The American Heart Association reports that heart attack strikes someone every 43 seconds. But do you know the signs and symptoms of heart attack?
When Heart Attack Strikes
Likely, you have heard this familiar speech while flying: “Hello passengers, let’s review important safety procedures. In case of emergency, oxygen masks will drop down in front of you. Place the mask over your mouth and nose. If you are travelling with someone who needs assistance, please attend to yourself first and then help the other person.”
It took me many times of hearing this message to understand it. After all, it is respectful and considerate to place others above self. In reality, this instruction makes abundant sense. We are useless to others if we are incapacitated.
Apply this concept to your health and well-being. Ignoring your health may lead to serious or life- threatening illness or disease. If this happens, who will care for your loved ones? Unfortunately, we tend to discount symptoms of illness thinking we will check into them later. This decision, especially with a heart attack, could be deadly.
Indicators of Heart Attack
Since February is American Heart Month, it is the perfect time to review the indicators of heart attack and to place them on your refrigerator. The American Heart Association reports that heart attack strikes someone every 43 seconds. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in five heart attacks is silent. Damage occurs but the person is not aware of it. Do you know the signs and symptoms of heart attack? I suspect there are some that will surprise you.
Heart Attack Symptoms
Commonly known symptoms are:
- Mild to extreme chest pressure
- Cold sweat
- Shortness of breath
- Sudden dizziness
- Pain radiating into in the left arm, neck or back
Lesser-known symptoms often overlooked include:
- Aching in the jaw or teeth
- Flu-like symptoms
Alarmingly, signs may appear days or even weeks in advance and may come and go. Women are 50% more likely than men to be misdiagnosed as having a heart attack. (Just as terrifying, women are 30% more likely than men to be misdiagnosed as having a stroke and sent home from the emergency room.) Ask questions and do not hesitate to request a second opinion.
Be Your Own Advocate of Your Health
In short, be your own best advocate of your health. Make the time for yourself so you can care for those who love and depend on you. For more information visit: The American Heart Association or the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (part of National Institutes of Health/U. S. Department of Health & Human Services).
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