Heart attacks can happen with no symptoms.

Have you ever wondered why a person dies of a heart attack and never had any symptoms? It is because there are not any. By the time you have chest pains, plaque may already clog your arteries.


https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/angina/symptoms-causes/syc-20369373#:~:text=Angina%20symptoms%20include%20chest%20pain,Dizziness Chest pain and discomfort are symptoms of angina. Some people experience pressure in their chest and pain in their arms, neck, jaw, shoulder, or back.

Almost a year ago, I had sharp pains in my pectoral muscles (external chest muscles). It occurred from exposure to cold. I was working at the Houston Rodeo as a volunteer. I had moderate to severe sharp, needle-like pinpricks of stabbing in my pecs when going from one place to another. After sitting for two or three minutes, all the pain evaporated.

COVID-19 shut down Rodeo before my second scheduled event. I avoid cold as much as possible in the wintertime. The rest of our short winter was kind to me. I had a couple or maybe three other occasions where I had sharp stabbings in my pecs. After a short rest or warm-up, all was fine. That was that until summer came.

I prefer to run 100-yard-dashes, each one faster than the previous as my cardiovascular exercise. I do ten, twelve, or fifteen. I used to run (job) long distances for most of my life. I changed to this exercise protocol about six or seven years ago. However, I do np\ot particularly appreciate running until it is well above 80 degrees. I usually start sprint exercises after the daily high is above 90 degrees consistently. I love heat and humidity!

After two or three warm-up sprints, I felt similar sharp pains that I had felt during the winter. They were not as acute and melted away in a minute or two. After another sprint, the sharpness increased, and the duration was a little longer. I stopped doing that type of exercise, knowing I have an annual physical in just a few months.

Coronary Artery Disease

https://www.healthline.com/health/coronary-artery-disease/symptoms I like to research health and wellness topics. I did my due diligence about things that could cause sharp, stabbing pains in my chest. I could not locate a proper diagnosis. My annual physical was rapidly approaching.

My wife and I walk a lot during the warmer months. I noticed that I would suspect pectoral pain developing a few times after about a half-mile. We would sit on a park bench, and three minutes later, we continued our walk. Whatever slightest sensation I thought I felt was gone and never returned.

I researched and found nothing that I could compare to my observations on the suspicion that I might have a heart issue. I could take a deep breath and hold it easily for well over a minute. I felt no pain, no elephant sitting on my chest, nothing.

Annual Physical

https://www.healthline.com/health/physical-examination I have had an annual physical every year since 1968. Thirty-one of them were flight physicals. I rarely even have a single item on my medical tests outside the normal range.

CRP is a c-reactive protein. It is an indicator of inflammation in the body. Coronary artery disease is an inflammatory event and should cause the body to produce c-reactive protein. My levels have always been below 0.25 mg/L. Most sources state that CRP below ten mg/L is normal. I prefer an older scale that is used generally as a range from 0 to 3 mg/L.

From my annual physical, my whole-body inflammation was nearly zero. Another test I have run is homocysteine. Homocysteine builds up when a person is deficient in specific nutrients (B12, B6, and folic acid). The risk for heart disease increases with higher levels of homocysteine.

Literature tells us that anything between 15 and 30 mcmol/L is normal. The older scale that I follow for normal is between 8 and 11 mcmol/L. I am rarely above 11 mcmol/L. My homocysteine level results had me in mid-range – around nine mcmol/L.

One of the purposes of an annual physical is to get the current status of where a person regards their health. It is also time to ask questions about things that are a concern.

I mentioned my symptoms to my doctor, and he told me to get in touch with my cardiologist and get a more professional opinion as to what may be causing pains in my chest muscles.

Three years earlier, my general practitioner recommended that my wife and I get a baseline heart checkup. We scheduled the tests (EKG, nuclear MRI, nuclear stress, and ECC. Both of us passed with flying colors.

Cardiology Testing

https://healthblog.uofmhealth.org/heart-health/10-heart-tests-your-doctor-might-order-and-what-they-mean I met with my cardiologist, and he scheduled me for some repeat tests from three years earlier. One area of the nuclear MRI showed an increase in blockage in an artery. My cardiologist wanted a closer look.

Heart Catheterization

https://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/guide/cardiac-catheterization1#1 A heart catheterization was scheduled, and I left the hospital with the words that there was no need for further surgical intervention. I had a blockage in a couple of my heart arteries. Medicine could address this problem – a pill to make the walls of my arteries my elastic to allow more blood to flow and another drug for angina.

Since the heart catheterization, I have had zero angina issues even though I have been in cold conditions that typically would have caused a reaction. Additionally, extended heavy lifting, which I would equate with putting extra demand on the heart to supply blood, has also resulted in zero angina instances.

New Arteries (bypass without surgery)

https://www.fiercebiotech.com/research/healing-heart-disease-by-growing-small-arteries-a-protein. My recent follow-up doctor’s visit revealed that my heart had a couple of blockages. No surgery was needed or planned. My heart grew new veins to another side of my heart. This natural bypass vein supplied my heart with the needed blood flow going into and out of my heart.

My cardiologist told me that my new heart veins supplied enough blood to meet my body’s supply. We talked at length about many aspects of the new veins and options. I am happy to continue taking the two medicines and work on some natural alternatives that might negate these pills way down the road.


https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/01/210113161221.htm This link was the start of this article. I had planned not to bring the world into my situation and decided that people need to know that death can happen with no symptoms.

Had my heart not grown natural bypass veins, I could have been one of those statistics – a person died without any heart symptoms. Aerobic exercise and weightlifting had been a regular part of my earlier life for several decades. Did this activity prevent a heart attack for me? My doctor suspects so.

My healthy eating and lifestyle did not start until way after my 65th birthday. My passion for researching, writing books, speaking to groups, and more did not come to fruition until the last five or six years. I believe that stories, especially personal stories, help the reader understand a topic better.

I plan to write about natural options to improve my health in the future. I thought I was one of the healthiest people I knew until reality hit. No symptoms of anything! Passed every medical test easily! Yet, coronary artery disease accumulated over decades and got my attention.

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com



One Response

  1. Another great thought provoking article Red! Many thanks. Amazing work by your heart to rebuild itself. I’m assuming it’s unfortunately not financially viable for everyone to have heart scans, to show blockages. That would be better than our hearts playing Russian Roulette! Live long and enjoy!

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