You aren’t alone if the first thing you think of when you think of the holiday season is stress, stress, and more stress. All of that added stress can lead to serious health problems.
Studies have shown that there is an increase in cardiac events during the holiday season, possibly triggered by activities such as shoveling heavy snow or a packed calendar of events. During this hectic time, do not ignore your heart health.
It’s important to recognize the warning signs of a heart attack. “50% of patients who present with a heart attack experience atypical symptoms” says Dr. D.P. Suresh, Cardiologist and Medical Director at the Florence Wormwald Heart and Vascular Institute at St. Elizabeth.
Most people think the only symptoms of a heart attack are severe pain in the chest or arm. But there are other tell-tale symptoms that could be warning signs of a heart attack, including:
- Dizziness, light-headed feeling
- General weakness
- Heart palpations
- Discomfort in the throat, jaw, neck, back or arms
- Stomach pain
- Swollen legs, feet, and ankles
- Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
Triggers of a Heart Attack
The same symptoms you may feel when you are having a heart attack can be a warning sign of an impending heart attack.
“In order to prevent a major cardiac event, you should think about your heart if you are experiencing any unusual symptoms,” said Dr. Suresh. “Especially if you have a family history or personal history of heart disease.”
A heart attack occurs when a piece of plaque that lines an artery breaks away and blocks the flow of blood to your heart. A heart attack may be inevitable, but it could also be triggered by an event. For someone at risk for a heart attack, the following are common triggers for a heart event:
- Lack of sleep
- Physical exertion
Many of these triggers are commonplace around the holidays, take the time to make yourself a priority. If anything doesn’t feel right or if you’re ever in doubt about a symptom or concern, take action to secure the future of your heart. Call (859) 287-3045 to schedule an appointment with one of our nationally recognized cardiologists.
If you think you’re having a heart attack, call 911 right away. Don’t risk it, take the appropriate steps to find out.