Silent heart attacks are just as their name implies – there are no signs and the symptoms often present as something else. Except for these characteristics, silent heart attacks are no different than any other heart attack, which occurs when blood flow to the heart is blocked, or if the heart itself is damaged or scarred. Are you at risk for a silent heart attack? Knowing these signs and symptoms just may save your life or the life of someone you love.
Soreness in chest, back, and arms
When one thinks of a heart attack, they think of a squeezing sensation within the chest. But if you feel general pain or soreness in your chest, back, and/or arms, you may be experiencing a silent heart attack. Notice the close proximity of the affected areas to the heart – you may shrug this off as something that will just pass as the result of an intense workout or long day. When in doubt, see your doctor, especially if you are at high risk or have been diagnosed with a cardiovascular condition.
Shortness of breath
Your heart transports oxygen to the rest of your body and a blockage in the arteries could indicate a silent heart attack. Waking up in the morning or climbing a few stairs should not be accompanied by shortness of breath. Verify your heart health by visiting your doctor.
Heartburn and/or Indigestion
If you suffer from chronic heartburn, it could be just that, or, it could also be angina, which causes chest pains that are very similar to heartburn. Chronic heartburn can be treated with medications, diet, changes in lifestyle and even sleeping upright. If these simple remedies don’t remedy your heartburn, it could be a heart condition. Either way, see your doctor, as chronic heartburn could also be a sign of a serious gastrointestinal condition.
Throat and neck tightness
Tightness in the neck region, especially if it comes with no known cause, may indicate a silent heart attack. If you didn’t engage in an activity that can explain the discomfort, it just may be a heart attack.
Know Your Risk
Determining if you are at risk of heart attack can save your life. Do you have a family history of heart disease? Do you consume a heart-healthy diet and exercise regularly? Do you smoke? Do you check your blood pressure regularly? Pursuing positive behaviors is instrumental at lower your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Silent Heart Attack Diagnostics in South Carolina
They say you gotta have heart, so it’s important to recognize the signs and symptoms of a silent heart attack before it speaks to you. If you suspect that you or someone you care about has suffered a silent heart attack, SC Internal Medicine Associates and Rehabilitation can provide you an accurate diagnosis to confirm your suspicions. Our medical specialties and services – including cardiology and gastroenterology –are top of the line, and we will ensure you are treated with warmth, kindness, and compassion. If you have any questions about our practice, please call SC Internal Medicine Associates and Rehabilitation today at (803) 749-1111 or request an appointment now for our Irmo clinic!