According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 600,000 people in the United States die each year from heart disease and related heart conditions.
Luckily, there are many warning signs to alert of a heart attack–these are the most common:
Before a heart attack occurs, most people will experience profuse, cold sweating without doing anything physically taxing and for no apparent reason. Skin and clothing are likely to become soaked with sweat and the face could become pale.
Sometimes in the weeks prior to a heart attack, a person will feel tired, fatigued, and drained of energy. Slowly, the fatigue becomes exhaustion in the few days before the heart attack strikes.
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According to the American Heart Association, the heart will not be able to keep up with supplying blood to the tissues and normal activities like shopping, walking, and climbing stairs can become very difficult and physically taxing. Experiencing unexplained exhaustion is something to take seriously and medical care should be sought at once.
3. Feeling Pressure/Restriction
It is common to feel pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain in the center of the chest when a heart attack is coming on. Although men and women often experience chest pressure before a heart attack, it does not happen for all women.
4. Flu-like Symptoms
It is not at all uncommon for a person to report experiencing flu-like symptoms in the days or weeks before a heart attack. If you are not feeling normal and are experiencing flu-like symptoms that don’t go away in a few days, head to your doctor or emergency room to be evaluated–it can possibly help you avoid heart damage in the event you do have a heart attack.
5. Shortness of Breath
Your heart and lungs are involved in transporting oxygen throughout the body. Becoming short of breath can be a symptom of heart problems or it could be indicative of an oncoming heart attack.
Any time you are short of breath and have any of the other symptoms listed here, it is important to seek immediate medical attention in order to find out the cause.
With heart failure and other cardiovascular disorders, it is common for someone to experience dizziness because of a reduction in blood flow to the brain.
Fainting or loss of consciousness is a potentially serious condition and medical attention needs to be sought immediately to rule out impending heart attack.
Insomnia is associated with an increased risk of heart attack. Difficulty falling asleep, remaining asleep, and having a feeling of non-restorative sleep have all been associated with heart disease. If you are suffering from unexplainable insomnia, it is important to discuss the situation with your physician.
Having an onset of stress so severe that it results in an anxiety attack is very common. Some describe these feelings of anxiety as a “looming sense of doom” just before having a heart attack.
9. Chest Pain
One obvious symptom of an oncoming heart attack is chest pain. Chest pains that happen before a heart attack can be mild or severe in intensity.
Most often, chest pains related to a heart attack are experienced in the breastbone region or in the shoulders or upper back. Pain in the chest can feel as if “an elephant is sitting on the chest” but it can also be described as a discomfort or sensation of pressure, fullness, slight squeezing, or heartburn.
10. Pain in Other Parts of the Body
Mild pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, back, stomach, or arms are very common symptoms of a heart attack. According to information from the University of Michigan, another symptom of heart attack is leg pain.
Anyone who is dealing with unexplained pain throughout the body or those who exhibit symptoms relating to a heart attack are urged to seek medical attention to avoid facing serious health complications.
Heart attacks are serious and potentially fatal and for these reasons, it is very important to know the warning signs. When you are prepared and knowledgeable about the signs and symptoms of a heart attack, you can be aware of what is happening and know what to do to save a life–maybe yours.