A healthy living blog from Marshfield Clinic Health System

Couch to Deer Camp: Know heart attack symptoms

Man outside stacking firewood

Ask your doctor if you’re in good enough shape to hunt and prepare your body for the rigors of hunting by walking, jogging or bike riding.

Dr. Michael McGill sees it every gun deer hunting season.

Otherwise inactive people hunt in the woods and put way too much stress on their hearts. Results, in many cases, are the appearance of symptoms indicating undiagnosed heart disease. In some, there is the possibility of having a heart attack.

A cardiologist, or specialist in heart disease at Marshfield Clinic, Dr. McGill warns all adult hunters to pay attention.

Heart attack symptoms:

  • Chest pains or a feeling of pressure, sometimes moving up to the neck, jaw, back and arms
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Excessive sweating
  • A feeling that something “just doesn’t feel right”
  • Women who hunt should watch for these heart attack symptoms as well as excessive fatigue, nausea or upset stomach.

To hunt deer is to go where they are. Unfortunately, that’s not usually close to a medical facility that can treat a heart attack in progress. Worse yet is the hunter who has a deadly sudden cardiac arrest that can shut down a body in minutes.

So hunters, take good care of yourselves. Start with your doctor who can do a simple screening to see if you’re in good enough shape to hunt. Ask the doc about things you can do – walking, jogging or bike riding – to prepare your body for the rigors of hunting. Any activity you can do will help.

You can do this.


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