Heart attack symptoms vary as much as people do.
Years ago, my father had an EKG. When it was over and the doctor was looking over the results, he turned to my father as asked, “When did you have a heart attack?” My father replied, “I never had a heart attack.”
The EKG showed that my father had had one at least a few years before.
That got my father thinking. He told me about that conversation with his doctor and then he said he thought and thought about it and the only thing he could come up with was once when he was driving. He was driving on the highway into town, and suddenly, he just felt really bad. He was a bit dizzy. He felt sick – sort of like nausea. He slowed down, signaled and pulled over to the side of the road. He sat there for a few minutes and then he felt fine. He put his car into gear and continued on his way. He never gave the episode another thought.
Was that when he had his heart attack? We will never know, but it was an eye-opening experience. His EKG happened more than 20 years ago and the feeling sick episode happened some 10 years before that. It happened before information became widespread about all the variation of symptoms of heart attacks.
In general, men tend to get the crushing chest pain when experiencing heart attacks and women tend to get that sick nausea feeling. But in my father’s case, he probably experienced what women generally do.
It is really important that people realize the variety of symptoms that people can experience during a heart attack.
Here are the symptoms to look out for:
- Anxiety – something does not feel right, and that feeling causes anxiety.
- Chest Discomfort – besides pain, people can feel pressure, discomfort or even a burning sensation.
- Dizziness – people can feel lightheaded or even lose consciousness.
- Fatigue – feeling unusually tired can be a symptom and it can appear at the time or days or weeks ahead of the attack.
- Nausea or lack of appetite – people sometimes will feel sick to their stomach.
- Pain in other parts of the body – pain in other parts of the body that seem unexplained can be a symptom.
- Rapid or irregular pulse – this often happens during an attack and when it is accompanied any of the other symptoms is a bright red flag.
- Shortness of breath – feeling winded when at rest is a cause for concern.
- Sweating – suddenly breaking out in a cold sweat is a common symptom.
- Swelling – although not sudden during a heart attack, this is a symptom can that often accompany a heart attack and is a sign of heart failure.
- Weakness – this can come up during the days leading up to an attack or appear suddenly and severely.
There are a lot of symptoms to look out for, but the message you should take from this is that any time you suddenly do not feel well, take note. Whether it is a heart attack or some other condition, seek medical attention right away. Reacting quickly is your best chance of survival.
For more complete description of these symptoms, go to WebMD: 12 Possible Heart Symptoms Never to Ignore