Is Your Chest Pain a Heart Attack? | El Camino Hospital

By: El Camino Hospital

[ Silence ] I'm Gordon Geison -- and I'm thrilled to be here today. As a matter of fact, as a heart attack survivor, I'm thrilled to be anywhere. If I look around and I'm not in the emergency room, it's a good day, and I'm happy. I want to talk to you today very briefly about two things. First, what are the warning signs that you're having a heart attack. It might not be as easy as you think to know if you're having a heart attack. Second, what can you do to help prevent a heart attack. Okay.

How do you know you're having a heart attack? It seems like an easy question, but it's really not all that clear. We have this image from movies and television that heart attacks are these big, dramatic events. The guy grabs his chest and falls over in pain. That happens occasionally, I suppose, but the fact is that most heart attacks start out very slowly and people feel only minor pain, a little discomfort sometimes. When I had my heart attack, I had no idea that it was happening. I felt a little lightheaded, a little tightness in my chest, but I was going to ignore it. My wife finally insisted that we go to the emergency room, and she saved my life.

Doctors will tell you that time is tissue; that is, the longer you delay getting help, the more your heart muscle will be damaged. So don't ignore it. Go to the hospital, get help right away. Call 911 within five minutes if you experience any of these symptoms, four symptoms that you want to look out for.

One, discomfort in the chest. If you feel a tightness in your chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or if it goes away for a while and then comes back, it could be a heart attack. Second, discomfort in other parts of your body. If your arms are sore, particularly, or your neck or sometimes your jaw or even your stomach, it could be a heart attack. Third, if you have shortness of breath, if you have trouble catching your breath, it could be a heart attack. And fourth, some people experience flu-like symptoms. They break out in a cold sweat, or they're lightheaded or nauseous; it could be a heart attack. Don't ignore it.

Is Your Chest Pain a Heart Attack? | El Camino Hospital

Don't delay. Time is tissue. But even more important than knowing the warning signs of a heart attack is knowing what you can do right now to try to prevent a heart attack. One of the risk factors for having a heart attack is a stressful life. If you're very stressed, it could lead to a heart attack. So you want to find something that helps you relax.

Personally, I enjoy juggling, so when I'm feeling stressed, I grab my pins and I start juggling. Some people meditate, some people sew, some people garden. But whatever it is, the important thing is to find something you enjoy and something that you can fit into your lifestyle and do regularly. Take time to smell the roses and shake off the small stuff. Another factor in having a heart attack is exercise or lack of exercise, so it's very important to stay active. Some people like to play tennis, some people like to play soccer, some people play softball; the lazy people play softball. Just kidding.

But the research is overwhelming that people that engage in vigorous activity, regular cardiovascular exercise, dramatically reduce their chances of having a heart attack. So find something you enjoy and just do it. Don't even think of it as exercise, think of it as lifesaving fun. Another way you can reduce your risk factor for having a heart attack is your diet. You want to eat right, reduce the saturated fats in your diet and increase your consumption of fruits and vegetables. Everybody knows that an apple a day keeps the doctor away.

[ Pause ] So there you have it. It's very simple. Remember to get help if you have any of those symptoms of a heart attack.

Know the warning signs. Don't delay; time it tissue. Second, eat right, reduce the stress in your life, and exercise.

And on a personal note, I want to add that if you should ever need help, there's no better place to go than El Camino Hospital. They saved my life, and I'm very grateful. Hang in there. [ Silence ].

3 Things Every Woman Should Know About Heart Attacks

Heart disease has historically been thought of as a man's disease, but it turns out that it is the number-one killer of women. We bring you the bottom line on everything you should…

Views: 2 251 By: Bottom Line Inc
Teenagers Mysterious Pain Finally Diagnosed as Slipping Rib Syndrome

- Doctors couldn't explain what was going on with 16-year-old Haley's symptoms. They even suggested the shooting ache in her rib, that was a teenager's cry for attention.…

Views: 1 124 389 By: The Doctors
Meti-Man used in Department of Kinesiology and Health

Brett Massie: Right now he's running as what we call Stan Deardman or Standard Man. So we're getting base physiology right now, he's breathing, he's blinking now that…

Views: 827 By: MiamiOHehs
Shoulder Pain Exercises PNF (Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation)…

Hey everybody, it's Doctor Jo. My buddy Dave asked me if I could make a video for shoulder exercises for the rotator cuff, but a little more advanced than the ones I already have,…

Views: 42 038 By: AskDoctorJo
Hearts in Hand - How a Procedure Through Your Wrist Can Save Your Life

My name is Sister Geraldine Burns and I am the vice principle at Bishop Fenwick High School and I live in Beverly. I was having difficulty breathing. I would go from here, upstairs,…

Views: 13 494 By: North Shore Medical Center
Causes of Severe Acne on 7 Different Locations of Body

The Locations of Body Acne Which Can Reveal Health Problems #1 Zone 13 & 14 Acne on the lower body or buttocks can be caused by underwear that isn't breathable, or some sort of…

Views: 1 103 011 By: 4 Ever Green