Heart attack: The subtle and often overlooked warning sign of the dangerous condition
Heart attacks occur when the heart muscle doesn’t get enough blood. Blood carries oxygen and nutrients to the heart muscle. When there isn’t enough blood flowing to the heart muscle, the affected part can get damaged or even die. When this occurs a variety of symptoms ensue warning of the impending doom. Heart attack signs are not always a pain in the chest or shoulder, some are lesser-known and therefore its imperative to know all the signs.
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Sweating profusely when you don’t have a fever and are not exerting yourself or in a hot environment, especially if accompanied by other symptoms such as light-headedness, shortness of breath, nausea, or chest pain; may be a symptom of a heart attack.
The British Heart Foundation said: “Working up a sweat when you’ve been to the gym or because it’s a really hot day, is nothing to worry about.
“But feeling hot and clammy along with chest pains is a sign that you should call an ambulance.”
Catherine Ryan, assistant professor at the College of Nursing at the University of Illinois, Chicago looked at why sweating could be a warning sign of a heart attack.
She said: “It may be that breaking out into a sweat for no apparent reason is one thing that you can’t explain away, unlike shortness of breath, nausea, fatigue and chest pain which can be chalked up to the flu, a bad night’s sleep, a spicy meal or any number of other things.”
Mrs Ryan and her colleagues analysed data that had been collected in interview with over 1,000 patients who had previously suffered with a heart attack.
They picked out 12 common symptoms and grouped them into clusters to see which led to delays in seeking help and which got people to act more quickly.
Earlier studies about the delay, she said, focused on only one symptom, not clusters, or on demographic characteristics of the patients.
Interestingly, Mrs Ryan’s analysis showed that individuals with the shortest delays (a mean of 9.78 hours) had a greater probability of experiencing the largest number of symptoms.
Individuals with the longest delays (a mean of 22.7 hours) had moderate probability of experiencing chest pain and shortness of breath.
Although sweating may be a key variable in the symptom cluster prompting individuals to seek treatment, the research could not determine whether sweating is an indication of a more serious heart attack, Mrs Ryan said.
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Sweating more than usual especially if a person hasn’t been exercising or being active is an indication of a potential heart problem.
Pumping blood through clogged arteries takes more effort from the heart, so the body sweats more to try to keep the body temperature down during the extra exertion.
If a person also experiences cold sweats or clammy skin, then they should consult a doctor.
Night sweats are also a common symptom for woman experiencing heart troubles.
Often woman mistake these symptoms for other conditions such as menopause.
However, if you wake up and your sheets are soaked or you cannot sleep due to seating, this could be a major warning sign of a heart attack, especially if you are a woman.
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