Thursday, July 16, 2015

Silent heart attacks--you might have had one

Yes, you can have a heart attack without knowing it.

Isn't that special?

You may be stoic--think it's heartburn--or your body may cowboy up to mask the symptoms.

Charles Chambers, MD, a cardiologist at Penn State Hershey, says the five big risk factors for all heart attacks--including silent ones--are high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, and genetics.

Typically, heart attack symptonms include chest pain radiating up the neck and down the arm, sweatiness, shortness of breath, and nausea.

In the silent variety, most common in women and diabetics, you may experience deep fatigue, no center-of-chest pressure.

In acute heart attacks, clots form quickly closing off blood flow. In silent ones, smaller coronary arteris have time to grow and form connections that mute symptoms and protect the heart from worse damage.

Sometimes people feel nothing at all--it has to be picked up on an EKG.

Damaged heart tissue becomes scar tissue, but we can tolerate a certain amount of that.

If you did have an episode of terrible fatigue--maybe check it out.

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