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Know the Signs of a Heart Attack

Heart attacks rarely strike a man without warning, but you may not recognize the signs if you don’t know what to look for. Knowing the warning signs of an impending heart attack can help you take action before you’re suddenly stricken by extreme chest pain.

Overcome by Extreme Fatigue

Take notice if your everyday routine suddenly feels like more work than it should. Overwhelming fatigue can indicate a problem in the heart’s left ventricle, which is responsible for pumping oxygen-rich blood throughout the body.

Erection Problems

Difficulty getting or maintaining an erection can be caused by damaged blood vessels in the reproductive system, and if blood vessels are damaged here, they could be damaged near the heart as well. If erection problems persist, it’s worth getting checked out by a urologist and/or a cardiologist.

Cramps in Legs or Hips While Walking

A pain in your calves that moves up to your thighs and hips can be an indicator of peripheral artery disease (PAD), which reduces blood flow to your limbs, head and stomach. PAD can also signal coronary artery disease, which is caused by plaque buildup in the heart’s blood vessels. This buildup increases your risk of a heart attack.

Loud, Persistent Snoring

If you snore heavily, wake up fighting for air or feel tired during the day despite getting to bed at a decent hour, you may have sleep apnea. This sleep disorder, marked by pauses in breathing, can stress the body by causing an irregular heartbeat and raising blood pressure. These can all raise your chances of having a heart attack. Consult a sleep medicine specialist for help.

Feeling Sick to Your Stomach

If you have a persistent feeling of nausea or indigestion, it could be tied to heart problems. Gastrointestinal tract nerves are tied to nerves from the heart. In many cases, nausea associated with a future heart attack worsens with physical activity and eases with rest.

Heed the Warning Signs

If you experience any of these symptoms, listen to your body and visit your family physician or cardiologist. If you experience the classic warning signs of a heart attack – including chest pressure, tightness, shortness of breath, a cold sweat, or discomfort in arms, neck or jaw – call 911 immediately.

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