Okay…its 2 a.m. and you wake up with some weird feeling in your chest…or is it in your stomach. Don’t ignore it. Is it reflux or heartburn…maybe…but it could be something much more serious. It could be a heart attack.
Just because the discomfort is not the classic “squeezing, crushing” type pain often described or because it doesn’t cause you to “grip your chest” like in the movies and on television doesn’t mean it couldn’t be your heart. And in women, the symptoms are even more vague…sometimes something as simple as “just feeling more tired than usual” or “just not feeling right.”
If you get that “funny feeling” in your chest or abdomen or that certain “je ne sais quoi”, especially if you have any risk factors for heart disease, make your way to the nearest emergency department. Let the medical professionals sort it all out. We would much rather re-assure you that your symptoms are indeed heartburn, reflux or something less ominous than to have to console your loved ones because you ignored your body’s way of alerting you to a problem. Your nearest emergency department is where you should go.
There are certain things that put a person at risk for heart disease… smoking, a family history of heart attacks (someone in your immediate family who suffered some form of cardiac event before the age of 60), diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure) to name a few.
Each year heart disease is at the top of the list of this country’s most serious health problems. Statistics show that cardiovascular disease is America’s leading health problem and the leading cause of death.
The forms of cardiovascular disease include:
- hypertension (high blood pressure)
- coronary artery disease (blocked arteries around the heart),
- stroke(brain attack)
- congestive heart failure
- congenital (born-with) cardiovascular defects
The American Heart Association estimates the following:
- More than 2400 American die of cardiovasular disease every day…an average of one death every 36 seconds
- Cardiovascuar disease is the cause of more deaths than cancer, chronic lung disease, accidents, diabetes and flu/pneumonia COMBINED
- Cardiovascular diseases are the number one killer of women as well as men. These diseases claim the lives of nearly 500,000 women every year.
- About 1/3 of cardiovascular disease deaths occur prematurely (before age 75)
- About 1 out of every 2.7 deaths results from cardiovascular disease.
It makes sense not to ignore anything you think may be a sign of a heart attack.
- Chest discomfort, Upper Abdominal Discomfort-.
- Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the neck, jaw or back.
- “Cold Sweats”, nausea or lightheadedness
- Unusual or unexplained fatigue
- Shortness of Breath
So, get on the phone and call 911. Don’t wait longer than 5 minutes! If you don’t have access to Emergency Medical Systems….get someone to drive you to the hospital. Do not drive yourself. If it is your heart and you develop some kind of funky heart rhythm while driving, you could lose consciousness and have a car wreck…making things that much worse for you and any other individuals who may be involved.
This information is provided for informational purposes only and not designed to diagnose or treat any medical condition. You should always seek the personal attention of a medical professional for accurate diagnosis.