A heart attack doesn’t mean you’re suffering from excruciating chest pain, one that compels you to fall to the floor. A lot of the time, more subtle symptoms appear. Here’s the kind of sweat you need to be aware of.
The Mayo Clinic details the most common signs and symptoms of a heart attack but, first, what is a heart attack?
What’s a heart attack?
A heart attack occurs when the heart muscle is starved of oxygen. This can happen when blood flow to the heart is interrupted.
The usual cause of a heart attack is coronary heart disease, whereby fatty material deposits build up on the artery walls.
When a piece of the fatty material (known as atheroma) breaks away, and injures the artery wall, a blood clot forms to try and heal the damage.
As arteries are already narrow due to coronary heart disease, a blood clot can either cause a partial or total blockage in the artery.
If there’s a partial blockage of blood flow to the heart, a NSTEMI takes place – a type of heart attack.
A complete blockage of blood reaching the heart muscle leads to STEMI – a more serious heart attack.
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The Mayo Clinic confirmed that a cold sweat is indicative of a heart attack.
Other symptoms include sudden dizziness, or lightheadedness, fatigue and shortness of breath.
There may be pressure, tightness, pain, or a squeezing or aching sensation in the chest or arms that can spread to your neck, jaw or back.
Some people may experience nausea, indigestion, heartburn to abdominal pain.
Reduce your risk of a heart attack
The British Heart Foundation (BHF) states there are things you can do to decrease your chances of having a heart attack in your lifetime.
One of the best ways to decrease your risk of a heart attack is to be a non-smoker.
It’s also important to keep other health conditions in check: make sure you have diabetes under control, and that you’re taking steps to lower high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
The best way to manage any of the health conditions above, and to incorporate into your lifestyle regardless, is exercise.
Being physically active is paramount to your health and wellbeing, which will also help you to keep to a healthy weight or lose weight if necessary.
The BHF suggests starting small, by crafting the time to do 10-minute workouts throughout the day.
If you happen to forget to exercise for one day, just get back on the horse – as people say – to workout today.
For those who feel they would benefit from a workout plan, there’s a lot of resources on the NHS website and YouTube tutorials.
The BHF recommends a healthy diet to also reduce your risk of having a heart attack.
A healthy diet consists of at least five portions of fruit and vegetables everyday.
It may be difficult to take note if you’re achieving this on a daily basis, which is why keeping a food diary may be enlightening.
A food diary is a daily commitment to write down what you’ve eaten, so that you can recognise if you’re getting enough vitamins and nutrients.