Since it’s National Heart Month, we wanted to devote some time to helping you to look after your cardiovascular health. We’ve outlined some of the most common symptoms that may signal heart disease so you know when you need to seek professional help.
Symptoms of Coronary Artery Disease
• Shortness of breath
• Palpitations (irregular heart beats, or a flip-flop feeling in your chest)
• A faster heartbeat
• Weakness or dizziness
Symptoms of a Heart Attack
• Discomfort, pressure, heaviness, or pain in the chest, arm, or below the breastbone
• Discomfort radiating to the back, jaw, throat or arm
• Fullness, indigestion, or choking feeling (may feel like heartburn)
• Sweating, nausea, vomiting, or dizziness
• Extreme weakness, anxiety, or shortness of breath
• Rapid or irregular heartbeats
• Initial symptoms may start as a mild discomfort that progresses to significant pain
• Most heart attacks are caused by coronary heart disease
• A heart attack is also referred to as acute coronary syndrome, myocardial infarction (MI) or coronary thrombosis.
Symptoms of Cardiac Arrest
• A cardiac arrest happens when your heart stops pumping blood around your body. Although a heart attack can result in a cardiac arrest they are two different things.
• Someone who has had a cardiac arrest will be unconscious and won’t be breathing normally
What to do if you think you’re affected by heart disease
• If you think you are having a heart attack, call for emergency help immediately – do not delay – immediate treatment will increase chances of survival and may help to lessen damage to your heart.
• You should sit and rest whilst waiting for the ambulance
• If you are not allergic to aspirin and have some nearby, chew one adult aspirin (300mg) – do not go hunting for them or this may put unnecessary strain on your heart
• If there is someone with you, it is more important that they stay with you than go hunting too far away for aspirin.
• If you see someone having a cardiac arrest (heart attack can lead to cardiac arrest), you can increase their chances of survival by calling 999 and giving them immediate CPR.
• If you are experiencing milder symptoms that may signal coronary artery disease make an appointment to see your GP.
For more information visit British Heart Foundation - www.bhf.org.uk
Information adapted from: