Are you at risk of a heart attack?
Heart attacks can strike at any time – sometimes without any warning. While they range in severity, it’s important to seek medical attention if you suspect you or someone else is having one.
To do this, you need to be able to identify symptoms that could indicate you or another person is suffering from a heart attack. Here, we list the most common.
Top warning signs to look out for
If you are worried about your risk of heart attack, there are a few warning signs you can look out for including:
- Excessive sweating
- Chest pain
- General aches and pains
Exhaustion is often one of the first symptoms you’ll experience. Do you constantly feel tired even though you’re getting enough sleep? A change in your energy levels can indicate a problem. This is one symptom that can appear months before a heart attack occurs, so it’s important not to ignore it.
Excessive sweating throughout the day and night when you aren’t doing any exercise can also indicate a problem. If your arteries are clogged, it takes the heart a lot more effort to pump blood around the body and this will cause excess sweating.
Chest pain is the most common symptom associated with heart attacks. However, a heart attack doesn’t always follow chest pain. Try not to panic if you do experience some discomfort – a trip to your doctor will help diagnose the problem. The worse the chest pain is, the more important it is to seek help.
Nausea is another common symptom, but it doesn’t always indicate a heart attack. This is especially the case in older people, where indigestion is a more common diagnosis, but you should still have it investigated to be sure.
General aches and pains should also be looked into. Pain down the left arm is an obvious sign of a heart attack, but you can also experience pain in your upper abdomen, back, jaw and shoulder.
What to do if you experience these symptoms
If you have been experiencing any of the symptoms above then you should make an appointment with your GP. However, if you suspect you or someone else is having a heart attack, then you should call the emergency services immediately to seek medical assistance.
Analysing your risk levels
If you want to truly know how high your risk of developing heart disease is, you’ll need to talk to your GP. It’s not difficult to analyse your own risk levels as it is mainly affected by your lifestyle choices.
If you smoke, do little exercise, are overweight, drink a lot of alcohol and have high blood pressure, then it’s unlikely you’ll have a particularly healthy heart. The healthier your lifestyle, the less risk you’ll put yourself at.