Heart attacks also medically known as cardiac arrest is a deadly disease that doesn’t suddenly happen to anyone most especially to men. I know most movies usually prays a man walking down the street and all of a sudden falls to the ground and dies. However, this is not entirely true.
Most times, people who have heart attacks usually have some symptoms, but they often choose to ignore them. Men, in fact, have some unusual symptoms that they think is an every man problem but it is not. There are times where a man can suddenly have a heart attack, but that scenario is often rare. In fact, almost about a 2 out of 10 chance.
You are not so sure you may be that 2 out of 10. Common heart attacks come with warning signs often mistaken as an entire problem or just based on the fatigue of the body.
According to Dr James Park who is the director of the heart and vascular health program at Texas Health Dallas, he says that most heart attacks often show warning signs to patients before they eventually occur.
You need to take note of the following symptoms during your everyday activities as this can help you signify that you may well likely be on your way to having a heart attack.
1. You are almost always physically exhausted
If you unnecessarily get tired after doing your usual chores or you get exhausted easily even after doing nothing, then it probably is time to contact your doctor. According to Dr Robert Segal, founder of Manhattan cardiology, whenever you are feeling extra tired, or too worn out to perform your daily activities, then you should be on your way to see your doctor.
According to Dr Segal, feeling extra tired always can be a signal to the fact that the left ventricle might be malfunctioning and unable to pump blood from the heart. You see, the left ventricle is the part of your heart that is responsible for getting blood from your heart and distributing across your entire body.
However, if this muscle becomes weak, it will be harder for blood to reach your body parts and hence the physical exhaustion sets in. If you didn’t notice it on time and it eventually stops working, then it won’t be able to pump blood out at all and thus can lead to a heart attack.
According to the American Heart Foundation, here is why you always get physically exhausted if you don’t get your left ventricle working properly. We have established the fact that it is the left ventricle that pumps out blood from the heart to the rest of the body. If this left ventricle gets weak, it can’t pump out blood as vigorously as it needs to be.
Once this happens, your heart won’t be able to circulate blood all around your body or to pump fresh blood in between heartbeats in your heart correctly. However, your body will try to adjust itself and compensate for this loss hence the body attempts to divert blood away from the muscles and tissues to more important parts of your body like your brain, your heart and your kidneys.
Once your body carries out this action, it will leave you physically exhausted and even though you may have had long hours of sleep and rest. In as much as the heart isn’t sending fresh blood into the other body parts, the tissues found in other body parts will lack oxygenated blood, and hence they can’t function properly as they are supposed to.
2. As a man, your erection falters, or it isn’t as strong as it needs to be
As a man, you have an erection due to the increased blood flow from your renal artery into the arteries found in your penis making it strong and firm. The more blood flows into your penis, the more aroused and erected you become.
There comes a problem if those blood vessels become damaged and blood can’t flow freely anymore. This means that you would less likely have an erection and even if you do, it will be hard to maintain it. In general, you will be said to have erectile dysfunction.
According to Dr Segal, one good way to be able to tell if your heart vessels are malfunctioning is if the blood vessels there are malfunctioning as well. If your blood vessels down there are damaged, then there is a good chance that the blood vessels of the heart have a problem as well.
If you are wondering what could cause this type of malfunctioning, a good reason is the buildup of a substance known as PLAQUE. When you have an increase of plaque around your heart vessels, you are highly at risk of developing a heart attack.
This doesn’t mean that if you have had a one-time erection performance failure, it means you may be having a heart attack. No. This could be as a result of other minor problems or simply the fact that you were not really interested in the sex.
It could also mean you may have been tired or undergoing a lot of mental, physical or emotional stress and exhaustion lately. This really isn’t a cause for alarm.
However, once it becomes a frequent problem, if the issues continue persistently, then it may be time for you to visit your doctor and make a complaint.
3. Almost every time you walk, you experience leg or hip cramps
If every time you walk, you notice a severe cramp that starts at your leg region especially at your calves and it almost always slowly and steadily moves up to your thigh and your hip region, then you should visit your doctor immediately as this may be a sign of peripheral artery disease.
Peripheral artery disease is a disease that occurs when there is a restriction in blood flow from the heart to the blood, limbs and head. You experience cramping when there is limited blood flow to the limbs either the upper limbs or the lower limbs.
According to Dr Park, most patients who have peripheral artery diseases or have a certain predisposition to having heart attacks will admit that it is difficult for them to walk long distances without having to rest for a while. They will also admit that it is likewise difficult for them to walk normal distances before they begin to feel cramps around their limb region.
This discomfort that you are feeling in your legs is a very strong symptom of heart disease. This means that whenever you feel constant cramping, you should watch it because your heart is at risk of failing at any moment.
Peripheral artery disease which is also known as PAD is very similar to coronary artery disease. In coronary artery disease, there is also a buildup of plaque in it; however, it only affects the coronary vessels which are the blood supply to the heart itself. Plaque is a substance that surrounds the wall of the blood vessels.
This two diseases could be happening simultaneously. Which means that as there is a build up of placket in the peripheral vessels, there also might be a build-up of plaque in the coronary vessels as well.
This simply implies that as the more the buildup of plaque around the blood vessels, the more the narrowing of your blood vessels and the lesser the amount of blood flow. This buildup can lead to you having a heart attack.
4. You have a terrible snoring problem
Snoring is a sleep disorder that occurs when you are asleep. If you find out that you often wake up in between your sleep gasping for breath or you continuously feel tired even though you have been asleep for a long period, then you might be well on your way to experiencing a disorder known as sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a disorder that is characterised with disruptions in breathing. Once this occurs, the pauses in breathing stresses your body so much that it increases your blood pressure. This, in turn, causes your heart to begin to beat with irregular rhythmic patterns and this increases one’s chances of having a heart attack.
5. You always feel sick to your stomach
Sometimes having a stomach bug can cause you to have nausea, vomiting and even a burpy feeling. However, when these signs become a regular occurrence, it can signify that you might be having a heart problem.
According to Dr Park, sometimes the nervous systems usually confuse signs and the signals sent to it. It mixes them up and what it is meant to relay as a message is not what is transmitted. Hence, there can be a misunderstanding with the kinds of signals sent.
In this case, there can be a miscommunication in the signals sent. This is because the nerves of the gastrointestinal tract are located in close proximity to the nerves of the heart. Hence as a result of this, the problems arising from your heart can easily be translated as a stomach issue.
Before you conclude that there is no way to distinguish between a stomach bug and a heart attack, there is a slight difference which can help you differentiate between the two problems.
Usually, for a person having a heart attack, when you have nausea, it will increase during physical exertion, and when you rest, it will ease up. However, if it is nausea caused by a stomach bug, it won’t ease up except after taking drugs.
6. You always feel intense anxiety
According to research, studies have shown that women with anxiety are seen to likely have a reduction in the blood flow to the heart than those women who don’t have anxiety. According to Dr Segal, there is a relationship between anxiety and heart attacks, and it is essential for us to explore that connection.
One of the things they both have in common is the fact that their symptoms are almost the same. Anxiety causes chest pains, shortness of breaths and heart palpitations which is the same thing that heart attacks also cause.
Most of the times, you may tend to feel these symptoms even though you are not in an excessively stressful situation. In many patients, according to Dr Segal, these symptoms can always potentially mask as anxiety attacks hence you will delay in taking treatments or get getting diagnosed until it is almost too late.
Asides this, having anxiety attacks always cause a strain on the heart. Whenever you are feeling intense, it causes your blood vessels to constrict hence causing your heart rate to speed up, therefore, causing a heart attack.
7. You always feel bloated
It is common to feel bloated especially after eating a portion of super salty food, however, if you don’t eat salty food, but you keep feeling bloated, then it can be a sign of congestive heart failure.
When the heart is too weak to pump blood through the body properly, it causes a build of fluid all through the body hence the feeling of being bloated. What you would generally observe in your body is the swelling of your ankles, your legs, feet or your stomach.
According to the American Heart Association, you may notice that you unexpectedly gain weight suddenly and as such notice that your clothes and shoes are too tight. If you suddenly feel bloated, and you find out that it is persistent, you may need to visit your doctor quickly.
If you are suddenly having a heart attack, here is what you should do. You must first understand that if you are recognising these signs and it is not the chest-crushing pain, it then means that your heart is not in immediate danger.
However, note that they do indicate that your heart is in some sort of danger. If you’re fortunate enough to have any of these symptoms quickly, then you must listen to your body and get them checked out,
Endeavour you visit your doctor, and when you get to him, if your doctor suspects that a heart attack could be the cause, he would recommend that you have an EKG. An EKG is a test that measures the heart’s electrical activity, and it also shows if your heart is damaged. If he suspects an impending heart attack, he would also recommend you go for a coronary angiogram, which is a test that detects blockages in your arteries.
And if you experience any of the classic symptoms that indicate that you are about having a heart attack or you have a heart attack right now, call 911 ASAP. These symptoms are the ones you must look out for. They include chest pressure or tightness, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, breaking out into a cold sweat, or discomfort in the arms, neck, or jaw.