If you are experiencing symptoms of a heart attack, or you suspect someone might be having a heart attack, call 911 IMMEDIATELY. Do not wait.
9 Common Heart Attack Symptoms and Early Warning Signs
Knowing how to recognize heart attack symptoms and signs can help save your life or the life of your loved one. Some heart attack symptoms, including left arm pain and chest pain, are well known but other, more nonspecific symptoms may be associated with a heart attack. Nausea, vomiting, malaise, indigestion, sweating, shortness of breath, and fatigue may signal a heart attack. Heart attack symptoms and signs in women may differ from those in men.
1. Chest discomfort, chest pain, chest fullness, and/or squeezing sensation of the chest
2. Jaw pain
One of the most common heart attack symptoms is chest pain. Patients have characterized their heart attack chest symptoms as pressure, fullness, squeezing, or pain in the center of the chest. The symptoms usually last longer than a few minutes, and they may go away and then return. Both women and men report chest pain as a primary symptom of heart attack, but women more often than men are likely to have some of the other symptoms, such as nausea, jaw pain, or shortness of breath, that are described below, according to MedicineNet.com.
The heart attack pain may spread to the jaw or head, causing jaw pain, toothache or a headache. Some patients reported these types of pain without chest pain during a heart attack.
3. Shortness of breath
Difficulty breathing or gasping for air is a very common symptom of a heart attack. In some cases, patients reported shortness of breath without chest pain.
4. Nausea and/or vomiting
Feeling sick to your stomach might be a sign of a heart attack. While it is not as common as other symptoms of a heart attack, some patients reported feeling nauseous and some experienced belching/burping with the nausea. Women reported these symptoms more often than men. Some patients described feeling similar to what it feels like when you are developing the flu.
Sweating may accompany a heart attack. Some patients reported they were breaking out in a cold sweat.
6. Heartburn and/or indigestion or general upper-mid-abdomen discomfort
Some people reported belching and burping and described a feeling of general indigestion. The pain or pressure of a heart attack may spread to the upper-mid-abdomen area and it could be mistaken for heartburn. Less frequently, the pain of heart attack was described as stomach pain. That pain was usually described as persisting discomfort or heaviness rather than sharp, stabbing pain. It may not be accompanied by chest pain.
7. Arm pain
During a heart attack, the chest pain may spread one or both arms and/or to the shoulders. This symptom is quite common and the pain may be felt in the wrist and fingers. Typically, the arm pain is reported on the left side, but it may also occur on the right side, or both.
8. Upper back pain
The pain from a heart attack may also spread or radiate to the upper back. Most commonly, it was reported as pain between the shoulder blades.
9. General ill feeling
A feeling of “coming down with an illness” may be a symptom of a heart attack. Often, this feeling was described as fatigue or lightheadedness, with or without fainting. Some people reported severe anxiety or panic attack during the heart attack.
According to MedicineNet.com, approximately one quarter of all heart attacks occur without chest pain or new symptoms. These “silent heart attacks” are more common among patients with diabetes mellitus.
the symptoms of a heart attack may seem vague and mild at times. It is important to remember that heart attacks with no or mild symptoms can be just as serious and life-threatening as heart attacks that cause severe chest pain. Do not ignore symptoms of a heart attack and seek prompt medical attention. A delay in treatment can lead to permanent heart muscle damage or death. Even if you're not sure if something is really wrong, you should call 9-1-1 if you experience heart attack symptoms.