In some cases, heart disease remains “silent” and goes undetected until the person sees the signs or symptoms of a heart attack, heart failure or arrhythmia. When these events occur, symptoms may include:
It’s the classic sign of a heart attack, but many people don’t realize it could be a medical emergency.
If it is a heart attack, it is usually described as heaviness, tightness or pressure in the chest; people will often describe it as ‘like an elephant sitting on my chest’ or ‘it felt like I had a tight band around my chest’, that kind of tightness.
If the chest pain comes on when you exert yourself but goes away when you stop, it’s more likely to be angina. It would still mean that you should go see a doctor.
Stomach pain or indigestion.
Indigestion-like pain or a burning sensation in the chest or stomach can be a sign of a heart attack or related heart problem. With the heart, esophagus (the passage between the mouth and stomach) and stomach being very close together, the challenge for both the public and doctors is that a pain of Burning or indigestion type and heart pain may be difficult to tell apart.
Excessive and unusual sweating.
There is no need to worry about sweating after playing sports or because it is very hot. But feeling hot and clammy along with chest pain is a sign that you need to call an ambulance.
You may not associate arm pain with your heart, but it could be a sign of a heart attack. If your pain runs down your arm, especially the left arm, or down your neck, it’s more likely to be heart-related than indigestion. If it doesn’t go away, or if you know you have heart disease, you should seek emergency medical attention.
Jaw or back pain.
In the case of a heart attack, it may even happen that the pain is felt in the jaw or in the back. There is some evidence that symptoms in women experience the variation of “classic” chest pain, and we know that women are less likely to seek medical attention and treatment.
The word ‘angina’ actually means ‘choking’, and sometimes tightness or pain can rise up into the throat. People tend to describe a feeling of ‘constriction’ or ‘suffocation’. If the feeling persists and you have not been previously diagnosed with a heart problem, you should call the emergency room. However, if you also have some of the other signs listed here, it may be safer to call an ambulance.
Some essential measures to prevent cardiovascular diseases.
When it comes to preventing heart problems, like heart disease or heart attacks, there is no magic pill. But by changing your diet and exercising, you can help keep your heart muscle strong and prevent problems later.
1: Adopt a Mediterranean type diet:
The Mediterranean-style diet places more emphasis on plant-based foods and (good) monounsaturated fats, and less on meats and carbohydrates. All of your fats come mostly from olive oil or vegetable oil, but olive oil is the most recommended. Nuts, almonds and the like can be high in fat, but they are plant-based. Instead of red meat, the Mediterranean diet focuses on fish and other types of seafood.
2: Maintain a healthy weight:
If you are overweight, one of the best things you can do for your heart is to bring your weight down to a healthy level.
A body mass index (BMI) between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered normal, while if you have a BMI above 25, you are considered overweight.
3: Be active:
The most important way to prevent heart disease is to exercise regularly. Aim to do 30 minutes a day, five days a week, to stay on track.
4: Know your family history:
The family history that we consider riskier, in terms of heart attack, is that of first-degree relatives, that is, father, mother, children, and siblings.
If you have a heavy family history of heart problems, maintaining a healthy weight and staying active is even more important.