Now that it’s winter time in Colorado, Dr. Ian Tullberg, Urgent Care Medical Director with UCHealth Memorial has a few reminders about the subtle signs of heart attack that can strike when you're out shoveling that snow.
These are good signs to be aware of anytime of year when you're doing something strenuous, especially if your not generally physically active. Even if you are in good shape if you find yourself outside shoveling the snow and not feeling right don't ignore the symptoms.
Doctor Tullberg says the most common warning sign is chest pain. “If you start feeling that pain in the center or left side of your chest. But be careful, some people feel it on the right side of the chest. You always hear ‘my left arm is tingling a little bit’ but the right arm can be just as bad."
Dr. Tullberg says there are other signs of cardiac distress that can be more subtle and shouldn't be ignored.
"If you start getting that pressure type of sensation in the chest, or you start sweating when you're out in the freezing cold get it looked at immediately. Abnormal shortness of breath is also a warning sign. One of the things that scares most doctors, or most cardiologist I have talked to is if they say ‘something just doesn't feel right, I don't like the feeling I'm getting, I can't quite pinpoint it’, that will scare them (cardiologists) more than anything else. If you're out there shoveling and you start feeling anything out of the ordinary, first stop. See if the symptoms continue. And if they all the sudden get better that can be part of what is called a stable angina, where the symptoms get better after you rest, but that is still something to get looked at.”
If you have any questions about heart disease follow up with your doctor. If you're feeling any of the symptoms Dr. Tullberg mentioned it's always a good idea to get them checked out. It’s better to be safe than sorry.