Prevention is better than cure. This simple rule applies to any disease and is especially valuable when symptoms are not properly acknowledged.
Having a heart attack is a serious medical emergency which requires immediate attention.
Signs can appear weeks before it occurs – and knowing them could save your life
If you’ve experienced one yourself or had a loved one who has suffered a heart attack, it can be a frightening and devastating experience for everyone.
A heart attack, medically known as a myocardial infarction, is when the supply of blood to the heart becomes blocked, which can seriously damage the heart muscle and prove to be fatal.
There are eight warning signs which people may experience a month before having a heart attack, or even earlier.
One of the main symptoms which can indicate an impending heart attack is experiencing unusual levels of fatigue.
Performing simple tasks like making a bed or taking a shower can become noticeably more difficult and levels of fatigue increase by the end of the day.
Women are more likely to report this symptom than men.
Another of the most common symptoms are abdominal pains, stomach nausea, feeling bloated or an upset stomach.
Before a heart attack, the pains will usually come in waves, easing and returning for short periods of time.
In men, chest pain is one of the most important early signs that should not be ignored, but only affects only 30% of women.
Feelings can be permanent or temporary and include uncomfortable sensations in one or both arms (more often the left), the jaw, neck, shoulders and stomach.
Symptoms include difficulty getting to sleep, maintaining sleep and early-morning wake ups, which are associated with an increased risk of heart attack or stoke.
It can include feeling high levels of anxiety and absentmindedness, and is more common among women.
Shortness of breath
Dyspnea, or breathlessness, gives the feeling of not being able to draw enough breath, and can also leave you feeling dizzy.
It often occurs in both men and women up to six months before a heart attack, giving a warning sign of a medical condition.
Losing hair can be another indicator, most commonly affecting men over 50.
Women can also be at risk and close attention should be paid to losing hair from the crown of your head.
Skipped beats or an irregular heartbeat often come with panic attacks and anxiety, especially among women.
The irregular beats last for 1-2 minutes and can cause you to feel dizziness and extreme fatigue. In this case, Bright Side recommends calling a doctor right away.
Unusual or excessive perspiration can be an early warning sign of a heart attack and can occur at any time, day or night.
It affects women more often and can be confused with hot flashes or night sweats typical of menopause.
Flu-like symptoms include clammy skin and sweatiness regardless or temperature or physical exertion. Sweating seems to be more excessive at night.
If you are worried about any of the following symptoms, speak to your Doctor.