A heart attack is terrifying, not least because it’s so hard to predict when or who it will strike. But there’s no reason to live in fear!
There are some signs of an impending heart attack that appear about a month prior to it.
Just learn to recognize them and you’re in the clear:
1. Abdominal pain.
If you’ve been noticing your stomach is upset recently (this can be nausea, pain, or even bloating) this could be an early warning sign. Abdominal pains before a heart attack have an episodic nature, meaning they ease off and then returning for short periods of time.
Struggling to fall asleep, maintain sleep, or waking up unusually early could be signs of insomnia. Insomnia is also associated with an increased risk of a heart attack or stroke, especially among women. Anxiety and absentmindedness are also symptoms of chronic insomnia.
3. Chronic fatigue.
Feeling tired, even if you’re getting a full night’s sleep? This unusual fatigue is one of the main symptoms that indicates an impending heart attack. Take note if it’s sometimes exhausting to perform simple tasks, like making a bed or taking a shower, and the fatigue gets worse by the end of the day.
4. Hair loss.
One of the most visible signs of heart disease is losing hair on the crown of your head. This most commonly affects men over 50, but some women may also be in the risk group.
5. Irregular heartbeat.
Arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) or tachycardia (increased heart rate) can happen abruptly and often lasts for 1–2 minutes. If it doesn’t fade, you might feel dizziness and extreme fatigue, in which case you should call the doctor right away.
6. Shortness of breath.
Dyspnea, or breathlessness, is a strong feeling of being unable to draw a deep breath; often you’ll feel tired and dizzy, as well. This sign affects both men and women for up to six months before a heart attack.
7. Increased perspiration.
Often associated with women going through menopause, these hot flashes could be signaling something much worse. Take note of any flulike symptoms, clammy skin, or sweatiness occurring regardless of air temperature or physical exertion.
8. Chest pains.
The biggest and best-known symptom is the uncomfortable sensation in one or both arms, jaw, neck, shoulders, or chest. In men, this symptom refers to the most important early signs of an impending heart attack that should not be ignored. However, it affects only 30% of women.
Don’t ignore these symptoms! Remember, prevention is always better than rehabilitation!