Recognize the warning signs of these common and life-threatening heart problems.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death nationally and in Arizona, which includes both heart attack and heart failure. One factor that contributes to heart disease is age, and with around 17.6 percent of the Arizona population being aged 65 or older, it’s important that everyone understands risk factors and warning signs and how our Gilbert, AZ, cardiologists Dr. Zaki Lababidi and Dr. Khaled Albasha can help.
What is the difference between a heart attack and heart failure?
A heart attack occurs when one of the heart’s arteries becomes blocked, cutting off blood flow to the heart. The muscles of the heart need oxygen, otherwise they will die. This is a sudden and serious condition, while heart failure is a condition that occurs over time. Heart failure occurs when the muscles of the heart weaken, which affects how much blood is pumped to the heart.
Sometimes heart failure can arise as a result of a heart attack. This is known as acute heart failure, and the symptoms may be pronounced and severe but can be treated. Since a heart attack can weaken the heart, this can also lead to heart failure.
What causes heart failure?
There are certain conditions that can predispose someone to develop heart failure. These include,
- Irregular heartbeat
- Heart valve disease
- Congenital heart defects
- Thyroid disorder
- Alcohol abuse
What causes a heart attack?
If plaque starts to buildup around the arteries of the heart, this causes the arteries to narrow. If some of the plaque breaks off this can cause a blockage in the arteries so blood can no longer flow. This leads to a heart attack.
What are the warning signs of a heart attack?
Symptoms vary and can be different for both men and women. The most common warning signs include,
- Pain or pressure in the chest that may come and go (the intensity can range from mild to severe)
- Pain in the upper extremities or the neck, jaw or stomach
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Lightheadedness, cold sweats, nausea or vomiting (more common in women)
What are the signs of heart failure?
Here are some of the classic symptoms of heart failure,
- Consistent coughing or wheezing
- Shortness of breath
- Intolerance to exercise
- Rapid breathing
- Swelling of the feet, ankles and legs
- Abdominal swelling
Here in Gilbert, AZ, our heart doctors offer congestive heart failure management to help you get your condition under control. We can work with you to create a treatment plan that will best suit your health and your lifestyle.
At Gilbert Cardiology we also offer same-day appointments to ensure that patients get the proper care they need. Call our Gilbert, AZ, cardiology practice today at (480) 786-9100 to schedule an evaluation. If you are experiencing symptoms of a heart attack, call 911 immediately.