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What is Heart Attack - Causes & Symptoms

Updated on October 31, 2013

What is Heart Attack ?

The heart works 24 hours a day, pumping oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to the body. Blood is supplied to the heart through its coronary arteries. If a blood clot suddenly blocks a coronary artery, it cuts off most or all blood supply to the heart, and a heart attack results. Cells in the heart muscle that do not receive enough oxygen-rich blood begin to die. The more time that passes without treatment to restore blood flow, the greater the damage to the heart.
Having a heart attack is a big wake up call for most people. There's usually no problem convincing a heart attack survivor to change his or her lifestyle-to quit smoking, control their high blood pressure and cholesterol, control their weight and get regular physical activity.
Photograph of a heart model, with position of a persistent ductus arteriosus drawn in between aorta and pulmonary artery.
Photograph of a heart model, with position of a persistent ductus arteriosus drawn in between aorta and pulmonary artery. | Source

As you see in movies & on Television, all heart attacks come with a sudden pain. But in reality, it’s totally different. Many heart attacks show no symptoms at all. They are called Silent heart attacks. These are generally the earlier stage heart attacks, which are ignored. Because of this only when people get 2nd/3rd heart attack, they fail to cope up with it & die.

It’s very important to know symptoms of heart attack. It will help you to know when you/ your relative gets a heart attack & you can act immediately. Below I have mentioned the most common symptoms of a heart attack.

Chest Pain, main symptom of Heart Attack
Chest Pain, main symptom of Heart Attack | Source

# 1 Chest Pain

It is the most common symptom of a heart attack. It comes suddenly and can last for few minutes. Generally, this pain occurs on the center or left portion of your heart. Never take it as a common pain & drink water immediately. After the pain has reduced, tell a family member to call a doctor. If pain I severe, call ambulance & take yourself/ relative to the hospital immediately.

Tiredness or Weakness are common symptom of Heart Attack
Tiredness or Weakness are common symptom of Heart Attack | Source

Other Signs & Symptoms-

Nausea i.e feeling sick
Nausea is the sensation of unease and discomfort in the upper stomach and head with an urge to vomit. An attack of nausea is known as a qualm. Nausea which affects the stomach is sometimes called wamble. Nausea is not a sickness, but rather a symptom of several conditions, many of which are unrelated to the stomach. Nausea is often indicative of an underlying condition elsewhere in the body.
Vomiting (known medically as nemesis and informally as throwing up and a number of other terms) is the forceful expulsion of the contents of one's stomach through the mouth and sometimes the nose. Vomiting may result from many causes, ranging from gastritis or poisoning to brain tumors, or elevated intracranial pressure. The feeling that one is about to vomit is called nausea, which usually precedes, but does not always lead to, vomiting.
Pain in most parts of body, specially your heart
As discussed above in Chest Pain
Shortness of breath
Most people know that chest pain can indicate the presence of heart disease, but less well known apparently is that shortness of breath can also be a symptom of serious cardiac problems
Tiredness or Fatigue
Fatigue is a feeling of tiredness or exhaustion or a need to rest because of lack of energy or strength. Fatigue may result from overwork, poor sleep, worry, boredom, or lack of exercise. It is a symptom that may be caused by illness, medicine, or medical treatment such as chemotherapy. Anxiety or depression can also cause fatigue.
Sleeping problems / Sleeping Disorders
A sleep disorder, or homeopathy, is a medical disorder of the sleep patterns of a person or animal. Some sleep disorders are serious enough to interfere with normal physical, mental and emotional functioning.
Not everyone having a heart attack experiences the typical symptoms. If you’ve already had a heart attack, your symptoms may not be the same for another one. The more signs and symptoms you have, the more likely it is that you’re having a heart attack. Sometimes the signs and symptoms of a heart attack happen suddenly, but they can also develop slowly, over hours, days, and even weeks before a heart attack occurs.

Warning Signs of Heart Disease & Heart Attack / Educational Video

Act Immediately

You should act immediately if you are facing these problems. Don’t drive to the hospital. Either call the ambulance or let someone else drive & take you to nearest hospital.

In case you face the symptoms, Immediately call Ambulance
In case you face the symptoms, Immediately call Ambulance | Source

Surviving Heart Attack-

There are millions of people who have survived a heart attack. Many recover fully and are able to lead normal lives. Well I can give yo list of some activities you shall preform to totally avoid this disease.

After Heart Attack you will have to regularly see your doctor for regular checkups & tests & see how the Heart is doing. Your doctor may recommend you following points-

Recover and resume normal activities as much as possible
Lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, changing your diet, or increasing your physical activity
Medications, such as aspirin and nitroglycerin tablets for angina (chest pain).
Medications to lower your cholesterol or blood pressure and help reduce your heart's workload
Participation in a cardiac rehabilitation program.

How to Stop Heart Attack-

Keep Smiling Always
Keep Smiling Always | Source

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That's it. Hope you enjoyed reading this hub. Thanks for the time you invested in reading my hub. Do leave a rating & your feedback below. Cheers!!!!

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    • gags3480 profile image

      GAGANPREET SINGH BHATIA 4 years ago from Kanpur, India

      Thanks for the comment.

    • Ruby H Rose profile image

      Maree Michael Martin 4 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island

      Good to know.