Recognizing the Symptoms of a Heart Attack

Feb 18, 2015 |

Contrary to popular belief, a heart attack is not always readily apparent when it occurs. The typical symptoms of heart attacks do not occur in all cases, and occasionally a myocardial infarction remains completely unnoticed. Of these non-standard heart attack symptoms women are more often affected than men. It’s important to recognize all the signs of a potential heart attack so that immediate and swift action can be taken.

Typical symptoms of heart attack

The main symptoms of heart attack are known widely known. Among them are:

  • Pain and strong pressure feeling in the chest that lasts longer than five minutes
  • Intense pain radiating to the left arm, typically on the little finger side
  • Sudden weakness or fatigue
  • Fear of death

If these symptoms occur you should immediately seek medical help. Each heart attack is a life threatening medical emergency. Do not contact your personal physician, but rather emergency services (911) who are trained to perform emergency care with the least possible loss of time.

Different heart attack symptoms in men and women

Occasionally, a myocardial infarction may manifest itself with nonspecific or otherwise unnoticeable symptoms, with no clear signs of a heart attack. Among them are:

  • Shortness of breath and pain in the upper abdomen
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sudden fatigue
  • Headache
  • Pain radiating to the jaw area
  • Pallor and cold sweats.

From two to three days after a heart attack – even after a “silent” heart attack – there can be an increase in body temperature, which many people may misdiagnose as a cold or flu. The danger of non-specific symptoms is that the infarction goes undiagnosed and does not get treated properly. If you notice these signs suddenly and abruptly, a heart attack could very possibly be the cause. Those exhibiting these symptoms should seek medical attention immediately. In any case, only further diagnostics can confirm or rule out myocardial infarction.

Posted in: Cardiology Health Basics, EJCPR

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