Mini Heart Attack Symptoms: How Dangerous Could It Be?
4 Min Read
Heart attacks are the leading cause of death across the globe. They can be frightening and can be debilitating. If one can diagnose a heart attack early, mortality can be reduced significantly. Most of the time, the problem is people do not think it is a heart attack and tend to ignore the symptoms. Did you know there was such a thing as a mini-heart attack? Read on to understand mini-heart attack symptoms, what a mini-heart attack feels like and how you cope with it.
What Is a Mini Heart Attack?
The heart, like any other organ, has and needs a blood supply. When this supply is cut off partially or completely, heart cells die leading to heart attack. This is medically known as Myocardial Infarction. The most common reason for decreased blood supply is fat built up inside the vessels which ends up blocking the vessel. This can happen in any vessel. If it is in a main artery, the damage is enormous. But when it happens in branches, it can affect a relatively small portion of the heart muscle and not cause too much permanent damage. This is called a silent heart attack (MI) or Mini heart attack. The symptoms are mild and are commonly ignored or mistaken as a muscle spasm. Patients remember it as an episode of indigestion or strained muscle.
Mini Heart Attack Symptoms
The following are the symptoms of mini heart attacks.
1) Mild chest pain
2) Shortness of breath but not as severe as in a severe heart attack
3) Pain in the throat/mild burning sensation often confused as indigestion
4) Feeling lightheaded or nauseous
5) Discomfort in the stomach or extremities (one-sided or two-sided)
If you experience any of these symptoms, consult with a doctor immediately. The changes in a mini heart attack can be missed in ECG and one might need to get an ECHO and other advanced tests to assess the amount of damage.
Watch the video by interventional cardiologist Dr Girish B Navasundi below to understand the symptoms of a heart attack.
How Dangerous Can Mini Heart Attacks Be?
When someone is aware of the symptoms, one can approach a hospital or a clinic and this will help in avoiding major complications which sometimes can be lifesaving. But with a Mini heart attack, Symptoms are mild or absent in a few individuals making it difficult to diagnose and therefore further complicating the case. Many people have a misconception that mini heart attacks are not serious. But heart attacks are dangerous whether it is a mild one or a massive one. Mini heart attacks are a warning that something is not right. They are like a wake-up call to get serious. Even if the area involved is small, there is a risk for subsequent/second heart attacks which can be in a main vessel. With the small area of the heart affected, the vital organ can have permanent damage in the form of heart failure or arrhythmias.
How To Prevent Heart Attacks – Mini or Massive?
The most common cause of Heart attacks is abnormal fat deposition in the arteries. Simple lifestyle and diet changes can help reduce the risk to some extent.
1) Regular exercise
Moderate intensity exercise of 30 min a day for at least 5 times a week. This helps in burning the stored fat.
2) Avoid trans fats and saturated fats
(3) Consume green leafy vegetables and fruits
4) Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption
5) Stress management
Yoga or meditation can help in reducing stress and lower the burden on the heart.
Being aware of the symptoms of mini heart attacks is important and if one is not sure about the signs, it is better to get in touch with a physician immediately. Regular health checks, cardiac screening, and keeping BP and cholesterol in control can help prevent heart attacks. It is crucial to understand how we live and manage risk factors going forward that will affect what happens to us next.
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