Symptoms of the Widowmaker

More than 785,000 Americans have their first heart attack each year and another 470,000 people have subsequent heart attacks. Heart disease kills more people each year than all other cancers combined.

Some experts argue that heart disease is completely preventable. In fact, Dr. Chauncey Crandall has been all around the world, studying heart disease, and says there are areas of the world that are 100% free of heart disease.

Dr. Crandall says that if you think you’re having a heart attack, timing is critical.  According to Dr. Crandall’s study Silent Heart Attacks: A Special Newsmax Heart Health Report, there is a very direct correlation between recognizing the first symptom and getting help and mortality. The time between the first symptom and the heart attack is often referred to as ‘the golden hour.’

The problem with recognizing the symptoms of a heart attack, is that the symptoms are often vague and can be easily explained away.

Dr. Crandall, chief of the cardiac transplant team at Palm Beach Cardiovascular Clinic in Florida, has been educating patients about the symptoms and prevention of heart attacks for years and didn’t recognize the symptoms of his own impending heart attack.

Dr. Crandall says he noticed pain or discomfort in his left shoulder but explained it away as stress. After attempting to go for a walk, Dr. Crandall says he was having shortness of breath.  He was rushed to the hospital and was found to have 99% blockage of his left anterior descending coronary artery.  His heart was a ticking time bomb that was about to blow.

Because of his experience, Dr. Crandall wants to educate others on the lesser known or more silent symptoms of an impending heart attack.  He says to watch out for these symptoms for both men and women:

*Pain or discomfort in your left shoulder or shoulder blade As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.

*Feeling of indigestion or fullness or stomach flu or vomiting

*Fatigue or shortness of breath or light headedness 

*Inflammation of the joints

Dr. Crandall warns patients to listen to their bodies and its symptoms of disease; don’t try to explain them away, and he encourages anyone who thinks they may be experiencing the symptoms of a heart attack, to get medical help right away.

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