks, especially atypical ones. With this information, bail yourself or someone out of a tough scrape and seek medical help.

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