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Every February, we acknowledge Heart Month. The Heart & Stroke Foundation brings awareness surrounding health as it relates to the heart. This kind of information can allow us to detect abnormalities and practice certain preventative measures earlier on. Heart-related issues are more prominent within the elderly but can still affect people of all ages including children.

A heart attack can be caused by several factors. Some are out of our control and others are preventable. Habits such as smoking and recreational drug use, an unhealthy weight, little to no exercise, high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol can lead to cardiac arrest or heart attack. By managing a healthy lifestyle and setting new goals, we can give our bodies the best chance to stay safe. 

How do you recognize signs of a heart attack, you might ask? In the situation of a heart attack or cardiac arrest, how do we evaluate? Most of us may have only witnessed such a thing while watching movies and it is helpful to be aware of what to look for if someone around you is having a heart attack. Signs of a heart attack or cardiac arrest are:

  • Chest discomfort
  • Sweating
  • Upper body discomfort
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of breath
  • Light-headedness

 

If you follow the same link above, you will see the correct actions to take if you are experiencing signs of a heart attack versus if you witness someone in cardiac arrest. This is an unfortunate and unpleasant experience for everyone involved, however, being aware of best practices can save lives!

Heart disease, on the other hand, covers a variety of conditions related to the heart. Symptoms such a fluttering heartbeat, blue or gray skin, fever, swelling of the legs or any other abnormal sign, can be an indicator that you should see your doctor. Diseases are caused by a variety of issues depending on what the condition is. Some are congenital, some are the cause of drug use and other lifetime strains on the body, some are caused by bacteria or viruses. Ultimately, if you are experiencing issues with shortness of breath, fainting or chest pain – you should see your doctor. Getting a handle on or ruling out heart-related conditions can be critical, but also can allow an individual to be informed and make the necessary choices hopefully avoiding emergencies.