Heart Health

What Does a Heart Attack Look Like?
Provided by Comfort Keepers Calgary – Social Media 

Most of us have a specific idea of what a heart attack looks like: someone feels an abrupt, strong pain that causes them to stop in their tracks and clutch their chest. While some heart attacks do happen suddenly, many start slowly, with pain or discomfort. A person can have symptoms for hours before they even realize they’re having a heart attack.

Knowing what signs to look for can save critical time, and it’s important to be aware of the signs:

Chest discomfort – The chest pain associated with a heart attack doesn’t feel the same for everyone. Some people experience squeezing, discomfort or a feeling of fullness.

Pain or discomfort throughout the body – Heart attack pain isn’t limited to the chest area. Heart attack symptoms can include soreness in the neck, arms, jaw or back, or a combination of these. Women are more likely than men to experience jaw and back pain when suffering from a heart attack.

Shortness of breath – Shortness of breath is a heart attack symptom that is not usually recognized as one. However, those vulnerable to heart problems should be aware of any sudden breathing problems, especially if combined with other symptoms

Nausea – Lightheadedness, vomiting, cold sweats and nausea are also symptoms that are not often associated with a heart attack, but can signal the onset of one. Early detection of a heart attack can help prevent damage to the heart, brain and body. If you witness someone having these symptoms, or you feel them yourself, it’s important to call 911 and seek medical attention immediately.
How to be Heart Healthy  
You can help keep your heart and blood vessels healthy by taking steps toward a healthier lifestyle. Healthy lifestyle habits include healthy eating, getting active and being tobacco free. An assessment of your heart health can help to identify your risk of a heart attack or stroke and further identify what you can do to reduce your risk.  

A heart-healthy lifestyle is important for everyone, not just those with existing health problems.  If you already have heart or blood vessel problems, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure, a healthy lifestyle can help you manage those problems. 

Be Tobacco Free
Reducing or quitting tobacco use is one of the most important things you can do for your health.  Tobacco use is still the number one cause of preventable death and disability world-wide and is linked to many illnesses, including heart attack, stroke, diabetes, pulmonary disease and many others. When you quit using tobacco, no matter how old you are, you will decrease your risk of these health problems. 
Eat Healthy
Healthy eating helps promote and maintain a healthy weight when combined with active living. Eating more vegetables and fruit offers additional benefit of lowering blood pressure and the risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, vascular dementia and kidney disease.  

Get Active  
Increasing your physical activity is good for your heart and blood vessels, as well as the rest of your body. Being active helps lower your risk of health problems and helps you feel good. 

Know Your Risk – Heart Disease Risk Calculator 
A Heart Disease Risk Calculator is now available to tell you your heart age and chances of having a heart attack or stroke in the next 10 years. If you do not already have a diagnosis of heart disease or stroke, which means you’re already at high risk, and you are over 30 years of age, try this calculator to find out your heart age and what can be done to reduce your risk.  

This risk assessment looks at your age, blood cholesterol levels, blood pressure and family history to calculate your risk score. To find out more and to calculate your heart risk see below:Heart Disease Risk Calculator 
From AHS Wellness Articles – February 2019