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What is silent heart attack?

silent heart attackA heart attack may not always be a rigorous one that is accompanied with a sudden pain in chest, shortness of breath, or cold sweats. It can happen without actually knowing that you have had a heart attack. Such a heart attack is called silent heart attack or silent ischemia when the oxygen supply to the heart is blocked. This leaves a scarring damage to the heart muscle similar to a normal heart attack, without the person actually recognizing it.

As the name suggest, silent heart attacks have no specific symptoms. But you would feel it like a stomach infection or flu, thus you tend to ignore. Mostly, the subtle signs of silent heart attack observed by doctors are:

  • Indigestion
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Heart burn
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle pain
  • Discomfort in the jaw
  • A bad flu
  • Shortness of breath

It can occur at rest or while you are active. The severity depends upon your age, gender and other medical conditions. Diabetics are more prone to such unrecognized heart attacks.

So the question arises how to recognize a silent heart attack to get treated on time and prevent serious heart disease? The best thing you can do is to closely monitor the above subtle symptoms and how you feel. An unusual feeling inside your body, a regular complaint of unexplained fatigue and restlessness along with upset stomach might mean you suffered a silent attack.

You need to see the doctor sooner, if you are above 40 years of age. For younger the age, the chances of such an attack is rare but cannot be ruled out. Other factors that put you at risk are habits of smoking, alcohol, high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes.

An MRI or ECG may discover that a person actually had such an attack few weeks or months before without actually knowing it. Study reveals 70{f311d33b9bbfc4f285bed43336857fd8e1ba4c3922f0121c3bf81697a3148487} of people with unrecognized heart disease who died of sudden cardiac arrest had previous scarring on their hearts, which was never before detected. So early detection is important for treating heart diseases before they grow into a serious problem

How to prevent a silent heart attack

People who are at high risk should keep track of their blood pressure and cholesterol; follow healthy lifestyle of regular exercise, healthy diet minus smoking and alcohol. Always talk to your doctor, if something feels unusual in your body. Remember, prevention is always better than cure.

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