Heart conditions are a real issue in America. High volumes of morbid obesity and unhealthy habits run rampant. The American diet plays a huge role in heart health issues, as does our love for tobacco products and often lazy mindsets.
Every year, about 720,000 Americans suffer a heart attack. This constitutes for a total of one in four deaths in the United States. That equates to roughly 5 deaths per minute!
While most heart conditions are linked to unhealthy or careless lifestyles, heart attacks can strike without a moment’s notice.
Last year, my father began experiencing a multitude of heart related problems that were set in motion by a severe heart attack. This came as a huge shock to everyone, because my dad is essentially a model of good health for a middle-aged man. He maintains a healthy diet and weight, exercises very regularly, and stays properly hydrated.
However, in spite of all of this, a heart attack still happened.
My father has seen a plethora of problems following the unexpected cardiac health issues. Subsequent medications stacked up, ER visits have become regular occurrences, and spells of dizziness and unconscious streaks all started to feel eerily normal. A pacemaker was put into my father’s chest once multiple heart attacks surfaced. Through the unexpected twists and turns associated with all of this, I’ve learned a lot about heart health.
Prevention is hands down the best medicine for a healthy heart, but it’s important to first understand the early warning signs of a potential heart attack.
Feeling weak and a devoid of energy can say a lot about your heart health. When your arteries become more narrow, the amount of blood flow to your heart decreases. This can leave you feeling weak and may be a sign of future heart attacks, or poor circulation. If this is starting to feel like an everyday occurrence, do not ignore these symptoms.
Experiencing excessive dizziness and clamminess is also a trigger warning. This is commonly associated with sub par blood flow. When my father first started experiencing heart health issues, he was feeling noticeably dizzy all the time. Before his first attack, my father passed out at work for seemingly no reason at all. This raised a red flag, and the heart attack happened the same day.
Symptoms of the flu include pain in the joints and muscles, sore throat, nasal cavity congestion or discomfort, shortness of breath, severe headaches, and all around body aches and pains. A lot of people who experience a heart attack notice these symptoms during this timeframe.
This one is very blunt and straight forward. One of the most tell all symptoms of a heart attack is chest pain. Whether it’s moderate to severe pressure, or even a noticeable minor pain, do not overlook this detail. This is the most common predecessor to a heart attack, and generally means something is about to happen in regards to your heart health.
For a more in depth look at these symptoms, check out a similar post by The Spirit Science.
The Differences Between Men and Women’s Symptoms
Although all of these symptoms can be present as early warning signs for either gender, there are some additional early warning signs present for women specifically.
For women, the pain attributed to the early stages of heart issues can often feel similar to indigestion. This is very dangerous because it is commonly overlooked. Pain in between the should blades can be an early tell as well. Additionally chest pain may be slightly more mild, but more persistent.
Below are a few ways to combat heart attacks if you or a loved one ever experiences heart problems.
Taking prescribed heart medications will obviously help with heart issues. But it’s crucially important to make sure that any current medications are properly accounted for before you start new heart medications. In the case of my father, this was surprisingly overlooked. His medications stacked on themselves and had some very poor side effects. Avoid this at all costs by triple checking with your doctor.
Lifestyle Factors/Bad Habits
Poor diet and a lack of exercise showcase typical American bad habits. Processed foods, sugar and television addictions, and drive-thru mentalities just scratch the surface. The good news is that anyone can break the mold of these poor lifestyle choices. Try riding your bike to work, and eating foods that are actually beneficial to your heart health. Heart healthy exercises will become your best friend.
If these symptoms are prevalent in your life, it’s definitely recommended that you see a doctor as soon as possible. Don’t let health insurance or costs associated with medical care sway you away from getting checked out. Even if you aren’t in the midst of a heart condition, it’s much better to be safe than sorry.
Featured photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/sheishine/ via flickr.com