Secret Symptoms of a Heart Attack

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bottomlineinc.com

In the movies, when people have heart attacks, they often clutch their chest in pain and collapse on the floor. But in real life, that's often not the way it happens.

We bring you the bottom line on secret symptoms of a heart attack.

Hi, I'm Pilar Gerasimo, with a Bottom Line Expert report on heart attacks. I'm here today with Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, director of Women's Heart Health at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

Dr. Steinbaum, I notice that in the movies, there are these incredibly dramatic events—you know, people have heart attacks and they clutch their chest, they fall to the floor, they die instantly. But in real life, I understand that that's not actually the way it happens. Can you tell us a little bit about what does it actually look and feel like to have a heart attack?

It's not always that Hollywood heart attack. There are often more subtle signs. Definitely chest pain or pressure is the most common symptom people have, but it could also be shortness of breath, fatigue, nausea, back pain, jaw pain, vomiting, even flulike symptoms, so don't exactly expect that Hollywood heart attack.

You just described a whole bunch of symptoms, many of which could be everyday ailments. It might be indigestion—I ate something too spicy… or I'm coming down with the flu. How do I differentiate between these every day things and something that could be much more dramatic?

When you think about what a heart attack is—which is actually lack of oxygen to the heart muscle—that's when you get the symptoms. So if it is happening with exertion and with really exercising and then if it is relieved with rest, think about your heart. If you have indigestion, you take something for your stomach and it goes away, so it's probably not your heart. If you have pain, you take an anti-inflammatory and it goes away, again, probably not your heart. But if the symptoms come back, you really should not dismiss it. And think heart first! It is better to be wrong than to be sorry.

So I know that there's sometimes confusion about the difference between a heart attack and cardiac arrest. Could you explain the difference to us?

Cardiac arrest is truly sudden death, and there's nothing we can do about it. When someone has a heart attack, it's damage to the heart muscle. We can intervene…we can open blood flow of that artery to the muscle…and we can actually prevent people from having heart damage. So it's a very important distinction. One there is nothing we can do about, unless maybe if it is witnessed and we can do CPR. But for people having a heart attack, it's about intervention, getting to the doctor, getting to the hospital as soon as possible.

The bottom line on heart attack symptoms is that they often disguise themselves as other ailments, but if you're dealing with symptoms that are being made worse by exertion and aren't responding to relatively simple treatments and remedies for things like indigestion or flu, it's probably time to be on the safe side and call your doctor. For more advice on a healthier life, go to BottomLineHealth.com.

Secret Symptoms of a Heart Attack

bottomlineinc.com

In the movies, when people have heart attacks, they often clutch their chest in pain and collapse on the floor. But in real life, that's often not the way it happens.

We bring you the bottom line on secret symptoms of a heart attack.

Hi, I'm Pilar Gerasimo, with a Bottom Line Expert report on heart attacks. I'm here today with Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, director of Women's Heart Health at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

Dr. Steinbaum, I notice that in the movies, there are these incredibly dramatic events—you know, people have heart attacks and they clutch their chest, they fall to the floor, they die instantly. But in real life, I understand that that's not actually the way it happens. Can you tell us a little bit about what does it actually look and feel like to have a heart attack?

It's not always that Hollywood heart attack. There are often more subtle signs. Definitely chest pain or pressure is the most common symptom people have, but it could also be shortness of breath, fatigue, nausea, back pain, jaw pain, vomiting, even flulike symptoms, so don't exactly expect that Hollywood heart attack.

You just described a whole bunch of symptoms, many of which could be everyday ailments. It might be indigestion—I ate something too spicy... or I'm coming down with the flu. How do I differentiate between these every day things and something that could be much more dramatic?

When you think about what a heart attack is—which is actually lack of oxygen to the heart muscle—that's when you get the symptoms. So if it is happening with exertion and with really exercising and then if it is relieved with rest, think about your heart. If you have indigestion, you take something for your stomach and it goes away, so it's probably not your heart. If you have pain, you take an anti-inflammatory and it goes away, again, probably not your heart. But if the symptoms come back, you really should not dismiss it. And think heart first! It is better to be wrong than to be sorry.

So I know that there's sometimes confusion about the difference between a heart attack and cardiac arrest. Could you explain the difference to us?

Cardiac arrest is truly sudden death, and there's nothing we can do about it. When someone has a heart attack, it's damage to the heart muscle. We can intervene...we can open blood flow of that artery to the muscle...and we can actually prevent people from having heart damage. So it's a very important distinction. One there is nothing we can do about, unless maybe if it is witnessed and we can do CPR. But for people having a heart attack, it's about intervention, getting to the doctor, getting to the hospital as soon as possible.

The bottom line on heart attack symptoms is that they often disguise themselves as other ailments, but if you're dealing with symptoms that are being made worse by exertion and aren't responding to relatively simple treatments and remedies for things like indigestion or flu, it's probably time to be on the safe side and call your doctor. For more advice on a healthier life, go to BottomLineHealth.com.

38 thoughts on “Secret Symptoms of a Heart Attack

  1. i love this but i have to ask i woke up a few times with my heart pounting
    really really fast no pain or discomfurt just a rapid heart beat but the
    scary thing ws it wouldnt slow down untill minutes later even when i
    relaxed what do you think is wrong?

    1. +Joe King, thank you for your comment. Bottom Line is an information
      publishing company, if you are experiencing a medical emergency please call
      911.

    2. I get that due to anxiety, it could be a panic attack, or just a state of
      anxiety but the latter is more likely. It won’t be to do with a heart
      attack, but it might be worth seeing your doctor and asking for some
      anti-anxiety medication, or at least ask what they recommend. No need to
      worry though, just relaxe.

    3. I felt that I was scared so I went to the doctor I had high blood pressure
      I’m taking lesenepril go to the doctor dont wait

  2. my heart is paining from monring but now its less paining and if i take
    long breath its hurting in heart area can you please help me out i am too
    young 😳

  3. I had 13 aunts and uncles (combined) and 11 out of those have died from
    heart attacks. My mother also died from heart failure. I’ve had bad chest
    pain recently and have had it off and on for about a year. I have had 2
    stress tests done but my primary doctor tells me it’s not my heart. I’ve
    taught BCLS for the American Heart Association and American Red Cross and
    the pain I’m feeling is some of those associated with heart problems and
    heart attacks. My primary doctor told me its probably a medicine I’m
    taking. I’ve never heard of medicine causing chest pain or tightening of
    the chest. I’ve been concerned for some time now about my symptoms. I’m
    also looking for another primary doctor.

    1. +Isabella A Rossellini Does your pain occur with bodily exertion, or is it
      a randomly occurring pain? Is it still happening now?

  4. Why are these women so Smiley faced and prissy when talking about a serious
    health condition! Too distracting and not taken seriously.

  5. I just had a heart attack about two weeks ago and it felt like a heart burn
    I thought it would go away but it didn’t I’m 34 year’s old I’m change my
    life after this

  6. so i was skating i and ollied down some stairs and as soon as i hit the
    floor i felt a pop in my chest and it feels like some one is pushing on my
    chest when i turn my head it starts to hurt and it gets hard for me to
    breath sometimes is that a heart attck?

  7. I had pain between my shoulders which is fairly normal because I have a T2
    disc bulge. The tipping point was nausea. Ended up with a triple bypass at
    the ripe old age of 40.

  8. I think I have no reasons to have heart problems and I’m 15, but lately,
    I’ve been experiencing anxiety and today I woke up feeling pressure in my
    chest and unable to breath deep…

  9. Um has this happened to anyone else? Like, every year this happens like 5
    times or less. It feels like a needle dart just went through my heart I’m
    not kidding. It hurts a lot. Sometimes it happens 2 times in a row. I hate
    it when my heart does that. Is it normal? I’m not an adult yet either.

  10. When the start of the video I was thinking “watch the rest of this video”
    “or watch Bo Burnham vines” Bo Burnham or this video “NOPE GONNA WATCH
    VINES”

  11. I’m only 13 and the last two days even after barely running I feel a
    tightness in my chest and it feels like my shoulders are going to collapse
    on me, I play competitive softball and even in practice I feel it. It is
    triggered easily and last practice we were running a lot and my chest
    tightened and the sun seemed to get 10x brighter and everything around
    seemed to flash black and I felt nauseous, is this just from the heat or
    heart related?

  12. I’m thinking I might have one right now I’ve been having sickness in my
    stomach no energy back is hurting and my chest keels hurting everyone in a
    while

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