Unlike in the movies, not all heart attacks begin with sudden, crushing chest pain. Even people who have survived previous heart attacks may experience different symptoms the second time around. Since prompt recognition and treatment is crucial to surviving a heart attack, here is a list of warning signs that could indicate trouble is on the horizon.
The most common warning sign of a heart attack is pain or pressure in the chest that goes on for longer than a minute and is not alleviated by sitting down or resting. The pain could remain steady, go away and return, or spread down the arms, back, head, or neck.
Pain caused by an upcoming heart attack is not always in the chest. In fact, you can experience pain, discomfort, or a mild tingling sensation in your stomach, back, neck, upper or shoulder area of one or both arms, jaw, and even your teeth.
If it feels like someone has wrapped your upper body in rope and is pulling it tight, you may be experiencing a symptom of a coming heart attack. This suffocating sensation can also occur in your jaw and throat.
Profuse, cold sweating without any exertion or definitive reason why can be an early warning sign that your body is working harder than it should. When the arteries are clogged, it can take a lot of extra effort to pump blood through them, which increases your body temperature and triggers a natural response (sweating) to bring the temperature back down. Cold sweats and pale skin coloring often arrive together and should be taken seriously, so definitely seek medical attention.
While it is easy to write off fatigue as a lack of sleep or a busy schedule, tiredness while doing everyday activities can be a symptom of heart failure. Your heart may be working overtime to pump enough blood to critical areas so less blood is reaching your muscles, causing muscle weakness and fatigue.
Particularly seen in women, shortness of breath that is not brought about by strenuous activity can be attributable to a coming heart attack. The cause is rooted in a breakdown in the process of returning blood to the lungs from the heart, which can allow fluid to leak into the lungs and create breathing problems.
If you are already at risk for a heart attack, don’t just chalk up feelings of indigestion, nausea, bloating, coughing, and diarrhea to the flu. You may be experiencing these symptoms because your digestive system is not getting the blood it needs to function properly.
Lightheadedness is a common symptom of a heart problem, so sit down and call someone for help. Even if the feeling passes, you should visit your doctor as soon as possible to find out what caused the attack.
Though it is unclear how insomnia is linked to heart failure, almost 50% of heart attack patients complain of sleeping problems in the days leading up to their coronary episode.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, contact the experienced team at Cardiac Solutions as soon as you can or go straight to the hospital.
We are happy to answer your questions or address your concerns, so contact us today at any one of our locations!