Chest pain and shortness of breath are the most common signs of heart attack, which understandably cause a lot of panics. But there are also several other warning signs you shouldn’t ignore, even if they don’t feel quite as urgent. The list below details these 10 lesser-known symptoms, all of which point to an impending heart attack in the event that your chest pain isn’t caused by indigestion or heartburn instead.
1) Chest pain
Chest pain can be mild or severe and may be described as a tightness, squeezing, fullness, or burning sensation. Chest pain can occur anywhere in your chest, from under your breastbone to between your shoulder blades. Chest pain that lasts more than a few minutes is a sign you should call 911 immediately.
2) Unexplained fatigue
Fatigue is a leading symptom of heart disease. The American Heart Association says that when you experience extreme fatigue, along with other symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath and irregular heartbeat, you should seek immediate medical care. These signs may suggest that your heart muscle is starved for oxygen. Fatigue can be so overwhelming it saps all your energy and distracts you from tasks at hand. Keep an eye out for both physical and mental fatigue so that you can get help immediately if needed.
3) Tingling in arms, neck, jaw or back
If you experience tingling in your arms, neck, jaw or back—and it isn’t due to low blood sugar—that may be a sign that you’re experiencing heart attack symptoms. Pain in these areas are often indicators of plaque buildup, which can lead to clots, narrowing and ultimately heart attacks. Experts say ignoring these early warning signs may put your life at risk.
4) Shortness of breath
Shortness of breath can be a common symptom in both heart attack and non-heart attack conditions. It is important to know that shortness of breath, especially if accompanied by chest pain, is always a warning sign of heart attack. If you experience shortness of breath, seek immediate medical attention.
5) Upper body discomfort
The primary symptom for most heart attacks is discomfort in your upper body. Sometimes, it can feel like pressure, tightness or burning in your chest. Other symptoms include shortness of breath and pain that spreads to your arms, neck, back or jaw. The bottom line: If you experience any kind of chest discomfort and don’t know what it is, it’s worth a call to 911 immediately–even if you’re not sure it’s related to your heart.
6) Difficulty swallowing
Difficulty swallowing, also known as dysphagia, can be a warning sign for heart attack and other serious cardiovascular problems. If you have difficulty swallowing or feel like something is stuck in your throat,
7) Pain in right shoulder or arm
A sharp, localized pain under your right shoulder or in your arm can be an indicator of a heart attack. Discomfort in these areas isn’t normal and should not be ignored. The pain is most often caused by pressure on one of three major arteries going to your heart (the left anterior descending artery, the left circumflex artery, and/or the right coronary artery). This discomfort is caused by a clot forming in one of these arteries or a spasm or tear within it.
8) Unusual sweating
Heat and sweating aren’t necessarily unusual, but if you begin to sweat profusely or your body starts to feel uncomfortably hot (over 104 degrees), you may be experiencing a heart attack. Chest pain is a common symptom as well. If you notice either of these symptoms and they don’t go away after 10 minutes, head straight for an emergency room. Don’t ignore these signs; most heart attacks that are fatal occur in patients who have previously experienced them but ignored them completely.
9) Nausea and/or vomiting
This is usually a sign that there’s something wrong with your heart. Nauseous and/or vomiting could be an indication that your heart isn’t functioning properly and the oxygen supply to vital organs is declining. This may lead to fainting or even a stroke. If you feel nauseous,
Chest pain can sometimes be an indication of anxiety. Those who suffer from anxiety often experience shortness of breath and a crushing feeling in their chest. These are both symptoms of heart attack, so people with anxiety should still seek medical attention if they notice these warning signs. It is also crucial to understand that chest pain isn’t always a sign of a heart attack; it could also be caused by less severe health issues like indigestion or acid reflux.