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How Do You Know If You Have Had a Heart Attack?

Heart Attack Symptoms

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Cardiovascular diseases have been termed as the number one killer of mankind across the globe. This makes it very important for us to learn about the many risky heart issues, for instance the “silent” heart attack.

People worldwide know about heart attack with standard symptoms (those of chest pain, discomfort, extreme weakness, cold sweat and so on) and there are many who have suffered it. But as it turns out, there is an even bigger picture that many of us are missing out on. Reports have suggested that around 45% of heart attacks are clinically silent. This means that there remains a subgroup of people (almost half) who suffer from heart attacks and fail to realize it. And the fact that makes the situation graver is that these silent heart attacks are linked to similar risks of death as clinically detected attacks.

What Happens?

The thing about silent heart attacks is that it has symptoms that are atypical. This means that it does not have clear, specific symptoms or those that people remember. Yet some of the risk factors regarding silent heart attacks include – shortness of breath, inexplicable fatigue, dizziness, discomfort in the throat, jaw, neck and so on.

Patients often report of having mistaken the heart attack for fatigue, severe flu, nausea, heartburn, indigestion, etc., and resort to medications for the same. Experts suggest that the symptoms of silent heart attack are not as obvious and hence often pass without being noticed as an actual heart attack.

Risks and Who Can Be Affected

Studies differ in relation to who are more at risk of suffering silent heart attacks– men or women. Let’s just say that when it comes to heart attack, both men and women are at risk, and many of the risk factors are lifestyle oriented. These would include –

  • Smoking or chewing tobacco
  • High blood pressure
  • Being overweight
  • High cholesterol
  • Lack of exercise
  • Diabetes
  • Family history of heart disease
  • Age

The bottom-line here is that having a silent attack puts you at more risk of suffering from another heart attack which in turn could lead to other complications like a heart failure.

Discovering the Heart Attack

Although it is difficult to determine that you have suffered from a silent heart attack based in tell-tale signs, yet it is best that you do whatever you can to diagnose it at the right time.

Spotting Symptoms

The best that you can do on your own is to not neglect any symptom that could be in any way related to silent heart attacks. You must visit a doctor regularly and get checkups when you come across any clues that indicate negative signs.

Getting Diagnosed

The only way that you can be sure whether or not you have suffered from a silent heart attack is by getting an electrocardiogram (ECG) test done. ECG tests are undertaken even by healthy people and are known to reveal the heart’s electrical activity. The damage that is caused to the muscles of the heart because of a heart attack is distinctly displayed through the tests.

Doctors can even tell the size of the attack that you may have suffered based on the damage caused to the heart muscles.

Some other tests that can be advised by your general physician to diagnose a case of silent heart attack are – checkups for Blood pressure, blood sugar level, diabetes, cholesterol, cardiac MRI and so on.

Staying aware and active towards heart health could prove life-saving for you and your loved ones. Be agile. Beat the silent killer.

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