How to play a heart attack

Heart attack symptoms

Table of Contents

An oppressive tightness or a pulling in the chest, pain in the left arm, as well as cold sweats are probably the most well-known signs when it comes to the Detection of a heart attack goes. In this case, the most common causes include deposits in the coronary arteries. The so-called plaque here consists of both lime and fat. These narrow the vessels that are supposed to supply the heart muscle with oxygen-rich blood.

If there is a heart attack, the vessels have closed. In most cases, a surface of the plaque tears open beforehand and the organism forms a blood clot in order to close this leak again, so that there is a complete vascular occlusion. As a result, parts of the heart muscle are no longer properly supplied with oxygen and they die.

Causes of a Heart Attack

The causes of a heart attack can often be found in the lifestyle of those affected. There are also genetic factors that cannot be influenced. It is now known, however, that most heart attack patients have various risk factors that encourage plaque formation.

The risk of myocardial infarction increases particularly with:

  • Smokers
  • Obese people
  • Diabetes patient
  • People with high cholesterol
  • Hypertensive patients
  • stress
  • Lack of exercise

Just one of the four major risk factors, such as high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes or high blood pressure, increase the risk of heart attack tenfold. In this case, both too much cholesterol and too high blood sugar are deposited as deposits in the vessels of the heart and cause damage here.

Local foci of inflammation develop, which can scar. In the long term, increased blood pressure values ​​also lead to further changes in the vessel walls. At the same time, the heart now has to work harder to pump the blood through the narrowing vessels and is therefore exposed to much greater stress. Nicotine consumption promotes calcification of the arteries and also causes damaged blood vessels and the formation of blood clots.

A lack of exercise and being overweight, on the other hand, do not directly cause hardening of the arteries. However, these increase the risk of hypertension or diabetes. In addition, a body weight that is too high usually leads to increased cholesterol levels.

Heralds and early warning signs of a heart attack

Heart attack symptoms are different in women and men. In addition, the familiar signs such as chest pain, tightness of the chest or shortness of breath do not always appear immediately.

Instead, the pain often radiates to the back and arms, and sometimes it even extends into the jaw.

Women often suffer from the following harbingers:

  • nausea
  • Vomit
  • a stomach ache
  • Excessive shortness of breath

However, a heart attack usually does not occur suddenly. In retrospect, numerous patients report that they had previously felt uncomfortable for many weeks. Those affected felt limp, tired, drained and exhausted. In this case, doctors speak of vital exhaustion.

Accordingly, the following early warning signs can point to an upcoming heart attack:

  • Mental and physical decline in performance
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Depressive moods

Signs and Heart Attack Symptoms

The following signs or symptoms in the chest or heart area can be signs of a heart attack:

  1. Extreme pain

If there is severe pain predominantly in the chest or exclusively behind the breastbone, which lasts for at least five minutes, red alert is announced. The same applies to pain, which then temporarily radiates to other parts of the body, such as arms, back, upper abdomen, jaw, such as the neck.

  1. Strong tightness

Heavy pressure or a strong feeling of tightness in the heart area also suggests a heart attack. Numerous heart attack patients repeatedly report that they had the feeling that a concrete slab was lying on their chest.

  1. Strong burning

If a heart attack does occur, many sufferers sometimes have to deal with burning pain.

  1. Shortness of breath, upper abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting

A heart attack can also make itself felt through rather unspecific symptoms. Often this is the case with women. They then have to struggle with shortness of breath, upper abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting.

  1. Pale complexion with cold sweats

Often those affected also suffer from a feeling of fear. At the same time, there is a pale complexion with cold sweats.

Silent Heart Attack - There are almost no symptoms here

A special case is the so-called silent heart attack. In this case it often affects people who suffer from diabetes, because their vessels have usually been stressed for a long time, so that the risk of hardening of the arteries is high. In this case, the typical chest pain often does not occur. Rather slight breathlessness and general malaise are the signs of a heart attack.

Heart attack duration

As soon as the heart attack patient arrives at the hospital, treatment and examination usually begin at the same time. Doctors usually begin with what is known as lysis therapy first. In this case, the person will be injected with medicines that will dissolve the blood clot. This form of therapy should be carried out as soon as possible after the heart attack. The time window for successful lysis therapy after the onset of a heart attack is only around 90 minutes.

At the same time, there is also an EKG, an ultrasound examination of the heart and a blood test. Significant markers such as troponin I and T occur at a certain level in the blood. As early as three hours after the heart attack, these special enzymes indicate whether the heart muscle tissue has been damaged. However, other laboratory values ​​such as myoglobin, glycogen phosphorylase BB and creatine kinase are just as important. The faster a heart attack is recognized and treated accordingly, the better it is for the patient.

On the other hand, if the lysis therapy is unsuccessful, a cardiac catheter is usually used. With the help of this method, the doctor not only recognizes which vessels are blocked and how the heart valves and how the heart muscle work, but can also remedy the cause of the infarction at the same time.

Heart attack symptoms conclusion:

A Heart attack shows in women like men mostly different symptoms. Sometimes there are hardly any signs, so that it is rather difficult to recognize the infarction as such. What is certain is that it is always better to consult a doctor at the first symptoms. The faster a heart attack is recognized, the better it is for the patient, because so-called lysis therapy usually only shows results 90 minutes after the onset of an infarction. If the appropriate treatment is quickly undertaken, the consequential damage will also be reduced. Especially since a heart attack detected too late can also lead to death. So it is better to see a doctor once more than once too little.


Sources and references:

  • https://www.herzstiftung.de/Anzeichen-Herzinfarkt.html
  • https://www.internisten-im-netz.de/krankheiten/herzinfarkt/anzeichen-symptome-eines-herzinfarkts/