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These 12 Symptoms of Heart Attack You Need to Know

These 12 Symptoms of Heart Attack You Need to Know



Do you know the symptoms of a heart attack? How serious it is? Have you been taking care of your heart?

Symptoms of A Heart Attack
12 Heart Attack Symptoms

In the USA, heart problems are the most common cause of death. One person in every four Americans die from heart-related diseases each year, and the total number of deaths is 6.5 lakhs per year.

In the context of heart attack, more than 8 lakhs Americans have a heart attack every year, which means every 40 seconds someone has a heart attack.

The cardiovascular system is crucial to overall health. The main job of our heart is pumping oxygenated blood through the body.

The entire cardiovascular system delivers oxygen, nutrients, hormones to the other organs, and also maintains a fluid balance as well as body temperature.

Damage to this system can lead to many severe health issues, such as chronic vascular diseases, heart failure, hypertension, myocarditis, diabetes, even death.       

That is why we need to be aware of our heart, and cardiac problems.

So, today we will discuss all the signs of heart attack, potential causes, and more.


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Causes of Heart Attack


According to the medical terminology, a heart attack also known as Myocardial infarction (MI), and can be fatal.

This heart disease increases drastically day by day throughout the world.

According to the CDC, the main cause of heart attack is coronary artery disease (CAD). CAD is the blockage or narrowing of arteries present in the heart, which stops blood flow to the heart muscle.

In normal conditions, oxygenated blood nourishes heart muscles.

The lack of oxygenated blood supply to the heart muscle due to a blockage in a nearby artery arises a heart attack.

During a heart attack, the blood supply is cut off, the muscle gets to die due to lack of oxygen, and this adverse condition, the heart attack symptoms can be noticed.

Severe spasm, sudden contraction is less common cause after CAD.



The Common Symptoms of Heart Attack


The signs of a heart attack may vary. All the symptoms and severity are not the same for everyone who suffers from a heart attack.

Some people have severe pain, others have mild, even some people have no pain. Sometimes it strikes suddenly.

But the maximum number of people have warning symptoms in advance, an hour ago, or a day, or weeks.

So, it is very important to recognize the warning signs as soon as possible to get emergency healthcare services.

However, the sign and severity may vary, but in most cases, some of the symptoms remain similar.

All the heart attack symptoms are discussed below.


1. Chest Pain or Discomfort

Discomfort in the chest or intense chest pain is one of the most common signs of a heart attack.

The insufficient blood supply and the absence of oxygen in the heart muscle during a heart attack leads to intense chest pain or discomfort in the chest.

Symptoms of A Heart Attack
Intense Chest Pain

Generally, pain is more common on the left side, but sometimes the feeling of pain in the entire chest.

Chest pain due to the blockage is also known as angina. In many cases, this pain tends to shift from the chest to the left arm, or the stomach.

However, chest pain can have other causes instead of myocardial infarction, such as pericarditis, cardiomyopathy, pneumonia, bronchospasm, heartburn, etc.

Whatever the reasons, if you feel any type of pain in your chest, then it is time to be aware, and consult your physician.


2. Pain in the Left Arm

Another common symptom of heart attack is numbness or intense pain in the left arm.

There are several things that cause numbness in the arm, but when it comes to heart patients, and on the left side, it can be much more serious.

Symptoms of A Heart Attack
Left Arm & Shoulder Pain During Heart Attack

When the blood vessels, which are responsible for the blood circulation in the heart, and surrounding parts of the body, getting blocked by plaque, results in poor circulation. It arises the pain.

In some cases, the numbness may be absent and can feel an awful pain in the left side.

If anyone feels intense pressure on the chest followed by sudden pain in the arm, as well as shoulder, chances are that a heart attack is either coming or happening.

In that situation, do not waste your time and try to access medical support as soon as possible.

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3. Shortness of Breath

Among various symptoms of heart attack, another common sign is shortness of breath.

This adverse condition is closely related to chest pain.

Symptoms of A Heart Attack
shortness of breath

If you are normally asthma-free, however, you feel suffocated or difficulty to breath, it is a key warning that a myocardial infarction is coming.

When our heart does not pump the proper amount of blood to the entire body, the pressure of blood drop dramatically, we are not getting enough oxygen.

It is a hypoxemic condition, and the lungs work extra hard to get proper airflow. The hypoxic condition also generates nausea.


4. Lightheadedness

Another sign of heart attack is lightheadedness. If you feel chest discomfort, pain in the left arm with a woozy feeling in your head, there is a maximum chance of having a heart attack.

It is happening because your heart is not functioning properly, and the amount of blood pumping is decreased.

Symptoms of A Heart Attack
Lightheadedness During Heart Attack

The lack of proper blood flow in the body results in your brain not receiving the amount of blood that it needs.

This condition arises the feeling of dizziness. In that case, sit there, and try to seek medical support.


5. Chronic Fatigue

Chronic fatigue is very common in heart attacks.

It is very common in women, but men can also experience it.

Symptoms of A Heart Attack
Chronic Fatigue & Heart Attack

A heart attack causes exhaustion or chronic fatigue due to generate extra stress in the body when it is suffering from oxygen deficiency.

Yes, when the blockage making the heart pump harder, generates fatigue, eventually leads to an attack.

However, fatigue is a sign of many different health issues.

But when it follows the above symptoms of heart attack, it is the crucial time to get proper medical services.


6. Intense Sweating

When the sweating is accompanied by intense chest and left arm pain, dizziness and nausea, then it is a cause for concern.

Because intense sweating with other mentioned adverse health conditions is a clear sign of a heart attack.

During or just a little before a heart attack, our body working extra hard to blood plumping, which promotes sweating.

Night sweats are also quite common symptoms of a heart attack in women.

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7. Irregular Heartbeat

Irregular heartbeat linked to a heart attack. It is known as arrhythmia.

If you ever feel like your heart has skipped a beat with severe to mild chest pain, your body telling you that the organ is not in good shape.

Symptoms of A Heart Attack

Generally, when your heart is not getting enough blood can cause it to beat irregularly, and leads to heart palpitations.

Heart palpitations are a sign of coronary artery disease, further to a heart attack.

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8. Severe Cough

A cough can be a sign of numerous other health problems.

But, when it comes to a heart patient, it is really worrying.

Severe cough with white or pink mucus could mean that their heart is failing.

Symptoms of A Heart Attack
severe cough & heart attack

People with a sensitive heart, if pitting themselves through stressful activity, they will cough.

Because the heart is facing trouble with forcing the blood to leak back into the lungs.

If anyone experiences heart issues on the regular, and their cough is not going away, it can be a clear symptom of a heart attack.


9. Stomach Pains

Among various signs of heart attack, stomach pains are one of them. 

Yes, there are countless reasons why a person could be experiencing stomach pains.

Normally, indigestion can be a cause of stomach pain. But severe stomach pain for heart patients may be a warning that a heart attack is coming.

As we learned coronary artery blockage blocks the blood flow to your heart, results in heart attack, and pain starts around the chest.

Sometimes this pain can be felt in other parts of the body, such as the stomach. This stomach pain may come with nausea, sickness, eventually, vomiting occurs.

Symptoms of A Heart Attack
heart attack & stomach pains

Have you ever experienced a symptom associated with the mentioned condition? You need to talk to a cardio specialist.

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10. Jaw and Leg Pain

Yes, some unusual heart attack symptoms are an annoying pain in the jaw, and leg cramp.

Due to jaw pain, some people experience a random toothache, and cannot realize that the entire jaw area suffering. As well as, they don’t know about having heart issues.

The cause of jaw pain during a heart attack again associated with the pressure creation on the chest. Because pumping blood becomes harder for the heart.

On the other hand, a blocked peripheral artery produces intense leg pain, known as peripheral artery disease (PAD).

PAD is another circulatory problem with reduced blood flow to the limbs, due to damaged arteries.

It needs to take care of immediately. Otherwise, it can increase your risk of heart attack as well as strokes.

So, keep in mind these symptoms of a heart attack, and it is more reason to consult with a physician.

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11. Swollen Ankles

It is closely related to jaw pain. Because intense leg pain correlated with swelling.

The swelling of any body part is annoying. But it is worrying when linked to the ankles. Additionally, walking with swollen ankles will also be painful.

Same as leg pain, this heart attack symptom occurs due to lack of blood flow, clogged arteries cannot pump enough into your limbs.

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12. Snoring

Yes, it is the most unusual sign of a heart attack.

Undoubtedly, snoring is annoying for those who have to listen to it. But it is alarming for a heart patient.

It is one of the fewer known symptoms of a coming heart attack.

When the proper breathing stops during sleep, it produces loud snoring.

It is closely related to putting extra pressure on the heart, which hinders proper breathing.

If you are snoring, and experiencing other heart attack symptoms, then it is time to consult with a doctor.


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The Risk Factors of Heart Attack


According to the American Heart Association (AHA), there are some risk factors that may increase heart attack risk. These factors are:

i) Old age.

ii) High blood pressure.

iii) High cholesterol levels.

Symptoms of A Heart Attack
risk factors of heart attack

iv) Other health issues, such as diabetes, inflammation, obesity, etc.

v) Family history of heart attack and genetic factors.

vi) A diet full of processed foods, refined sugar, unhealthy fat, etc.

vii) Smoking, and alcohol abuse.

viii) High-stress level, and sedentary life.

The combination of these factors can increase the heart attack risk.

On the other hand, people who suffer from high blood pressure, and have a family history of heart diseases is more vulnerable to a heart attack.


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Heart Attack vs. Cardiac Arrest


Heart attack and cardiac arrest are not synonyms. Due to CAD, when blood flow to the heart is blocked, and heart muscle gets damaged, it is known as a heart attack.

Whereas malfunctioning, and suddenly the heartbeat stops, is known as cardiac arrest. It happens without any warnings.

When the heart muscle does not receive oxygenated blood, it triggers a heart attack.

On the other hand, electrical malfunction in the heart generates arrhythmias, which trigger sudden cardiac arrest.

Symptoms of A Heart Attack
heart attack vs cardiac arrest

The common symptoms of a heart attack, we already learned. Due to cardiac arrest, the patient loses consciousness, has no pulse, no breathing, and death occurs within minutes.

These two abnormal heart diseases are linked. Heart attack promotes the chance of sudden cardiac arrest.

The risk of having a cardiac arrest is greatly increased after a heart attack.


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Now, The Conclusion


All the symptoms of a heart attack need to be monitored because they can be life-threatening, and needs emergency healthcare service.

The most important, and key symptoms are pain or tightness in the chest, difficulty breathing, intense pain in the left arm, and shoulder.

According to the AHA, there are steps that can be followed to prevent a heart attack, like taking a healthy diet, regular exercise, quitting smoking, avoid alcohol, unhealthy fatty foods, managing obesity, diabetes, etc.

Preventive healthcare is more important than treatment. Try to consume antioxidant-rich foods, fiber-rich foods, lemon water, etc.

Routine health check-up, diagnosis is also important to prevent a heart attack as well as other health problems.

Some people may experience mild to severe complications after a heart attack, such as depression, arrhythmia, angina, edema, heart failure, myocardial rupture, etc.

Regular monitoring and routine treatment reduce the complications.

Seeking emergency healthcare as soon as heart attack symptoms appear is very important.

Many medical approaches are present to treat heart attack, but the most common of they are medications, percutaneous coronary invention, coronary artery bypass grafting, etc.

But all these approaches should be taken under the supervision of a healthcare specialist.

Depending on the severity, age, and other health conditions of the patient, recovery from a heart attack can take time.

Although, many people live long and healthy after recovering from a heart attack. But a healthy lifestyle and some restrictions need to adopt.


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