D'FYNE Fitness Magazine Winter 2019 - Page 99

HEART ATTACK SYMPTOM BASICS Men tend to get the typical left-sided chest pressure, often described as an “elephant sitting on the chest” with radiation down the arm (typically left), jaw, etc. Women can feel fatigued and nauseous or have diffused chest pressure. Some women also report a feeling of indigestion and pain in their right arm, shoulder, or down their back. to 230 bpm in seconds. talk to your doctor right away.) HERE’S HOW: Since PSVT results in a significant increase in heart rate beyond what the heart is really designed to do, frequent and prolonged attacks can also cause dam- age to the heart muscle. In a typical heart attack, there isn't enough blood flow to the heart (supply) due to blockage of the arteries— but in the PSVT heart attack scenario, there is excess demand due to the rapid heart rate, and the body can't supply enough blood flow to meet it. Depending on the amount of damage, this could lead to poor functioning of the heart and eventually heart failure. But the good news! It was treatable. Cardiolo- gists were able to conduct a cardiac ablation to locate and remove the alternate pathway (fix my short circuit) and prevent the bypass from occurring again—by destroying the tissue in my heart that was allowing incorrect elec- trical signals to cause an abnormal heart rhythm. (Note: There are many types of heart conditions and procedures. If you feel you can relate to any of these symptoms, please Lessons learned As you can imagine, find- ing out I had a heart prob- lem was a huge wake-up call. It never crossed my mind that anything like this would ever happen to me. Even as I tried to ignore it, my health issue was getting progressively worse (and more obvious) as I got older. I believe stress played a huge role. The way I haphazardly reacted to my body “showing me the signs” in the early stages is quite typical of women in general. We seldom put ourselves first or make our health a priority. My biggest mistake was not listening to my body a couple of months earlier. I should have accepted the fact that the tightness in my chest was a warning sign for things to come. But I was in denial. It was indeed a foreign feeling, so I should have called my doctor right away. I simply thought that since I was a reasonably healthy person, I could never have a heart attack before turning 40. That’s why with Heart Month around the corner, it’s important for me to talk about what happened. We all need to realize that our bodies will tell us if something is wrong. We just have to listen. I am here today because I final- ly took action. Being heart smart Since my wake-up call I have become more aware of the power of my heart— not only as a vital organ but also of its capacity to gauge when my body is at a tipping point. I have also identified certain stressors in my life, and I am finally able to say “No” to people and situations that don’t align with my priorities. That’s because every body is different. No one’s experiences will ever be exactly the same, but you can learn from sharing. I sincerely hope my mes- sage resonates with you in some way or perhaps with someone you know who is overdoing it and not stop- ping to think about their level of stress. lightly  Tell someone  Take action Remember, health and happiness cannot survive without the other. KERRIE LEE BROWN is a Ca- nadian journalist based in Den- ver, Colorado with clients in the fitness, nutrition, real estate, and tech industries. You can find her book “My Heart, My Self – A Guide For Women Who Do Too Much” on Amazon Canada, U.S., Mexico and Europe. To con- tact, visit KerrieLeeBrown. com and social via @KerrieLeeBrown MY FINAL ADVICE TO YOU:  Learn the signs  Listen to your body   Don’t take anything D’FYNE - Winter 2019 99