20 Heart Attack Warning Signs You Can't Ignore
15 Heart Attack Warning Signs You Can't Ignore
15 Heart Attack Warning Signs You Can't Ignore
Heart attacks and heart disease is the number one killer in the United States, killing over 600,000 Americans a year. Though heart attacks are commonly thought to be sudden and striking without warning, 75% of heart attacks have warning signs before the attack. When a heart attack occurs, blood flow to the heart stops damaging the heart muscle. Because the heart muscle is struggling, the body undergoes many symptoms prior to the actual attack. These symptoms can give you valuable warning time to seek medical help.


Chest Pains
Chest Pains
A pain or discomfort, especially but not always, on the left side of your body is the classic indicator of a heart attack. The pain or discomfort will often last for a short period of a few minutes, disappear, and then come back. This warning sign is often confused as indigestion, heart burn, or even feeling full. Other signs of discomfort includes pressure or a squeezing sensation.


Anxiety
Anxiety
Are you feeling anxious for no reason? Agitated? Have trouble going to sleep? People, especially women, who have suffered a heart attack, reported feeling anxious in the months leading up their attack. This relationship have been correlated in several studies. It's thought that damaged hearts provide less oxygen to the blood and the lower oxygen levels lead to feelings of anxiety. If you have unexplained feelings of dread or anxiety, you should consult with your doctor.


Nausea and Indigeston
Nausea and Indigeston
Though this is a symptom more common with women than men, stomach problems, like nausea or indigestion could be a sign of a coming heart attack. Fatty deposits around the heart restricts the amount of blood flow to the heart and thus to the rest of the body. This can lead to stomach aches and feelings of indigestion. If the stomach problems get worse when you exert yourself and then subside after you rest, this is a red flag that the problem is with your heart and not your stomach. Another red flag is if the problems comes and goes rather than one long steady bout of indigestion.


Perspiration
Perspiration
In a study conducted by the University of Chicago, heavy sweating is commonly the first sign of a coming heart attack It's been found that when a body is about to have a heart attack, the body will release a massive surge of catecholamines. a dopamine like hormone. This will lead to cold sweats and a feeling of clamminess.


Pain Under Your Arm
Pain Under Your Arm
If you start having a pain under your arm, especially your left side, you should be particularly cautious. Often time, this pain is mistaken for normal muscle pain. When a damaged heart is about have a heart attack, it starts sending pain signal to your spinal cord and its nerves. This isn't a constant pain, but will come and go. Be especially on guard, if the pain is caused by physical exertion and goes away after you rest.


Persistent Cough
Persistent Cough
A persistent cough not caused by any sickness, can also be a sign of heart failure or heart attack. As your damaged heart starts to fail, your lungs will start to fill up with lungs which will lead to the cough. In some instances, the phlegm will be bloody.


Dizzy Or Faint
Dizzy Or Faint
Feeling dizzy or faint can be a sign of a coming heart attack. A coming heart attack will start restricting blood flow throughout your body. This can include blood loss to the brain which will cause you to feel faint or dizzy.


Fatigue
Fatigue
You're listless, bone tired, have no energy, and always tired. This feeling goes on for days, weeks, on end. No amount of rest seem to cure it. This could be a sign of a coming heart attack. In a university survey of heart attack victims, 70% said they felt extremely fatigued in the weeks before the attack itself.


Irregular Heartbeat
Irregular Heartbeat
An attack of irregular heart beat or a rapid pulse that you can't explain, could be sign. Rapid and irregular heart beat sometimes comes before a heart attack by weeks or months. An irregular heartbeat is often a sign of more serious problems. These episodes of irregular heart beats are often confused as a panic attack. The heart will pound accompanied shortly afterwards with dizziness and feeling light headed. No matter if you suspect you have heart problems or not, you should see your physician as these are usually an indication of serious problems.


Shortness of Breath
Shortness of Breath
When the heart is damaged especially its left ventricle blood circulation will be impacted causing a shortness of breath as the body tries to compensate having less oxygen in its system. Less oxygen in your blood will make you feel like you are at high altitude and oxygen deprived. In a study, 40% of heart attack survivors reported that they felt short of breath in the months before the attack.


Swelling
Swelling
A swelling in your legs, abdomen, or puffy eyes, could be a sign of upcoming heart failure. Fluid build up is caused by the poor circulation of a damaged heart. These parts of your body are most prone to fluid build up. You may see some weight gain due to the fluid build up.


Weakness
Weakness
Do you feel weaker than usual? Can't open up that jar of pickles? Feeling weak can be another sign. In the days before a heart attack, many heart attack victims said they felt physically weaker like they were suffering from the flu. This weakness is most likely due to poor blood circulation of a damaged heart. Weakness is another symptom of an impending heart attack. In the days leading up to a heart attack, victims often feel physically weak, like they had the flu. This is yet another side affect of the poor blood flow from a damaged heart.


Jaw or Neck Pain
Jaw or Neck Pain
Jaw or neck pain is often another sign. A heart attack can be caused not by just a damaged heart but by by a blood clot blocking blood flow. This blockage is often translated into neck or jaw pain.


Numbness
Numbness
When blood flow is restricted due to a damaged heart about to experience a heart attack, numbness to the arms and hands can occur. Numbness by itself usually isn't a sign of a heart attack, but is usually accompanied with other signs, so look for other symptoms if you are concerned.


Skin Color Change
Skin Color Change
If you notice that your skin is starting to go pale or grey in color especially around the eyes, this is another sign of a coming heart attack. Your skin's natural color is determined by the blood vessels in your skin. A decrease in blood flow from a damaged heart cause it to lose its color.