Many of us are afraid of heart attacks and rightly so: as one of the leading causes of death in the US, heart attacks are something that we should be afraid of.
Heart attacks and heart disease are together responsible for over 600,000 deaths in the US alone and in 75% of cases, they have symptoms and warning signs that strike prior to the attack. This is important to recognize because it means that in those cases: heart attacks should be avoidable.
But while many of us know all this and are constantly on the lookout for heart attacks, we also often struggle to identify these symptoms. Heart attacks can be mistaken regularly for other conditions, such as indigestion, chest pain, muscle pain and more. Many of us have heard stories of friends and relatives calling or visiting doctors only to be told that they’re just struggling with wind.
This is rather embarrassing and it has led many of us to avoid reporting heart attacks or suspected episodes. This is the wrong attitude. If there is even the slightest possibility that your pain is caused by a heart attack, then you must always seek medical attention immediately. Any good doctor or health professional will praise you for making that decision and should encourage you to act on any and all symptoms.
After all, in this case, it is much better to be safe than sorry.
With that said, it’s still important to know which symptoms in particular are most likely to be signs of a heart attack and to know what to look out for. Read on then and we will look at 13 common symptoms of a heart attack. If you notice any of these, speak with a health professional as soon as possible.
1. Chest Pain
A heart attack is caused when blood flow to the heart stops, thereby damaging the heart muscles. As the heart struggles, this can cause many of the symptoms we’ll see on this list, including this first one: chest pain.
Usually, this chest pain will be felt around the location of the heart but not always on the right hand side of the body. It’s often confused as indigestion or over fullness but it tends to be described as feeling like a pressure or squeezing sensation. Imagine someone with a bear hug around your chest, or someone sitting on your chest.