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Some heart attacks are sudden and intense with the quintessential clutching of the chest in intensive pain as are often depicted in movies. But most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Often people affected aren’t sure what’s wrong and wait too long before getting help. If experiencing flu-like symptoms with nausea, it could be a major sign of the impending dangerous condition.
Flu-like symptoms and nausea
Some people who simply report not feeling well or feeling fatigued go on to have a heart attack hours later.
Sometimes, the chest pain is there, but the nausea is much more prominent so people may mistake the symptoms for the flu.
The key is to know the risk factors and if you’re generally healthy and you wake up with what you think is the flu, you probably have the flu.
But if you’re obese, sedentary, have high blood pressure and a family history of heart disease, you have to take your symptoms more seriously.
The symptoms can also feel like intense heartburn with the pain moving into the arms and can also come and go.
“I tell patients: If anything seems strange; if in your gut, you feel like something is not right,” Dr Jennifer Haythe, co-director of the Women’s Center for Cardiovascular Health at Columbia University Medical Center.
She continued: “If you feel some sense of doom; if you feel like you’ve had a sense of indigestion or chest discomfort, trouble breathing or being lightheaded and it’s not normal for you, it’s persisting, it’s a little out of character go see your doctor.”
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Chest pain is the most common sign of a heart attack in both men and women. But, in some cases, that is where the similarities end, said Penn Medicine.
The site added: “Women are more likely than men to experience shortness of breath, back or jaw pain, nausea and vomiting.
“This may be why some women who have a heart attack initially dismiss their symptoms as signs of the flu or some other less scary illnesses.
“Complicating matters further is the fact that women are more likely than men to have what are known as silent heart attacks.
Silent heart attack
A silent heart attack is still a heart attack — meaning blood flow to a section of the heart is blocked off, putting it at risk for damage if not treated.
Symptoms of a silent heart attack can be quite wide-ranging and may include:
Unexplained excessive fatigue
Discomfort similar to a muscle strain in the upper abdomen, back, or jaw
Dizziness and light-headedness
Shortness of breath
The most common heart attack signs include severe chest pain, having a radiating pain in your arm, and suddenly feeling very dizzy.
But you can lower your risk of a heart attack by making some small diet or lifestyle changes.
Eating a healthy, balanced diet will lower your chances of fatty deposits in your arteries.
If you think you, or someone you know, may be having a heart attack, it’s crucial that you dial 999 straight away.
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