How to Detect When You’re Having a Heart Attack

People are so accustomed to picturing a man holding his chest and/or back and gasping for air right before they fall down in a heart attack episode that they don’t realize there is a lot more to heart attack symptoms than just that. And also, women are as much prone to it as men. Since heart attacks are really serious conditions, it is very crucial to spot out its signs and symptoms before it escalates.


Many people think of sexual dysfunction as a problem of the reproductive organs – or the brain.
However, especially in males, sexual dysfunction is a common symptom of arterial disease.
A buildup of plaque in the arteries can cause men to have a hard time achieving – or maintaining an erection.
But for women, a drop in libido usually signals a post-menopausal state.
Yet, women who are post-menopausal ‘rapidly increase’ their risk factors for developing heart disease.
Menopause itself doesn’t cause cardiovascular disease.
Dr. Erwin said: ‘While menopause doesn’t cause cardiovascular diseases, certain heart-health risks – like changes in blood pressure and cholesterol levels – begin around the time of menopause.’


Snoring is a common sign of sleep apnea – as is morning sleepiness after a full night’s sleep.
Dr. Erwin said: ‘Sleep apnea – periods of time during sleep where you stop breathing – is associated with many physiological changes that increase the risk of both heart attack and stroke.’
Snoring can also be a sign of atrial fibrillation – which is irregular, often rapid heart rate that causes poor blood flow.
Therefore, the detection and treatment of sleep apnea can lower a person’s risk of heart problems.
So, next time you hear the person next to you snoring, perhaps suggest they see a doctor – instead of just complaining about the noise.


Few people would ever think that gum problems could be linked to heart disease.
However, unhealthy gums are a symptom of periodontics.
That is a serious gum infection that damages the gums – and can destroy the jawbone.
Periodontitis can actually lead to an increase in inflammation across the body, according to Dr. Erwein.
And, over-activity of inflammatory pathways is a strong risk factor for the development of atherosclerotic heart disease and heart attack.
Thus, it’s recommended that people follow up regularly with their dentist for oral hygiene.
They should also regularly brush and floss their teeth.


Feet and legs can swell for a variety of reasons – including something as minor as heat.
However, puffy legs and feet can also be a marker of congestive heart failure.
That’s particularly true in cases where a person has unusual shortness of breath with activity – or when trying to sleep.
While it’s also true that some swelling occurs naturally throughout the day, and tends to resolve overnight, persistent swelling is problematic.
People who have constant or worsening swelling of the feet or legs should see a doctor for an evaluation of heart failure.


Heart burn
Heartburn and indigestion are quite common – and rarely serious.
But in some instances, those seemingly benign burning or aching sensations in the upper abdomen can be a sign of heart pain or heart attack.
Additionally, persistent gastrointestinal distress – such as intractable hiccups – can also be a precursor.
And so, when heartburn, indigestion or hiccups are mixed with nausea, sweating, shortness of breath or lightheadedness, people should seek medical attention.
Dr Erwin said: ‘It’s not uncommon to see people come into the emergency room after chewing on antacids for hours before they realize the pain is something more.’


Heart attacks as we now know come in more than one way, and any above-mentioned sign and symptom should be taken seriously and be reported to the doctor. Also, it’s been reported that women are more likely to die from a heart attack within a year after their first attack.

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