by Connie Jorsvik
Don’t ignore these signs and symptoms even if you don’t have any cardiac disease factors which usually include being over 45 years of age for men and 55 for women, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, overweight (BMI greater than 30), a smoker, diabetic or have a family history of heart disease:
- Chest discomfort: Note that only half of women have this warning sign. Usually this is sharp pain, squeezing or pressure under the breast bone and to the left of center. Women often feel an ‘ache’ or burning sensation.
- Left shoulder and arm pain or aching; left neck and/or jaw aching or pain.
- Heartburn, feeling of gas buildup in stomach with excessive burping, nausea, vomiting.
- Cold sweating.
- Symptoms of an anxiety attack: Anxiety is a warning sign—especially if you don’t normally have anxiety attacks. Take it seriously. Only health professionals can differentiate between anxiety and a heart attack.
- Shortness of breath, coughing, production of watery (often pink tinged), wheezing which is often worse when lying flat are signs of Congestive Heart Failure. This CANNOT be differentiated from pneumonia by a stethoscope –a chest x-ray, read by an experienced radiologist is necessary!