Heart Specialist Doctor in Hyderabad – Dr. Sarat Chandra is one of the leading heart specialist doctors and the best cardiologist in Hyderabad

What if you experience a heart attack and don’t have chest pain at all or the symptoms including chest pain is less dramatic. Everyone recognizes a heart attack with a sudden, severe, squeezing chest pain, but in absence of chest pain, recognizing a heart attack becomes confusing – which means, you don’t even know that it is a heart attack – such a heart attack can become life-threatening.

Silent Heart Attack facts

  • Silent heart attacks account for 50% of heart attacks
  • Asymptomatic Heart attacks pose a higher risk of dying.
  • Diabetics are more prone to silent heart attacks.
  • Some people think that they have an upset tummy or heartburn sensation, but actually, they have had a silent heart attack.
  • Silent heart attacks are more common in men when compared to women, but when they occur in women, they tend to be more severe and life-threatening.
  • Silent heart attacks are very dangerous and can cause long-term side effects for the heart.
  • The risk of dying from heart disease increases three times following a silent heart attack – and, the overall risk of death rises up to 34 percent.

How Does a Silent Heart Attack Feel Like?

A Silent heart attack is one that comes on or strikes without any warning signs or symptoms. Usually, those who experience a silent heart attack may not have chest pain, shortness of breath, pain in the arms, heavy squeezing chest pain. Do you know? People experiencing a heart attack feel as if an elephant is sitting on their chest. But with a silent heart attack – the scenario is different.

Some people after having experienced a silent heart attack recollect that they had mistaken their heart attack for heartburn, indigestion, muscle pain, nausea, or a bad case of flu. They may have less serious flu-like symptoms such as sneezing, cough, and weakness.

Let us have a look at the factors that can put you at increased risk of a heart attack:

  • Family history of heart attack
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Unhealthy food habits
  • Excessive intake of fats and sugars
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity or excess body weight
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Age
  • Smoking or chewing tobacco
  • Women with PCOS are at increased risk

Dr. Rajeshwari Reddy – a renowned gynecologist in Hyderabad says that though there are many reasons for the increasing number of heart attacks in women, PCOS is the most prominent one.

Women with PCOS are twice more likely to get a heart attack and stroke than women who don’t have this condition.

PCOS in Women Increases Silent Heart Attack Risk

In women who have PCOS, insulin levels are high. In such cases, there is also a risk of elevated LDL cholesterol levels, higher triglycerides levels, and low levels of HDL cholesterol. High cholesterol levels increase the risk of atherosclerosis and high blood pressure. They increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. The typical signs and symptoms associated with a heart attack in women are different than men. Therefore, women are more prone to suffer from silent heart attacks than men. Obesity, insulin resistance, and a sedentary lifestyle increase BP. Similarly, abnormal hormonal levels and sleep apnea associated with PCOS are linked to elevated blood pressure. Which is again a risk factor for silent heart attacks in women.

A Silent Heart Attack Increases the Risk of Another

A silent heart attack can strike suddenly and put you at increased risk of having another heart attack. The second heart attack could prove fatal and also increase the risk of complications. To know whether you may have a potential risk of having a silent heart attack, it is better to consult a heart specialist doctor in Hyderabad and get evaluated by the doctor – especially if you have the risk factors – which could increase the risk of a silent heart attack.

How to know whether one is at risk of a silent heart attack?

A heart attack can actually happen without a person knowing it. You can minimize the risk of a silent heart attack by making changes to your lifestyle as there are no tests to determine your potential risk of having a silent heart attack. Heart disease screening tests help in evaluating your risk of heart disease. If you have high-risk factors of heart disease – such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, then you must consult your heart specialist doctor and get evaluated. Your doctor will treat you and help reduce the risk of a silent heart attack. Based on your symptoms, personal history, and family history, a cardiologist in Hyderabad may also recommend ECG and Echocardiogram tests.

How can you prevent a silent heart attack?

To prevent a silent heart attack, follow a three-step approach:

  1. Step 1: If you think that you are at risk of heart attack and want to check whether you have any existing artery blockages then go for heart disease screening.
  2. Step 2: If you think that you are at risk owing to any other risk factors, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, and obesity, then go for screening.

Talk to your doctor about the approaches that you should adopt to keep your risk factors under control.

Take your prescribed medicines regularly. Stop smoking if you smoke.

Focus on Lifestyle

  1. Step 3: Now focus more on your lifestyle – what you eat? How do you work? When you sleep and how much do you keep yourself active throughout the day? Make necessary lifestyle changes – eat healthy, sleep well, get involved in the exercise. A sedentary lifestyle can take you to a high-risk category – wherein the risk is almost 3 times more.
  2. Just 20 minutes of exercise a day can significantly reduce your risk of heart attacks.

Silent Heart Attack Leads to Heart Failure

In the majority of the cases, we witness regularly, by the time patients come to us they have already been subjected to heart muscle damage to a point where heart failure sets in. Therefore, I instruct my patients to listen to what your body is saying because you know your bodies best. Even in the absence of not-so-apparent signs of heart attack, if you feel something unusual or abnormal you must get it checked, tested, evaluated, and diagnosed by a cardiologist.

In conclusion, my message for you is this: be active, vigilant and keep an eye on all the risk factors, manage those by adopting a healthy lifestyle – eat healthily and exercise. Take extra care and be more active if you have diabetes.

Bottom Line

Whether it is an obvious heart attack or silent heart attack both are dangerous, but the risk of complication and death increases with a silent heart attack. The reason, an individual who has had a silent heart attack didn’t know that he or she had a heart attack. Owing to this reason, the blood flow to the heart does not get restored early on, and therefore, the affected person could unknowingly be at a greater risk of potential damages and complications. Even if you experience certain vague and unclear signs and symptoms – such as heartburn, abdominal pain, weakness, fatigue, and flu-like symptoms, then it is better to get evaluated by the Cardiologist in Hyderabad.