Fatigue An Early Sign Of Heart Attack
Unusual fatigue and sleeplessness might be early warning signs of a heart attack in women, a study suggests. The study, published Monday in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, surveyed 515 women who had heart attacks and found that 95 percent had such symptoms as much as a month before they were stricken.
Chest pains can be early indicator of a heart attack, but 43 percent of the women in the study said they never experienced chest discomfort, said researcher Jean C. McSweeney.
The study is the first time researchers have identified fatigue and sleeplessness as possible early warning signs of a heart attack in women.
If we can get women to recognize the symptoms early, we can get them treatment and prevent or delay a heart attack, said McSweeney, a professor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock. Thats why the early symptoms are significant.
The researchers said they do not know whether the findings also apply to men, who tend to have somewhat different symptoms when a heart attack strikes.
InsertArtThe study surveyed women ages 29 to 97 who had been released four to six months earlier from five hospitals in Arkansas, North Carolina and Ohio after suffering a heart attack. They were shown a list of 70 symptoms they may have experienced during the months leading up the heart attack and were asked to rate them based on frequency and severity.
The women had more than just ordinary fatigue and sleeplessness.
Treating A Tight Chest
Your doctor will conduct tests to determine the cause of your chest tightness. If the tests for a heart attack come back negative, your symptoms may be caused by anxiety.
You should discuss your symptoms with your doctor to determine when to seek immediate medical attention if you experience chest tightness again. It may be possible to link your chest tightness to other symptoms thatll help you identify anxiety versus a cardiac event.
High Or Persistent Fever
The big worries: Fever is your body’s way of fighting infection. But “fever of 103 degrees and higher warrants a trip to the doctor period,” says David Bronson, M.D., president of the American College of Physicians. It may indicate a urinary tract infection, pneumonia, endocarditis or meningitis, which may require antibiotics to clear up. A persistent low-grade fever for several weeks with no obvious cause is characteristic of some infections, including a sinus infection, and some cancers, like lymphoma and leukemia. “Cancer is on the list of things we think about, but it is usually not the first thing,” says Ronan Factora, M.D., a geriatrician at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.
What else it might be: Fever can be triggered by a virus, which, depending on your health and other symptoms, may require hospitalization.
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General Exercise Tips For People With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Be guided by your doctor or specialist, but general suggestions include:
- Experiment to find the type of exercise that works best for you. Choose from a range of gentle activities such as stretching, yoga, tai chi, walking and light weight training.
- Keep an activity diary so you have a long-term picture of your performance levels and factors that might impact on your symptoms.
- Stop the physical activity well before you feel any symptom flare. Pacing yourself is very important.
- Remember that the amount of exercise you can do will change from one day to the next.
- Listen to your body if you dont feel up to exercising on a particular day, dont.
- Find out as much as you can about your ME/CFS. Make sure you consult with health professionals who fully understand ME/CFS as a ‘real’ biomedical condition.
Is This Unique To Covid
“We really don’t know what’s causing these symptoms. That’s a major focus of the research right now,” Dr. Allison Navis, a professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, said during a call with the Infectious Diseases Society of America on Friday.
“There’s a question of whether this is something that’s unique to Covid itself and it’s the Covid virus that’s triggering these symptoms or if this could be part of a general post-viral syndrome,” Navis said, adding that medical experts see similar long-term symptoms after other viral infections.
Anotherstudy published in early January in the medical journal The Lancet studied 1,733 patients who were discharged from a hospital in Wuhan, China, between January and May of last year. Of those patients, 76% reported at least one symptom six months after their initial illness. The proportion was higher in women.
“We found that fatigue or muscle weakness, sleep difficulties, and anxiety or depression were common, even at 6 months after symptom onset,” researchers wrote in the study.
They noted that the symptoms reported months after someone’s Covid-19 diagnosis were consistent with data that was previously found in follow-up studies of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS, which is also a coronavirus.
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A Chest That Is Heavy & Tiredness With A Shortness Of Breath
With the advent of the Internet and ready access to medical information, both professional and lay, researching illnesses and their symptoms is just a few mouse clicks away. This easy availability of information sometimes makes for arm-chair doctors when the real thing is necessary. Its important to rationally review your symptoms and, if ever in doubt, seek medical advice.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Never Ignore Chronic Body Aches & Fatigue
Chronic body aches and fatigue can affect anyone- no matter what your age- and can be a quite stressful experience.
Some of the most common body aches include neck/back pain, muscle pain, headaches, and joint pain. In addition, there is neuropathic pain, which is a condition that results in a malfunction of the nervous system.
Chronic body aches and fatigue can be a serious medical condition that needs medical attention and should never be ignored.
Following are some of the most common causes of body aches and fatigue that you should be aware of.
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Should I Be Worried If I Have Chest Pain And Fatigue
Like a cars dashboard, your body alerts you to trouble within. When your cars symptoms are nonspecific, like if it idles fast or feels sluggish, you take it to a mechanic to find out whats wrong.
Likewise, chest pain and fatigue are signals that somethings wrong, but its not an automatic cause for worry. These two symptoms together can mean you have:
- Heart disease
- Pectus excavatum
Trying to figure out on your own exactly whats causing your discomfort is risky. If you have a serious condition and you ignore it or misdiagnose it yourself, you could be headed for a heart attack.
When To See A Healthcare Provider
The symptoms most commonly caused by heart disease can also be produced by other medical conditions, from very serious to entirely benign. If you experience any of the above symptoms, you need an evaluation by your healthcare provider to identify the cause. These are symptoms that should never be ignored.
Additionally, if you’re having any difficulty getting an erection, especially if the problem has been gradual, this is nearly always one of the first signs of either heart disease or diabetes in men. Be sure to see your healthcare provider as soon as you notice any problem with erectile dysfunction.
If you have a family history of heart disease or you’re worried about your risk for developing it, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider. Staying proactive where your heart health is concerned can help you detect any problems early, giving you a better potential outcome.
Heart Disease Doctor Discussion Guide
Get our printable guide for your next healthcare provider’s appointment to help you ask the right questions.
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What Is Microvascular Angina
Angina is any chest pain that occurs when your heart muscle doesnt get enough blood to meet its work demand, a condition called ischemia.
The most common source of angina is obstructive coronary disease, which happens when one of the hearts arteries is blocked. People with this type of angina might feel chest pain during exercise or exertion if not enough blood is supplied to the working heart muscle.
But according to the American Heart Association, up to 50 percent of women with angina symptoms dont have a blocked artery. In fact, they may not even have chest pain, though they may have other symptoms.
They may feel severely short of breath. They might feel extreme fatigue, which rest doesnt make better. They may have pain with exertion in their back, jaw or arm with no chest pain. They might have nausea and indigestion, says Michos.
These women should be evaluated for microvascular angina. Microvascular angina can occur when the hearts tiniest arteries are not able to supply enough oxygen-rich blood due to spasm or cellular dysfunction.
It can be difficult to diagnose microvascular angina because an angiogram a specialized X-ray of the heart wont show obstruction or blockages in these tiny arteries, and symptoms like nausea and indigestion mimic other illnesses. Often, your doctor will perform a stress test to monitor the hearts function during exercise to make a diagnosis.
When To Worry About Chest Pain
- When to Worry About Chest Pain
Sometimes chest pain is just chest pain. Sometimes it’s only a muscle strain, heartburn or bronchitis. More often than not there are benign reasons, but you should be evaluated by a healthcare professional if you’re worried.
Chest pain can signal a serious condition, heart-related or otherwise. Here’s when you should call a healthcare provider if you’re having chest pain.
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Sleep Disorders And Fatigue
Symptoms: Chronic fatigue, feeling exhausted upon awakening, snoring
Sleep disorders are a group of conditions that disrupt or prevent restful, restorative sleep. That can take a toll on your health and quality of life, so its important to look out for signs and symptoms.
Sleep apnea is one of the most common sleep disorders. If you or your partner notices loud snoring and you wake up tired and stay that way, you could have sleep apnea. More than one-third of adults in the U.S. snore at least a few nights a week. But if the snoring stops your breathing for seconds at a time, it could be sleep apnea. Learn more about the best sleep positions and see if sleeping on your stomach is bad or not.
Obstructive sleep apnea causes low blood oxygen levels. That’s because blockages prevent air from getting to the lungs. The low oxygen levels also affect how well your heart and brain work. Sometimes, the only clue that you might have sleep apnea is chronic fatigue.
Your doctor may prescribe a medical device called CPAP that helps keep your airways open while you sleep. In severe cases of sleep apnea, surgery may help. The surgeon will remove tissues that are blocking the airways. If left untreated, sleep apnea can increase your risk of a stroke or heart attack.
But sleep apnea is just one of many sleep disorders that cause fatigue. Other common types include:
How Is A Pots Diagnosis Made
Problems with the autonomic nervous system can be difficult to diagnose. The standard test for POTS is the tilt table test. During the test, you are secured to a table that tilts from being horizontal to almost a 90-degree angle. The test measures your hearts response to switching from laying down to standing up. Some people with POTS faint during this test, even if they rarely faint standing up.
Although the test seems straightforward, many things can interfere with it. Its important that a POTS specialist oversees it. Its best to work with a doctor who has diagnosed and treated patients with POTS. This could be a cardiologist, a neuromuscular specialist or another doctor.
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Chronically Tired Fatigue May Be A Sign Of Heart Problems
Heart disease is one of the number one killers in the United States. Our womens health care providers are here to help you stay healthy. Thats why were spreading the word about a subtle, but dangerous sign that you could have heart disease: fatigue.
Fatigue can stop you in your tracks and even signal serious problems like heart disease. Feeling abnormally tired? Talk to our womens health care provider.
Many of us mistakenly believe that heart disease is mainly a concern for men. However, women are also at risk for this serious health condition.
Here are some quick facts on heart disease in women:
- Heart disease is responsible for 1 in every 5 female deaths
- 1 in 16 women 20 years old or older have coronary artery disease
Women often experience different symptoms of heart disease than men, which can make it hard to notice early warning signs. If youre experiencing unexplained tiredness and fatigue, come to our womens health clinicto help find the root of the problem.
Sudden Vision Changes May Be Signs Of A Stroke
As you age, its normal for your vision to progressively worsen. But dont ever ignore visual changes that affect only one eye, the sudden onset of double vision, or the inability to see the center of what youre looking at.
Vision changes that occur suddenly can be signs of a stroke. Theyre particularly alarming if they come with other warning symptoms of stroke, such as numbness on one side of the body, or difficulty speaking or finding the right words. More subtle variations on these symptoms could indicate a transient ischemic attack, commonly called a mini-stroke. Getting them checked out could prevent a larger stroke later, Baechler says.
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When To Call The Doctor
If you have any signs of heart disease, call your health care provider right away. Don’t wait to see if the symptoms go away or dismiss them as nothing.
- You have chest pain or other symptoms of a heart attack
- You know you have angina and have chest pain that doesn’t go away after 5 minutes of rest or after taking nitroglycerine
- You think you may be having a heart attack
- You become extremely short of breath
- You think you may have lost consciousness
Warning Signs And Symptoms Of Heart Disease
Heart disease often develops over time. You may have early signs or symptoms long before you have serious heart problems. Or, you may not realize you are developing heart disease. The warning signs of heart disease may not be obvious. Also, not every person has the same symptoms.
Certain symptoms, such as chest pain, ankle swelling, and shortness of breath may be signals that something is wrong. Learning the warning signs can help you get treatment and help prevent a heart attack or stroke.
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What You Should Do During A Heart Attack
If you think you are having a heart attack, you or someone nearby should call emergency services immediately. Its unsafe to drive yourself to the hospital during a heart attack, so call an ambulance. While you may feel awake and alert enough to drive, the chest pain could get so severe that you may have trouble breathing or difficulty thinking clearly.
Is Surprising Or Sudden Weight Gain Serious
Dramatic, unexplained changes in weight can be a sign of a serious health problem. For example, weight loss can be a sign of cancer, while weight gain may be a warning sign of heart failure or thyroid issues. If you experience new bloating or distension in your midsection that is persistent, it could be a sign of ovarian cancer, says Dr. Baechler. Ovarian cancer is uncommon, yet bloating is often one of the first symptoms.
If you have weight gain along with swelling in both of your legs and shortness of breath when you lie flat, you could be showing signs of heart failure, says Ashley Simmons, MD, medical director of the University of Kansas Hospital’s Adelaide C. Ward Women’s Heart Health Center in Kansas City, Kansas. Rapid weight gain, swelling, and retention of fluid can occur when your heart doesnt pump fluid as efficiently as it should.
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Q: Why Is Pots Often Misdiagnosed
A: Many of the symptoms described above seem very cardiac-driven. However, at the hospital or ER, the doctors will find that the POTS patients heart is fine. Its actually the adrenaline thats producing a lot of these symptoms to compensate for a neurologic problem.
Often, patients have so many symptoms and are consulting so many different specialists that theres no cohesive assessment or treatment. In addition, POTS symptoms are often misdiagnosed as adrenal fatigue a term used to describe a group of symptoms when nothing else can be used to explain it.
Awareness of POTS in todays medical culture is limited. Recently, however, theres been a growing awareness of POTS thats evolving across the board. As the general population is learning more about it, the medical community is being educated as well.
Worsening Shortness Of Breath Could Be A Sign Of Heart Disease
Dont ignore shortness of breath by assuming its from a lack of conditioning or recent weight gain. If you experience shortness of breath after exertion that progressively gets worse, it could be a sign of a heart disease like aortic stenosis or coronary artery disease . Check with your doctor if you have shortness of breath that suddenly gets worse.
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