About heart attacks
A heart attack happen when arteries that supply blood to the heart are blocked. This is different from sudden cardiac arrest, which occurs when the heart stops beating unexpectedly. During a heart attack, parts of the heart muscle begin to die without oxygen. This can reason permanent heart damage and may be fatal without treatment.
Heart attacks can often be prevented with appropriate exercise, nutrition and lifestyle choices. Risk factors that you can control to decrease the likelihood of heart attack include:
Causes and risk factors
- Blood cholesterol
- High blood sugar
- High blood pressure
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Tobacco use
Heart attack symptoms
Symptoms can develop slowly over time, or they may happen unexpectedly. Some of the most general warning signs of a heart attack are chest discomfort, upper-body discomfort, and shortness of breath, nausea, cold sweats and lightheadedness.
Not all of these signs happen in every heart attack. In fact, it’s estimated that up to half of heart attacks do not have traditional symptoms, such as chest pain. If you suspect you are having a heart attack.
Different symptoms for women
Women may havae the symptoms described above, but they also may have different symptoms from men. Some of the signs of heart attack for women are:
- Rapid heart beat
- Nausea or constant indigestion
- Pressure between the shoulder blades
- Trouble sleeping
- Unexplained anxiety, weakness or extreme fatigue
Diagnosis and treatment
A number of heart tests can be used to diagnose a heart attack. A cardiologist will measure up to your test results, sign and family history to determine if a heart attack occurred. Once diagnosed, you may require one or more treatments to restore blood flow and heart function, such as heart surgery or a plainly invasive procedure.