Common signs and symptoms of a heart attack include:
- Pressure, fullness or a squeezing pain in the center of your chest that lasts for more than a few minutes
- Pain extending beyond your chest to your shoulder, arm, back, or even to your teeth and jaw
- Increasing episodes of chest pain
- Prolonged pain in the upper abdomen
- Shortness of breath
- Impending sense of doom
- Nausea and vomiting
Signs and symptoms of a heart attack in women may be different or less noticeable than heart attack symptoms in men. In addition to the symptoms above, heart attack symptoms in women can include:
- Abdominal pain or "heartburn"
- Clammy skin
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Unusual or unexplained fatigue
Not all people who have heart attacks experience the same ones or experience them to the same degree. Many heart attacks aren't as dramatic as the ones you've seen on TV. Some people have no symptoms at all. Still, the more signs and symptoms you have, the greater the likelihood that you may be having a heart attack.
A heart attack can occur anytime — at work or play, while you're resting, or while you're in motion. Some heart attacks strike suddenly, but many people who experience a heart attack have warning signs and symptoms hours, days or weeks in advance. The earliest predictor of an attack may be recurrent chest pain (angina) that's triggered by exertion and relieved by rest. Angina is caused by temporary, insufficient blood flow to the heart, also known as "cardiac ischemia." Reference: Mayo Clinic Staff
In general, the type of chest pain you will feel with a heart condition is more like someone is sitting on your chest. Physicians describe this as a “crushing” sensation.
Chest pain from an anxiety attack is usually described as a “tense” or “tight” feeling in the chest. Sometimes, the tightness in the chest will also be accompanied by a feeling that your heart is beating really intensely and fast, or like your heart is about to leap out of your chest.
Problems with the heart will also often lead to radiating symptoms. What that means is that you may also experience traveling pain or other sensations in your arm (usually the left arm), jaw, upper back, or neck. This isn’t the case every time, but it is very typical with heart problems.
Chest pain of any type should be evaluated by a qualified doctor to rule out the possibility of a more serious health condition. If in doubt, error on the side of safety.
Hope this info helps.
Moderator: Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn
Anxiety/Panic, & Depression
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