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Know the Early Warning Signs of a Heart Attack?

hi I’m dr. Paulo I lead the

cardiovascular prevention and Rehab

program at the Peter Munk Cardiac Center

and Toronto rehab Institute we mostly

help people who have had heart attacks

and other coronary events get back on

their feet

just like training for any important

goal it’s a tough but rewarding journey

heart attacks are as serious as it gets

and not something you would ever take

chances with right yet it’s really

common to speak with someone after a

coronary event and here they felt like

something was wrong for a while but

didn’t get checked out

the warning signs of a heart attack are

actually pretty clear they can start

hours days or even weeks before you end

up in hospital sometimes they come and

go but just because the symptom goes

away it doesn’t mean you’re out of

danger if you know the warning signs of

heart problems and you seek treatment

before it becomes an emergency these

warning signs could save your life

it’s up to you the symptoms to watch for

might not seem out of the ordinary like

feelings of indigestion muscle strains

or running out of breath when you’re

active that’s why it’s important to

learn how to recognize when these

feelings might actually be related to

your heart the one we hear about most is

chest pain it’s described in a lot of

different ways like pressure squeezing

burning or discomfort felt in the middle

of the chest the exact description of

the pain isn’t too important here

because under normal circumstances you

shouldn’t be experiencing chest pain at

all

if the pain goes away after resting for

a couple of minutes we would call that

angina however if it lasts for several

minutes and increases in intensity we’ve

worried about this being a heart attack

we all get occasional aches and pains

and these might occur in the chest area

too my rule of thumb is that if your

chest hurts when you push on it like

with your thumb then it’s likely a

muscle or bone injury not a heart

problem

the second big sign is pain in the arm

jaw or neck you might feel it in just

one spot or it may travel around again

how you would describe the pain is less

important one person may call it a

shooting pain while others would call it

tingling or numbness the third is

experiencing something like nausea

shortness of breath sweating or feeling

faint these might not seem unusual if

you’ve had a heavy meal or tough workout

but if they’re showing up for no reason

then it’s a real concern

now the big bright waving red flag is if

you feel a combination of these symptoms

at the same time if this happens you

need to get to an emergency department

immediately I strongly recommend dialing

911 guys are even too stubborn for that

if nothing else have a friend Drive you

to the hospital right away

context is important here as well if

you’re pushing yourself physically and

something is wrong with your heart

you’re more likely to experience the

warning signs this is because you’re

exceeding what we call your threshold

meaning your heart isn’t getting enough

blood and oxygen it can be scary to

think there might be something wrong a

lot of guys would rather ignore the

warning signs than get themselves

checked out but it’s far easier to

address heart issues and maintain your

health in advance than it is to recover

from a heart attack pay attention to

what your body is telling you and if

those symptoms we discussed sound

familiar

talk to your doctor as soon as possible

thanks for listening

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