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Warning Signs of a Heart Attack

Heart Attack, Heart Healthy Living

These days, we all move fast. Between work, soccer practice, laundry and cooking meals, it’s difficult to find time for yourself or even stop to recognize when your body is trying to deliver you a message. The warning signs before a heart attack are clear and it’s important to stop, take a breath, and recognize the dangers before it’s too late.

Although some heart attacks are sudden, there are subtle hints that can lead up to them as well.  Here’s what to look for before a heart attack.

  • Discomfort in the chest – Some patients feel a discomfort in the center of the chest that can last up to a few minutes at a time. That discomfort can go and come back multiple times a day. The discomfort can often feel like a pressure, fullness or squeezing in the chest.
  • Pain in the upper areas of the body – Patients have often felt pain in other areas of the body, including pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Fatigue – Exhaustion is especially common in women and may start months before a heart attack.
  • Shortness of breath – Patients may feel a shortness of breath that may be accompanied with chest pain.
  • Unusual Sweating – Sweating more than usual can be another sign of a heart attack, especially if you’re sweating when you’re sedentary or asleep.

Warning signs in Women

Women may experience different warning signs prior to a heart attack. Men and women can experience chest pain, but women may have a heart attack without chest pressure. Instead, they may experience shortness of breath, pressure or pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen, lightheadedness or fainting, dizziness, upper back pressure or severe fatigue.

The most important thing to remember is to listen to your body. If you think there may be something wrong, contact your specialist at First Coast Cardiovascular Institute to schedule an appointment.

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