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Heart Attack Symptoms - Am I Having One?
Posted Thursday, March 25, 2004E-mail this page Printer-friendly page
What is a Heart Attack?
The heart is basically a large muscle that pumps blood throughout your body. Blood carries oxygen, which is essential for life. The heart itself also has small blood vessels which supply it with the same blood and oxygen.
Essentially, a "Heart Attack" is an event in which your heart is unable to get enough blood (oxygen) which causes the deprived part of the heart muscle to die.
The usual reason for this to occur is that one or more of the small blood vessels supplying the heart gets blocked. These blockages can happen gradually or suddenly, and may cause people problems without causing a true Heart Attack.
Another commonly used term, Angina, refers to the pain associated with the heart not getting enough blood. If the angina is severe enough or lasts long enough, it could result in a Heart Attack (where part of the heart muscle dies). However, it may also be mild and not cause any permanent damage (though these people are at risk for full heart attacks at any time)Heart Attack Symptoms
The first thing worth mentioning is that while any Chest Pain (where you heart is located) is concerning for Heart Pain, there are many things that can cause Chest Pain that don't have anything to do with your heart.
That being said, heart pain is one of the most concerning considerations in someone having chest pain, and unfortunately, people with any type of chest pain can be having a heart attack. As a result, doctors and hospitals take chest symptoms very seriously.
The traditional symptoms concerning for a heart attack include (but are not limited to):
The people more likely to get heart attacks include: men, people with diabetes, smokers, a family history of heart attacks, a personal history of heart attacks, and high cholesterol.
If you have chest discomfort or feel that you are having symptoms that could be a heart attack, you need to call 911 for help.