Heart disease is still the number one ki*ler of both men and women around the world. Unlike what you might see in a movie, it can be hard to miss the signs of a heart attack. C. Noel Bairey Merz, head of the Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Centre at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in Los Angeles, says that two-thirds of women will have less typical, non-Hollywood heart attack symptoms.
Even though tightness in the chest and pain in the upper body are more clear signs of a heart attack, there are a lot of other signs that could be mistaken for something else, like nausea, heartburn, and fatigue.
If you know the signs of a heart attack and get help right away, you might be able to save your life. Here are the most usual signs that something is wrong:
1. PRESSURE THAT IS UNCOMFORTABLE
The American Heart Association says that the first sign of a heart attack is “uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain in the center of your chest.” This pain might come in waves that last longer than a few minutes.
2. PAIN IN OTHER PARTS OF THE BODY
Pain from a heart attack can happen in places besides the chest, such as the back, shoulders, arms, neck, or head. The Cleveland Clinic says that if there’s a problem in the heart, like a blocked artery, the muscles in the heart will send a message that something is wrong, and you’ll feel pain.
Since the vagus nerve is linked to the heart, the brain, the chest, the abdomen, and the neck, you might feel pain signals in places other than the heart.
If you don’t drink enough water, skip lunch, or stand up too quickly, you might feel dizzy. But feeling dizzy or faint, along with chest pain and shortness of breath, could be a sign of a drop in blood volume and blood pressure, which could mean a heart attack is coming.
It’s normal to feel tired after a bad night of sleep or a busy day. Harvard Health Publishing says that women can feel tired a month before they have a heart attack. The National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute says that this sign is more common in women than in men.
5. SICKNESS OR DISCOMFORT
Stoney Brook Medicine says that stomach problems like feeling queasy, throwing up, or wheezing happens when the heart and other parts of the body don’t get enough blood. It can be confused with acid reflux or heartburn, so it’s important to see your doctor, especially if you have other signs of a heart attack.
If you’re not going through puberty or haven’t just worked out, a cold sweat or a lot of sweating could be a sign of a heart attack. During a heart attack, your nervous system triggers a “fight or flight” reaction that puts you in survival mode and could make you sweat.
7. HEART PALPITATIONS
When the heart doesn’t get enough blood, all kinds of things can go wrong with the body. Stoney Brook Medicine says that when the heart doesn’t get enough nutrient-rich blood, it can start to get irritated. This can make the heart feel like it’s fluttering. If you think your heart is beating too fast, you should call your doctor right away.
8. SHORTNESS OF BREATH
If it used to be easy for you to walk up the stairs, but lately it’s been getting harder and harder, you should see a doctor right away.
Even though you might not be about to have a heart attack right now, this could be a sign that your heart is in danger. The American Heart Association says that shortness of breath can happen with or without chest pain.