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Mother changes habits after heart attack at 36



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/ Source: TODAY

By ] Meghan Holohan

Having had his fourth child two years ago, Katie Adams noted that her left arm was hurting. She assumed that her muscles felt sorry for keeping her newborn, Abigail, so much. When she and her husband left the house for the first time since Abigail's birth, something scary happened: Adams couldn't breathe.

"I felt like I was choking," the now 38-year-old from Simpsonville, Kentucky, told today. "The left side of my face and tongue was prickly. It was very, very scary."

When Katie Adams first started WW, she made slow motion by walking for 10 minutes at a time. Today she lifts weights, enjoys pilates and goes daily. Courtesy Katie Adams

During pregnancy, she had to take blood thinners to a carotid dissection, a tear in her carotid artery. Although the blood thinners help prevent heart attacks, Adams still thought she had one. So her husband, Jeremy, hurried to the emergency room.

She was right: she had a spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) that happens when the muscle wall suffers a random tear that causes blood to become trapped in a heart attack. Although rare, it happens more often in young, apparently healthy women.

"I was a little shocked," she said. "SCAD is very rare, but is the first cause of heart attack in women under the age of 50 or who are pregnant or postpartum."


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