“Could I have stopped this heart attack before it began”

What if I had I had stopped smoking earlier?

What if I had just took that one pill to control my blood pressure?

What if I had just gone to the doctor earlier?

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The “What If” game is a deadly one to play when it comes to your health. I have taken care of my share of patients who have played this game only to ask this important question when it is too late. Many of them in their mid 40s to 50s paying for mistakes that their younger (and self proclaimed invincible self) ignored and all out avoided.
In keeping with our theme on Heart Disease Month I wanted to go over 10 ways that will help you spot a heart attack and potentially save someone's life whether it be your mother, father, grandparent or even yourself. I went over these during my Valentine's day Edition of the Lunch and Learn but like I promised I wanted to follow up it up with a blog post for those who rather read than watch the video.
Now the following are not in any particular order of importance but these are extremely important in the prevention of some serious adverse effects. When we talk about the  “what if” in medicine, a common issue is that people “miss” the opportunities to take a stand in their health care & often times it ends up coming to bite them. Below are 10 signs & symptoms that you need to look for in order to spot a heart attack but not only that threat it. 

  1. Chest pain
    1. One of the most common complaints that finally brings people in to see the doctor (usually the emergency room doc)
  2. Jaw Pain
    1. One of the more common places pain that seems to favor
  3. Shortness of breath
    1. As one of my patients noted, the heart is a big muscle so not taking care of it can/will have you gasping for air at the wrong time
  4. Nausea & Vomiting
    1. *special key for my diabetic & female patients* who tend we get into the nitty gritty where
  5. Epigastric(upper abdomen pain)
    1. If you think about the size of the heart it's very easy to imagine that some of the pain you experience may not be directly to the far upper left portion of the chest.
  6. Profuse sweating
  7. Heart burn/Indigestion
    1. Diabetic patients are notorious for having neuropathy (decreased nerve sensation) thus making the common complaint ” I feel like an elephant on my chest” only present with some heart burn complaints
  8. Mid/Upper back pain
    1.  Radiation of pain towards the back not only could indicated a heart attack but quite possibly an aortic dissection
  9. Arm pain
    1. Most people hear of the pain going down the left arm but the right arm can be just as concerning
  10. Feeling weak & fatigue

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These are some of the most common signs/symptoms that you can now recognize when taking care of someone and I want you to be able to go ahead and use them to save a life. What I hope is that these tips will keep you ahead of the curve and cause you to never ask  “what if” but “what now”.
Check out How to stop a heart attack by Dr. Berry Click To Tweet
... spot a heart attack and potentially save someone's life even yourself. Click To Tweet
The What If game is a deadly one to play when it comes to your health. Click To Tweet