Many people who experience heart attacks have no prior symptoms or known risk factors, or at least none they discuss with their primary care provider. People simply don't think they will ever have a heart attack. Until they do. Any heart attack survivor will share a long list of things they wish they had done differently prior to the heart attack to help avoid it. By communicating openly with your provider and following their advice, more people can control the risk factors that lead to heart disease.
Controlling the risk factors comes down to three major categories: diet, exercise, and blood pressure. Limit the amount of sugar, salt, bad cholesterol from red meats as much as possible. Get at least 2.5 hours of brisk walking--or even better, jogging--in each week to keep the heart pumping. And get your blood pressure checked often. Your body adjusts to high blood pressure so you don't even realize it is high. Over time, that can lead to hardened arteries that cannot fight plaque buildup.
When a heart attack does happen, it is important to know the signs and get it checked out. The more well-known signs include chest pain, pain in the left arm, shortness of breath, and nausea. Other symptoms can include feelings of indigestion that don't go away, excessive sweating, and back or jaw pain.
For this episode of the Perry Health Pulse podcast, we recorded a speech by internal medicine physician, Dr. S. Das Pamnani, about the risk factors and symptoms of heart disease.