Louisiana Heat Can Affect Your Heart
Your chest tightens and your feel like you can’t breathe. You have pain in your jaw, neck or back. Your shoulders or arms ache. You are feeling weak, sweaty and maybe even faint. These are the most commonly known signs of a heart attack.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you just might be one of the 735,000 Americans who have a heart attack every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control. But if you think a heart attack looks the same for everyone, think again.
“For women, signs of a heart attack may be more subtle and they may not even have the pressure in their chest,” said Dr. Corwin A. Thomas, FACC, FASNC, FSCAI, Board Certified Interventional Cardiologist and Board Certified Nuclear Cardiologist in Lafayette, Louisiana. “As a result, they may think that they have a virus, the flu or indigestion and just try to deal with it instead of going to the emergency room.”
Heart attacks can be life-threatening and occur when the blood flow that brings the oxygen to the heart muscle is cut off. This happens when arteries become clogged with fat, cholesterol and other substances (plaque). Unfortunately, not getting to the emergency room when you first start having symptoms can cost you valuable time.
Not everyone will have heart attack risk factors or experience symptoms before they suffer their first heart attack. After a chilly winter, the warmer weather brings many people outside for exercise and recreational activities. Consider scheduling an appointment with your physician before you venture outside for prolonged periods of time. This can give you a better understanding of your heart’s current health.
“The summer heat and humidity can actually affect your heart,” said Thomas. “The hotter your body gets, the harder your heart is pumping and more strain there is on your cardiovascular system. If you already have a weak or a damaged heart, it can make matters much worse.”
Before the Louisiana temperatures rise, find out if you’re at risk for heart disease or a heart attack. The risks include your age, lifestyle and family history. “You are also at risk if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or smoke,” said Thomas. “If you exhibit any of the common signs of a heart attack or just feel like something might not be right, don’t waste precious time. Get to the hospital.”
For over 15 years, Dr. Corwin Thomas, FACC, FASNC, FSCAI has provided quality care and consultation in the treatment of heart and vascular diseases, incorporating electrocardiography, nuclear cardiology, echocardiography, preventive cardiovascular services, lipid management, weight management, electrophysiology and interventional cardiovascular procedures, to name a few. For more information, visit ctcardio.com, or 802 E. Farrel Rd., Lafayette, LA 70508 or call (337) 234-3163.
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