Typical symptoms of heart attacks such as chest pain and/or pressure, cold sweat, extreme weakness, are well understood. But there are more subtle signs you’re having a heart attack that can be easily missed. If you experience any of the following symptoms, see a BIMC doctor immediately.
If a couple flights of stairs are usually no issue, but you suddenly find yourself out of breath, it could be a sign of a heart attack. If when walking up steps or carrying something in your arms you notice a fatigued feeling or breathlessness that you normally wouldn’t, you need to be concerned. If you feel short of breath right after walking up stairs, that’s also a sign that something could be wrong.
If you have an occasional heartburn flare-up after rich food, there’s likely no issue however if it’s out of the ordinary, call your doctor because it could be the signal of a heart attack. Heartburn-like chest pain could be angina, which is caused by lack of blood flow to the heart and occurs during a heart attack.
Heart attack symptoms can sometimes mimic stomach problems like nausea, vomiting, or overall GI upset — especially in women. If you don’t feel well, don’t hesitate and call your doctor. It could very well be from spicy sambal but it could also be a heart attack, which could turn out to be catastrophic.
One of the most common symptoms (especially in women heart attack patients) is fatigue. During a heart attack, blood flow to the heart is reduced, putting extra stress on the muscle, which could make you feel exhausted. Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor to do an electrocardiogram (EKG), which checks heart activity. When people are fatigued, doctors won’t always order an EKG, which can detect a heart attack, therefore if you are strangely fatigued request one from your BIMC doctor, just to be safe.
Unexplained discomfort of the neck or jaw, or a tightness in the throat you’ve never felt before can indicate a heart attack and therefore contact a BIMC doctor straight away. Note that it’s important for people with diabetes to pay particular attention to subtle changes in how you feel because they often have trouble feeling sensations. They’re less likely to feel more typical symptoms like chest pain.
Perceptible pain or soreness in the back, chest, or either arm could be a silent heart attack sign. When heart muscle cells begin to run out of oxygen during a heart attack because of a blocked artery preventing oxygenated blood from feeding that muscle, they begin to send off pain signals through the nervous system. Your brain may confuse those nerve signals with signals coming from the arm (or the jaw, shoulder, elbow, neck or upper back) because of the nerve proximity. Because the pain is often not accompanied by the typical chest heaviness associated with heart attack, people tend to ignore it.
Health-e reporting with sources: md manuals; health harvard