All of us at anxietycentre.com have experienced debilitating anxiety. But we’ve also overcome it and returned to normal and lasting health. Because we know the hardship anxiety unwellness can cause, we are committed to helping others, with over 27 years of service.” - Jim Folk, President, anxietycentre.com

Heart Attack Symptoms

NOTE: Heart attack symptoms can mimick anxiety symptoms. It's best to seek immediate medical attention if you aren't sure if you are having anxiety symptoms or a heart emergency.

Heart attack, heart attack symptoms are also known as a myocardial infarction, coronary occlusion, or thrombosis, It occurs when the arteries that supply the heart muscle with oxygen become occluded (blocked) by a blood clot. This occlusion prevents the flow of oxygenated blood to a section of the heart muscle.

Symptoms of a heart attack:
When the occlusion of the flow of blood is severe or prolonged, usually a period of 35 minutes to 2 hours, cardiac pain of sudden onset is commonly associated with it. The pain is often described as:

Other symptoms associated with a heart attack are:

Frequently, heart attacks are experienced in the presence of physical or emotional stress. However, they have been known to occur while at rest, too. Soreness from a myocardial infarction can last anywhere from one to three days.

A heart attack may permanently damage the heart muscle. However, today we have “clot busting” drugs that have proven to be very effective in dissolving the clot and allowing for the restoration of circulation to the affected heart tissue. This has resulted in the decrease in the extent of cellular death distal to the occlusion.

Upon arrival at the hospital emergency room, patients are taken from the vehicle to the emergency room via stretcher or wheelchair. Walking is strongly discouraged at this time due to the extra stress it puts on the heart muscle.

Patient’s can expect to have blood drawn for testing. Elevation in the plasma levels (a component of blood) of certain intracellular enzymes are typically present during or immediately following a heart attack and can be identified by laboratory testing. These enzymes include SGOT, LDH, and CPK. Although they are not conclusive evidence of a heart attack, they are extremely useful diagnostic tools when combined with other data collected from additional procedures and observations.

Patients will be given an electrocardiography (ECK or EKG) as part of the standard procedures for suspected myocardial infarction. Commonly, there are changes in the normal electrocardiograph readings indicative of a myocardial infarction. Doctors look for a wide deep Q wave, S-T segment elevation, or T wave inversion.

People who think they may be experiencing a heart attack are encouraged to report to the hospital emergency room promptly. Early intervention has proven to save lives, greatly reduced the extent of injury to the heart muscle, and often has lead to more positive prognoses for clients.

Risk factors for a heart attack

Preventive Care

The following lifestyle changes can help prevent heart attacks:

These lifestyle changes can go a long way to prevent a heart related medical condition and heart attack.

Return to Anxiety-like Medical Conditions.

NOTE: We recommend that you have a complete medical evaluation done anytime you have a medical concern. Medical professionals are well trained to identify serious medical conditions. It's recommended that you fully describe your symptoms to your doctor, then work with her/him through to the correct diagnosis.

While there are many anxiety-like medical conditions, most conditions have uniquely identifiable symptoms UNCOMMON to anxiety. If you have seen your doctor and he/she has ruled out this anxiety-like medical condition, you can feel confident that their diagnosis is correct. If, however, you feel he/she has missed something, you should persist with your doctor until you are satisfied. You may also want to get second and even third opinions if you are still unsatisfied.

Because it is common for anxiety sufferers to 'over worry' about their symptoms (since so many conditions produce anxiety-like symptoms we often scare ourselves when we look at all of the conditions we COULD have), having a thorough medical evaluation completed will most often alleviate these fears.

Working with an experienced anxiety disorder therapist, coach, or counselor is the most effective way to overcome anxiety and its many symptoms. Until the core causes of anxiety are addressed - we call these core causes the underlying factors of anxiety - a struggle with anxiety unwellness can return again and again. Dealing with the underlying factors of anxiety is the best way to eliminate problematic anxiety and its symptoms once and for all.

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Authors: Jim Folk, Marilyn Folk, BScN. Last updated May 2015.

anxietycentre.com: Information, support, and coaching/counseling/therapy for problematic anxiety and its sensations and symptoms, including anxiety symptom.