Heart attack—know the symptoms and what to do


My Cart
Checkout Secure
Heart attack—know the symptoms and what to do

People often ask me where I get my motivation to always eat healthy and work out consistently. 

Easy. Motivation is derived from wanting to achieve something positive and/or avoid something painful. 

In my case, I have looming over me a family history of heart disease. My dad had his first heart attack at the tender age of 35! Then his second heart attack killed him at age 58. 

So there’s my motivation! And I’ve spent the better part of my adult life making sure that my dad’s fate does not become mine.

Unfortunately, when it comes to heart attacks, people are still somewhat in the dark…and not knowing all the facts can cost someone their life.

So let’s take a closer look at heart attacks, how to recognize them, what to do if you suspect you may be having one, and very importantly, how to prevent them in the first place. 

The startling statistics 

Every 40 seconds, someone in the US is having a heart attack (also known as myocardial infarction), and they stand about a 15 percent chance of dying from it. 

Approximately 805,000 Americans have a heart attack each year.

At least 70 percent of Americans have one or more risk factors for heart attack. These include high blood pressure, smoking, obesity, a nutrient-poor processed food diet, physical inactivity, diabetes, and excessive alcohol consumption. 

Sadly, many people have multiple risk factors, and as you would expect, that causes your heart attack risk to go through the roof.

Additionally, in about one in five instances, the heart attack is “silent” (meaning no symptoms), so the person is completely unaware of it and the resulting heart damage.

The array of symptoms  

Although TV shows and movies typically portray somebody gripping their chest and falling over with a heart attack (like Fred Sanford of Sanford and Son— “I’m coming Elizabeth!”), a heart attack may be much more subtle than that.

Plus the symptoms can be different for men and women! 

Here are the well-known and not-so-common signs of heart attack for each: 


  • Chest discomfort: Most heart attacks cause discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. Men have described it as uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain. 
  • Pain in one or both arms, the back, the neck, jaw or stomach. 
  • Shortness of breath Cold sweats 
  • Nausea
  • Lightheadedness 



  • Although women can also feel chest discomfort like men, they are far more likely to experience severe shortness of breath. 
  • Other common symptoms in women include cold sweats, stomach pain, and even fatigue. 
  • Women are also more likely to feel nauseous and/or vomit. 
  • Extreme dizziness or lightheadedness are common. 
  • Sharp arm, back, neck and jaw pain are also more common in women than in men. 

“Early” symptoms 

In some cases, a person may experience subtle symptoms in the days or weeks leading up to a heart attack. These are called “prodromal symptoms” and can include tiredness, fatigue, anxiety, shortness of breath, sleep disturbances and arm, back or chest pain. 

If you suspect a heart attack—Don’t wait! 

If you even remotely suspect you’re having a heart attack, don’t wait—call 911!

If that is not an option, have someone drive you to the closest ER or call an ambulance. 

Also, you can chew and swallow an aspirin, unless you are allergic to aspirin or have been told by your doctor not to take it. 

Prevention is crucial! 

The best way to ensure your number does not come up in the heart attack lottery is to help prevent one from occurring in the first place! 

And if you’ve already had one, you stand a greater chance of having another, so prevention is even more crucial. 

Here are some ways you can stack the deck in your favor: 

Omega-3 essential fatty acids 

Omega-3 essential fatty acids have been shown to be a valuable tool to help prevent heart attacks in these five ways: 

  1. They've been medically proven to help lower blood pressure. Studies show that daily fish oil supplementation alone can lower your systolic (the top number) pressure by five points or more and your diastolic (the bottom number) pressure by three points or more. 
  2. They have anti-inflammatory properties, and heart disease is characterized by inflammation in your arteries.
  3. Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce dangerous LDL cholesterol.
  4. They also help raise HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels.
  5. Omega-3 fatty acids help keep blood clots from forming by reducing the stickiness in your platelets and curbing the production of fibrinogens--protein strands that can get tangled up with platelets and result in a clot. 

    And if you've reached the crucial moment and are having a heart attack, whether or not you survive depends on your heart's reaction. Omega-3 EFAs can help by stabilizing your heartbeat and preventing arrhythmia. 

    Unfortunately, our diets don’t provide the Omega-3 EFAs that they once did because the animals raised for our food supply are fed grains (which are loaded with inflammatory Omega-6 fats), instead of grazing in pastures like they used to, which provided Omega-3 fats.

    So the best way to ensure you have heart health-supporting levels of these crucial nutrients is to supplement with a fish oil formula like VitalMega-3

    VitalMega-3 provides a soothing 1,000 mg of pure, pharmaceutical-grade Omega-3 fatty acids in every daily 2-capsule dose, including the Superstars of the Omega-3 fats--EPA and DHA! 

    Note that if you are on any medications for a heart condition, be sure to talk to your doctor before taking fish oil.

    Eat an anti-inflammatory diet 

    Concentrate on real foods like fresh vegetables, fresh fruit in moderation (1-2 servings a day), meats, poultry, fish, eggs, olive oil, coconut oil and real butter (never, EVER margarine). 

    And even more important is to avoid refined sugars and starchy carbs, vegetable and seed oils and all processed/fast foods.

    Sugars and starchy carbs such as breads, pasta, rice and crackers (even if they’re whole grain) can create surges of glucose in your bloodstream, signaling your pancreas to secrete insulin. Over time this can set the stage for insulin resistance and cause elevated levels of glucose and insulin in your blood, which stirs up inflammation.

    Also, be sure to drink at least eight 8-oz. glasses of filtered water each day, and drink alcohol in moderation.

    Get regular exercise 

    Regular exercise reduces your risk of high blood pressure alone by 30 percent! It also strengthens your heart, increases “good” HDL cholesterol and lowers your triglycerides.

    Just be sure to get your doctor’s OK first (trust me, he or she will be thrilled!), pick an activity you like (even brisk walking is great), and GET MOVING! 

    Consider acupuncture 

    Studies have shown that having acupuncture treatment is associated with a reduced rate of heart attacks.

    Combat stress 

    Stress can trigger inflammation, which is a leading factor behind many chronic conditions, including high blood pressure, arthritis, chronic back pain, premature aging, weight gain, and our two main killers--heart disease and cancer. 

    Regular exercise is the best stress reliever there is, so this is another reason to get shaking your booty! 

    In addition, ashwagandha (as found in our Ashwa Blend Gummies) has been shown to help your body combat the effects of stress as well as support healthy levels of lipids, cholesterol and triglycerides, reduce blood pressure and stabilize blood sugar—all of which support a healthier cardiovascular system! 

    Do what you need to do to preserve the health of your precious heart!

    To your health, 

    Sherry Brescia


    Juice Plus+


    Older Post Newer Post


    Leave a comment

    Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

    Added to cart!