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I am still in shock. I hope that this forum can help me make sense of everything. I had been suffering from fatigue and shortness of breath and some heartburn, for which I took antacids and did not pay attention to. My girlfriend advised me to go into the doctor and I thought, that's not really necessary, but when I described my symptoms my doctor advised an EKG. Nothing could have prepared me for what came next: I have been told I had a silent heart attack. I was under the assumption that my symptoms were caused by stress at work but no... a heart attack.

Anyone else with this experience, and what happened next?

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Silent heart attacks can definitely damage the heart muscle, even though the patient feels little to nothing. To promote a healthy lifestyle after any heart attack, you need to eat a low-fat diet (look into the DASH diet) and cut out or cut down on foods that contribute to cholesterol intake such as eggs and meat. Regular exercise such as brisk walking will also help maintain health, promote weight loss, and strengthen the heart muscle. Needless to say, smoking should be stopped if you are doing it. It has been 9 years since my husband had a heart attack himself (not silent) at the ridiculously early age of 42. He walks every night and has since he got out of hospital all those years ago, stopped smoking, and watches his food as much as possible. He has a stent and is on beta blockers, but he's healthy as anything now. I am so proud of him for turning his life around.
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Most people who don't have symptoms like chest discomfort can return to their normal daily lives within a few weeks of having a heart attack. That includes work, walking, and sex. Driving depends on your state laws actually, but in most cases you can resume that too.

The scary thing for most people is the worry about having another heart attack. Your risk does go up once you've had one, and that is why attending regular medical checkups and making the lifestyle changes your doctor suggests are so very important. You need to adjust your diet and stop smoking where relevant, follow a physical activity program in accordance with your doctor's advice, and maintain a healthy weight. Cardiac rehab programs will also help you and of course take your medication exactly as prescribed, keeping your doctor informed about any side effects you experience promptly.

Having a heart attack is scary and life changing. It is not necessarily life stopping though. You can get back on your feet and live a healthier life than you did before. In some cases, a heart attack is exactly the event that inspires people to turn their life around, a wake up call if you like.

All the best.
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You are quite right that a silent heart attack can have the same impact on your health as a more textbook style, dramatic heart attack. My brother had one a few years ago. When he went to see his family doctor, he was not taken seriously and it was hard for him to get referred to a cardiologist. But, he found out after doing various tests (angiogram or something?) that two of three major arteries were clogged and he had had a heart attack. After that, he lost weight and stopped drinking. He had never been a smoker. He is in medications as well now, beta blockers and some others I think? And he exercises every day, mostly brisk walks. All these changes were made at the recommendation of the cardiologist. What did yours tell you?
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I was in my forties when I had a SHA as well. It was weird, because I honestly considered myself a healthy person. I worked out five days a week, didn't even smoke, and it was very much unexpected. When I started experiencing chest pain that was really the last thing I thought it was. I had talked myself into thinking it was indigestion. Even though yes, in the back of my mind, there was that feeling that "this is heart related" that went on for days. I dismissed it, but went to the doctor anyway. Glad I did so. In fact, I should have suspected it and taken that gut feeling seriously much earlier than I did. I do have a family history of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and also I was under stress at work at the time. Those risk factors all add up in the end.
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