Would you know if you were having a heart attack?
It may seem like a simple answer, but a recent study found that 45 percent of heart attacks in the United States are “silent” – meaning people don’t realize they’re having them. Silent heart attacks can do just as much damage to your body as a regular heart attack, and are recognizable in an EKG.
People who have silent heart attacks are three times as likely to die of heart disease, so it’s important to recognize and treat them as soon as possible. Here are some of the signs of a silent heart attack:
Shortness of breath and prolonged fatigue: If you’re struggling to catch your breath while partaking in normal activities, or feeling wiped out on a consistent basis, something may not be right.
Back or chest pain: A silent heart attack can often feel like a strained muscle in the chest or upper back. Irregular pain in the lower back can also indicate stress to the heart muscle.
Jaw pain: Stress on the heart can often radiate to the neck and jaw. Sometimes the pain will become more prevalent as your heart rate goes up, i.e. when exercising, then dissipate when it returns to normal.
Nausea: Patients who suffer from silent heart attacks often report flu-like symptoms in the weeks and days before the attack.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms and believe they could be related to your heart health, trust your gut. Call 9-1-1 or get to the emergency room and make it clear that you think you’re having a heart attack. Be aware of your blood pressure and cholesterol and keep your heart healthy by exercising regularly and avoiding smoking.
The Hanson Heart Center is here to help you and your family with all of your heart care needs. We are committed to reducing the incidence of cardiac and vascular disease in our community and improving outcomes for those affected through prevention, risk awareness, education, rapid treatment, and rehabilitation.
For more information, visit www.lakelandhealth.org/heart