If you could prevent a heart attack or stroke, you would certainly choose to do it. Yet, many people miss warning signs indicating that a severe issue is happening or is about to happen. Perhaps the main reason that many people overlook warning signs of heart conditions is that they envision scenes from a movie where a person suddenly breaks out in a sweat, clutches his art, and then falls to the floor. This does not always happen, and, in fact, many heart symptoms do not even occur in the chest cavity. It is not always easy to tell whether you are having a problem with your heart, but if you have any questions or worrying symptoms, you should get them checked out.
Those who fall in the categories of being over 60 years of age, are overweight, and/or have diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure are at high risk for heart problems and should never ignore symptoms. The more risk factors you have, the more you should be concerned by any symptom that is out of place.
Symptoms that you should never ignore:
- Chest Discomfort – The most common and most easily identifiable sign of heart problems is chest discomfort. Any pain, tightness, or pressure in the chest needs to be evaluated immediately.
- Nausea, Heartburn, Indigestion, or Stomach Pain – Women are more likely than men to report symptoms in this category. If you are at high risk for a heart attack, severe symptoms of an upset stomach or digestion should be brought to your doctor’s attention.
- Pain In the Left Arm – Another “classic” symptom of a heart attack is pain that radiates down the left side of the body. Pain associated with a heart attack almost always starts in the chest and moves outward.
- Dizziness or Feeling Lightheaded – Suddenly feeling unsteady and faint can mean that your blood pressure has dropped significantly. Accompanied by any type of chest discomfort or shortness of breath can indicate a heart attack.
- Sudden Onset of Exhaustion – If you find that you are suddenly fatigued after doing something that you have always done without a problem in the past, like climbing the stairs or working in the garden, you need to make an appointment with your doctor right away. Extreme, unexplained exhaustion can be a symptom of heart disease.
Dr. Alan I. Benvenisty, MD, has extensive experience in the diagnosis of vascular disease. If you are concerned about symptoms of heart disease, please do not hesitate to call our practice. Your life may depend on it.
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