When people think of heart attacks, they usually consider the classic symptom – a sharp chest pain that moves to and runs down the left arm. Although this is how it strikes many heart attack sufferers, cardiac arrest affects its victims in different ways. Another belief is that heart attacks only occur in those who have an unhealthy lifestyle. The fact of the matter is that there are so many more ways to detect signs of cardiac arrest. Heart attacks can occur in even the healthiest of people, although this is usually linked to family history of heart disease. One very important sign that some people misread is the presence of lower back pain. In some cases, this can signal a heart attack, although it is typically accompanied with other symptoms of cardiac arrest.
Even though heart attacks happen abruptly, they are usually a result of ongoing problems in the heart. This does not necessarily mean that they are within your control. Even if you have a healthy diet and are active, a family history of heart conditions can make you susceptible to them; let your doctor know if anyone else in your family suffers from heart problems.
When low back pain is a signal of an oncoming heart attack, it is usually accompanied with other heart attack signs. These include shortness of breath, sweating, unusual levels of fatigue, and sometimes unexplained pain in the abdomen. These symptoms can come and go for about a month before the chest pain of a heart attack is felt. If these symptoms affect you suddenly, don’t just call your doctor; contact emergency services immediately. When you experience a heart attack, mere seconds can mean the difference between life and death.
Also, one important thing to keep in mind is that not all heart attacks are felt by those who suffer from them. It is estimated that about 25 percent of mild heart attacks go undetected. When some people go to the hospital for a painful heart attack, their doctors discover that they have actually had them previously, judging by the scar tissue built up on the heart. This is why it’s important to tell your doctor of any family history of heart problems; this information will likely prompt him or her to monitor you more closely for signs of heart disease.
Living a healthy lifestyle is the best prevention for heart attacks. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and not smoking will add years to your life and help to prevent the risk of cardiovascular problems down the road. Overexertion can exacerbate heart problems, so check with your doctor before starting any new exercise routine. Regardless of weight, people with heart problems need to be especially wary of foods high in saturated fat and cholesterol. Smoking cigarettes causes poor cardiovascular health, so if you do smoke, ask your doctor for information on how to quit.
Written By: Updated: June 27,2011