It’s a common misconception that you’ll only know you’re having a heart attack the second it occurs. But what if your body was trying to tell you about your risk factor and any disruptions in your heart’s blood supply before this potentially fatal attack occurred?
While some heart attacks are sudden and occur seemingly without a warning, other’s experience a heart attack after their body shows gradual signs and symptoms.
Recognizing a Heart Attack One Month Before It Happens
Don’t neglect your health and risk unnecessary harm that could prove to be fatal. Listen to these common body signs that will let you become aware of a potential heart attack a month in advance.
1. Stomach Upsets
While it’s easy to write off your abdominal pains as the result of your dietary choices or the stomach flu, it’s vital to pay attention to any sudden cases of ingestion, nausea, vomiting, or general stomach discomforts, too.
The stomach and heart possess a complex — but very much existent — connection. So, when your stomach begins to show signs of distress, it may just serve as an indication of a heart issue, too.
Nerves in the body travel through the next and esophagus, emitting nerve fibers to the heart before arriving in the abdomen. This coinciding circuits can cause nausea and seemingly unwarranted bouts of vomiting or stomach pain (1).
2. Overwhelming Fatigue
It’s not uncommon to feel bogged down from time to time, especially in today’s fast-paced society. But if you feel sudden feelings of unexplainable fatigue and weakness, it can be a sign of something much more severe than your everyday stress.
Simple tasks, such as taking a shower or making the bed, can seem like tremendous activities for a prospective heart attack victim. Often, the lethargy is unprovoked and manifests for even easy tasks.
If you feel a sense of fatigue that’s not brought on by any physical activity or unusual amounts of stress, pay attention to what your body is trying to tell you. Since fatigue is one of the top warning signs that occur pre-heart attack, consider scheduling a visit with your doctor to rule out any more serious problems (2).
3. Shortness of Breath
Also commonly referred to as dyspnea, shortness of breath is an issue that many heart attack patients realize they had in the days before their attack occurred (3).
It may feel like you’re struggling to catch your breath, even when you’re performing simple daily activities or merely sitting down. Heart disturbances can impact the level of oxygen flowing in your blood and make it harder for you to take a deep breath with ease. This can lead you to feel dizzy and breathless on a daily basis in the weeks before having a heart attack.
4. Sleep Disturbances
If you find yourself falling asleep at the dinner table — or pretty much anywhere else — throughout the day, it may be your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. And if you’re having the opposite issue and are suffering from insomnia, take this as a warning sign, too.
Sleep disturbances can be an indication of a disruption in the body’s oxygen levels due to heart disease or complications occurring in this vital artery (4). If you used to have regular sleep patterns but now experience restlessness or problems staying asleep, it may be a subtle warning of a change occurring in your body.
5. Chest Pain
Have you ever experienced a sudden period of chest pain and shrugged it off shortly after your body returned to normal? Most patients may feel tightness, pressure, or general pain in the chest area in the month proceeding a heart attack.
However, many patients breathe a sigh of relief when their discomfort goes away and doesn’t seem to amount to a more serious issue. But, that doesn’t mean that your body isn’t trying to tell you of a severe problem occurring in your body.
If you have that feeling like an elephant is sitting on your chest or begin to feel an unusual sensation in your heart, schedule an immediate appointment with your primary care physician.
Do you know the early warning signs of a heart attack that can occur up to a month before this heart disruption occurs? When you tune into your body and educate yourself on the early warning signs that indicate a potential heart problem, it can help you take the necessary preventative measures that may just save your life, too.