A heart attack is an extremely severe medical condition where the blood supply to the heart is obstructed and is caused by a blood clot. As we said before, it is a very dangerous and serious condition and it is important always to call 911 if you suspect having one.

Coronary heart disease is actually the biggest reason behind heart attacks. It is a condition that is characterized by blood vessels that are clogged up, which means that they cannot go and supply the heart. These are clogged up by plaques and they are commonly known as cholesterol deposits.

Before the heart attack happens, one of the plaques will burst and it will form a blood clot at the ruptured site. This same clot can restrict or even completely block the blood supply of the heart and this will eventually lead to a heart attack.

It is accepted that the biggest symptom of a heart attack is chest pain; this means that you can feel like the chest is squeezed or pressed by a big object or something heavy.

The pain goes all along to the chest and to the neck, jaw, arms, and back. There are other common signs such as cold sweats, shortness of breath, nausea, and lightheadedness.

However, not every heart attack is manifested by lightheadedness or chest pain. Actually, up to 25% of all heart attacks can be silent, which means they happen without any of the classic warning signs, including chest pain.

For this reason, a lot of people think that the heart attack is actually another medical condition and they do not look for immediate medical attention.

As a consequence, most heart attacks end up in death. Dr. Chauncey Crandall is a prominent American cardiologist and he worked on the reversal and prevention of heart disease for a long time. In the end, he concluded that the heart always sends warning signs of a possible heart attack for minutes, days, and even weeks before it happens.

Some of those signs are:

1. Swelling

A lot of people relate swollen ankles and feet to excessive standing and sitting. However, heart problems can also lead to fluid accumulation in these areas and this causes swelling. Because of this fluid retention, a lot of people can lose their appetite, but they can gain weight.

2. Anxiety

Some patients who experienced a heart attack had reported feeling anxiety attacks before they actually experienced the heart attack. In some cases, anxious individuals believe they have a heart attack but remember always to call 911 so you can be safe.

3. Pain in different body parts

The pain will usually start in the chest and will spread to the neck, jaw, arms, shoulders, abdomen, and elbows. You can feel this pain between the bladders or in your arms and this is a very common sign of a heart attack.

4. Coughing

In some cases, people who have heart failure can cough up phlegm. It is a substance like mucous and it can be tinged with blood. It is very common among people who have a lung infection, called pneumonia. The coughing derives from the accumulation of fluids in the lungs and this makes breathing even more difficult.

Note: you should never ignore all of these signs and hope that they will be gone on their own. If these symptoms persist for a longer period of time you have to seek help and have someone take you to the doctor.

It is not important how old are you, because it is always time to take care of your heart. This means that it is important to make a lot of smart choices which will eventually pay off.

Exercise deficiency, poor diet, or other unhealthy choices can take their toll over the years. This means, that if you want to prevent a heart attack it is important to make certain changes in your lifestyle:

– You should choose a health plan for eating and eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, nuts, and seeds, and have meatless meals.

– Be more physically active and try to do this 3-5 times a week. Start small and you will see changes.

– Remember that women can experience different symptoms than men.

Take care of yourself and your heart and be happy for the years to come.

References: Heart.org