Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Insomnia is a Heart Attack Symptom

There are many symptoms that you can watch for that may lead to a heart attack. They can be different for men and women and still different in older adults. In fact, 95% of women who had heart attacks reported symptoms up to a month before an attack, but these symptoms weren’t chest pains, so they went unrecognized. Many often remember experiencing an unexplained inability to fall asleep easy or stay asleep during the month or weeks that lead up to their heart attack. Patients often report the feeling of being keyed up, tense and lying in bed with racing thoughts and sometimes with a rapid heart rate. Women reported a sense of impending doom as if disaster was about to happen. If you don’t normally have trouble sleeping, remember that insomnia is a heart attack symptom and you should speak to your physician.

[caption id="attachment_703" align="alignright" width="245" caption="Insomnia is a Heart Attack Symptom - Sharp Pain Between Shoulder Blades"][/caption]

Other than an insomnia symptom, another often overlooked heart attack indication is nausea and/or stomach pain as this warning sign can range from mild indigestion to severe cramping and vomiting. Women and adults over 60 are more likely to have this symptom and not recognize it tied to cardiac health. We are all familiar with the heart attack symptom that causes a sharp pain or numbness in the arm, but some experience this pain in the neck or shoulder area or feel it running along the jaw and up by the ear. Women and men also report a pain between the shoulder blades. This pain may come and go just like the feeling of a pulled muscle. It can also move from place to place, as you may experience a pain in the jaw one day and then in your arm the next. Any pain that radiates upwards and out is important to bring to your doctors attention.

An overwhelming sense of fatigue that last several days is another sign of heart trouble. 70 percent of women reported extreme fatigue weeks or months prior to their heart attack. Extreme fatigue lays you flat in bed and if you are usually a fairly energetic person, you need to call your doctor. Your heart may not be getting enough blood so it isn’t getting enough oxygen. When there isn’t enough oxygen to circulate your blood you may not be able to catch your breath, often feeling light headed and dizzy. Many people fatigue due to lack of oxygen, unable to get a satisfying breath and feeling dizzy aren’t related to heart disease but related to the lungs. Do you have trouble catching you breath after you walk up the stairs? 40% of women that have had this symptom have had a heart attack.

When the heart muscle can’t function properly its waste products aren’t carried away from tissues by the blood which can result in an edema or swelling caused by fluid retention. My father’s edema started at his feet and moved upwards toward his heart. When he started to feel the pain from the swelling he called his doctor and a good thing to because if the swelling would have reached his chest he might not be here today. Swelling not only is a symptom of a heart attack it also is a symptom of congestive heart failure. He ended up needing triple by-pass surgery. Fortunately, he is still living today at the age of 81, but has had to change his diet (no salt) and quit smoking.

Fatigue and weakness along with clammy, sweaty skin lead some people to believe they're coming down with the flu when, in fact, they're having a heart attack. Even the feeling we know are heart attack symptom like heaviness or pressure in the chest some people think they are having a chest cold or the flu. If you suffer from flu-like symptoms but do not have a temperature talk to an experienced medical professional because sometimes these are a result of poor circulation caused by fluid accumulating in the lungs which is a result of heart disease.

When you lay in bed at night and can’t get to sleep because you have a rapid, irregular pulse and heart rate remember this symptom also predates a heart attack and is known as ventricular tachycardia. If your rapid pulse and heart rate aren’t brought on by exertion and is not a panic attack (which is often confused as a heart attack) you need to let your doctor know. If symptoms last for more than 2-3 minutes or if the pain leaves and then returns, it could be heart disease and you need to call 9-1-1 and get to the emergency room right away. Only by having testing beyond the standard electrocardiogram will you know if the pain is coming from your heart.

When you talk to your doctor about your symptoms make sure you discuss your family history of heart disease and if you have high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol. Explain the symptom or symptoms that you are aware of and even those that may not appear to be related like, a UTI, memory loss or just a general feeling of being out of it. This will make it easier for him to determine the treatment needed.

[caption id="attachment_704" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Insomnia is a Heart Attack Symptom - Magnesium Helps "][/caption]

If you can control your symptoms through diet and exercise he/she may also recommend magnesium. Magnesium is essential for heart health as it helps maintain normal heart rhythm. One study results found that taking magnesium for a year can reduce symptoms and improve survival rates. Your doctor may suggest taking magnesium and calcium together to ensure that your heart will function properly and help our muscles relax which in turn will allow us to have a better night's sleep.. If you have cardiac history or experience other medical issues never take a supplement without your doctor’s approval as any supplement may interfere with other medications or methods of treatment.

Finally, magnesium seems to also help maintain sleep-inducing levels of the hormone, melatonin. Many people have found relief from insomnia by supplementing their diet with magnesium. More information on magnesium and sleep see:  Magnesium and sleep Part 2 Foods Rich in Magnesium. The content in Insomnia is a Heart Attack Symptom is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for your sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional. Tell your doctor before taking any supplement like Magnesium for sleep as it may have an interaction with other medications or health issues.
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  1. There's certainly a lot to know about this topic. I really like all of the points you made.


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