Don’t Miss Heart Disease Warning Signs or Heart Attack Symptoms
It’s possible to have a heart attack and not even realize it. Here’s what you need to know
Heart disease is one of the number one killers in the country. By learning about dietary changes, lifestyle changes and signs and symptoms, you can stay ahead of the problem and stay alive.
However, it seems that many people miss the signs of heart problems despite the overwhelming amount of information presented to them. Here’s what you need to know, and how it could save the life of you or someone you love.
The Signs Are There
Nobody knows your body better than you, and this is your best defense against cardiovascular problems. It is possible to identify signs of an impending heart attack by listening to your body.
Tests are available to confirm a diagnosis, but you do not need to wait so long. The tricky part about heart attack and heart disease symptoms is that they can mimic other health problems, but it is better to take note of what your body is saying and be safe rather than sorry.
The key symptoms to pay attention to include:
♦ Tight pressure feeling around the chest
♦ Shortness of breath during physical activity
♦ Pain in your neck, jaw, shoulders, or back
♦ Swelling in your ankles, legs, and feet
♦ Gastrointestinal problems, such as vomiting
♦ Heart palpitations
♦ Fluttering in your chest
♦ Dizziness or lightheadedness
While these are general symptoms to look out for, it is important to remember that everybody is different. No two people are going to get the same warning signs. This is why you need to be aware of your body and any changes.
Even if there is no history of heart disease in the family, you would be wise to keep an eye on your heart health. Your body will give you the signs that something is wrong; you just need to make sure you are paying attention.
There are also several risk factors that can increase your chances of heart disease. If these apply to you, take special care to watch for heart attack symptoms.
You have probably heard people say that heart attacks come out of nowhere, but this simply is not the case. While they may strike when you are not expecting it, you do get warnings ahead of time.
You get chances to make changes that may prevent them from showing up at all.
Living a Heart-Healthy Life
The only good news about heart attacks is that they are predominately preventable. With heart-healthy living, you can protect your heart and reduce your chances of ever having a heart attack or any cardiovascular problems.
Even if you have hereditary risk factors that cannot be changes, you can certainly minimize your risk with the right lifestyle decisions. There are a number of things you can start right now to give your heart the boost it needs.
1. Keep It Moving
After a demanding work week it is perfectly acceptable to veg out in front of the TV for a Saturday afternoon. Rest and relaxation is a good thing.
What is not good is becoming glued to your couch. Studies have shown that regular exercise is essential for heart health, so the couch potato routine needs to go.
Regular physical activity gets your heart rate going, increases blood flow, and helps with weight loss. And you don’t need to run a marathon—30 minutes a day will be all you need to keep you and your heart in shape.
2. Stop Smoking
Cigarettes are linked to lung disease, cancer, and heart disease. Quitting is not going to be easy, but it is the best option if you want to protect your heart and boost its health.
Smoking causes plaques that harden your arteries over time, making it difficult for your heart to pump blood. When you quit, not only can the plaques go away, but your lungs begin to work better, which also eases up the strain placed on your heart.
3. Heart-Healthy Dieting
The Western diet is full of processed, high-fat, and sugary foods. We live in a world of convenience, and it is killing your heart.
The saturated fats and sugars in these foods raise your cholesterol levels. High cholesterol contributes to the formation of the plaques that clog your arteries, which places strain on your heart. Switching to a diet that is rich in fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, and omega-3 fatty acids can reverse the damage caused by plaques and improve the overall condition of your heart.
Exercise, even yogam has numerous positive effects on your body, from relieving stress to improving digestion.
4. Watch Your Weight
Most people know obesity contributes to heart problems, so losing weight can be essential to your health. What many do not realize is that extremely low weight also stresses your heart out.
While obesity causes high cholesterol and high blood pressure, anorexia causes imbalanced electrolytes and abnormal heart rhythms. It is important to maintain a healthy weight and avoid extremes because it is only within the healthy range that your heart can function efficiently.
5. Manage Stress
There is no point in telling you to avoid stress, because that is not possible. You encounter stress every day, but the way in which you handle it is what affects your health.
For example, there are ways to reduce stress even while just cleaning up your home.
Prolonged exposure to stress places strain on your heart. The stress response in the body, also called the “fight or flight” response is designed to keep you safe.
The problem is that everyday anxiety triggers the release of the same hormones, so your body prepares to fight or flee all the same. Increased heart rate is a condition of the stress response and, if prolonged, your heart can become very stressed out.
The Natural Conclusion
A heart attack is a scary thing, and sadly it is a very real threat today. The convenient and chaotic lifestyles we live provide the perfect ammunition to tear down your heart and cause a heart attack or stroke.
Thankfully, your body lets you know when the threat becomes real, so you can do something about it. Even though the symptoms may be related to something else, it is better to be safe than sorry. Don’t ignore the warning signs.
Have regular physicals with your doctor and get checked as soon as you notice warning signs. Your heart will take care of you, so don’t forget to take care of it, too.