Many farmers think of themselves as pretty tough characters.
They like to think that many forms of cardiac problem are a symptom of unhealthy city lifestyles and to some extent, that’s correct. However, farmers are NOT immune from heart conditions.
Here are some signs that should give you a little cause for concern and suggest that you should seek the opinion of a doctor or other qualified healthcare professional.
Please note: What follows is only generalist information and it is not qualified medical advice. You must contact a doctor or similar if you wish to have comprehensive information and assessment of your condition and risks.
1. Breathlessness. This condition can arise for any one of many minor reasons but it can also be a symptom of pending coronary problems. You should be particularly alert to attacks of breathlessness that appear to be linked to no obvious cause, such as recovering from running.
2. Chest pains. Contrary to what is sometimes shown on TV, many early warning chest pain signs relating to cardiac causes are in the very upper chest regions almost at the base of the throat and neck. They can also be felt in the upper arms and top of the back. Sometimes the pain can travel down the (usually) left arm. They are not always extreme or agonising. If you’re suffering such symptoms at times, get them checked out. It’s probably just your chest muscles but it’s better to be sure.
3. Feelings of impending crisis. This is very hard to describe but many people who have experienced heart attacks report it as a precursor symptom. It’s just a sensation that something is “not right” inside and can feel like a form of fear or panic when there is no obvious cause or other symptom.
4. Stomach unease and hot flushes. These are most likely to do with that over-strong curry you had last night but they can also indicate coronary issues.
5. Palpitations. Some forms of palpitation are relatively harmless, if sometimes distressing and uncomfortable. In many cases, their exact cause is never diagnosed. Again though, just as with some of the above symptoms, they may be an early sign that something’s not right with the ‘old ticker’ and should be investigated.
6. Fatigue. It’s hardly unusual for hard-working farmers to feel a bit fatigued after a hard few hours’ work on that zero turn mower, tractor or krone hay making equipment etc. That’s perfectly normal. However, if you find you’re feeling tired and exhausted when you haven’t been doing very much, that’s not usually a good sign. It might just indicate you need a few good nights of sleep, a bit less stress in your life or to ease up on whatever tipple it is that takes your fancy but it might also indicate other conditions, including coronary ones, if it’s happening regularly.
If you’re suffering from any of the above and particularly if you have one or more of them, you really should get yourself checked out.