7 Common Warning Signs of a Heart Attack and What to Do

Early Warning Signs of a Heart Attack

Have you noticed any warning signs of a potential heart attack? Learn the seven common early indicators and what to do if they arise. 


Heart attacks can happen suddenly, but warning signs often appear in the days or weeks beforehand. Knowing the early symptoms of a heart attack can be invaluable for diagnosis and treatment. Here are seven early common warning signs of heart attack to look out for.

Unusual Fatigue or Weakness. 

One of the most common early warning signs of a coming heart attack is unexplained fatigue or weakness. This may manifest through a general feeling of sluggishness and excessive tiredness without having done any strenuous activity to cause it. If you experience unusual fatigue on its own or coupled with other warning signs, seek medical attention right away.

In addition to feeling suddenly very tired or weak, you may experience a combination of other symptoms, including lightheadedness, body aches, dizziness or indigestion, that can indicate the presence of an impending heart attack.

Because these symptoms may come on gradually and not all at once, it’s important to pay extra attention to how your body feels. Acting quickly upon experiencing unexplained changes in your energy levels could save your life.

Chest Pain or Discomfort.

Chest discomfort or pain is one of the most common early warning signs of a heart attack. This discomfort may feel like pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain in the centre of the chest. It may also spread to the arms, neck, jaw, back, or stomach.

The discomfort may come and go or be constant. If you experience any chest discomfort or pain, seek medical attention immediately. The pain can be described as a dull ache, a sharp stabbing sensation, or a crushing pressure.

It can also accompany other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, or cold sweats. However, it is essential to note that heart conditions cause not all chest pain. Various factors, including acid reflux, muscle strain, or anxiety, can cause chest discomfort.

Despite this, it is crucial to recognize the warning signs of a heart attack and seek medical attention promptly.

7 warning signs of a heart attack
7 warning signs of a heart attack

Arm, Jaw, or Upper Back Pain or Discomfort. 

If you experience pain or discomfort in your arm, jaw, neck, or upper back while having chest pain, this can be a sign of an impending heart attack. Pain typically starts as intermittent and lasts for several minutes at a time. It may feel like twinging or burning sensation in the chest, along with pain radiating down the arms. Don’t ignore these signs and seek medical help immediately if it occurs.


Nausea and vomiting are no joke when it comes to warning signs of a heart attack, and women especially should take heed. While chest pain is the classic symptom of a heart attack, nausea and vomiting can occur alongside it, often with other symptoms like shortness of breath, dizziness, and discomfort in the chest, arms, or jaw.

The body’s response to the stress caused by a heart attack triggers nausea and vomiting. If you have persistent nausea or vomiting, don’t delay – seek medical attention immediately, especially if you have other heart attack symptoms. Your healthcare provider can perform diagnostic tests to pinpoint the cause of your symptoms and suggest appropriate treatment options.

Timely medical intervention can make a big difference in better outcomes and reduced risk of complications. Don’t wait until it’s too late – act fast if you experience these warning signs.

Shortness of Breath.

Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath is another common heart attack symptom. It can occur even before chest discomfort. This type of feeling occurs because your heart cannot pump enough blood, so it may feel like you’re having trouble getting enough air. Other physical symptoms may include dizziness, nausea, and fatigue. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, seek medical care immediately, as it could be a sign of an upcoming heart attack.

An irregular heartbeat

An irregular heartbeat, also known as an arrhythmia, is a cardiac condition ubiquitous worldwide, plaguing millions of individuals. This enigmatic condition occurs when the electrical signals that stimulate the heart to beat do not function as they should, causing it to beat at an accelerated, decelerated, or erratic pace. Although some arrhythmias are benign and do not warrant intervention, others can pose a grave threat to one’s life, necessitating prompt medical attention.

do heart attacks hurt a lot

Sudden sweat may signal a heart attack.

Sudden sweating, a physiological process characterized by the sudden release of moisture from the skin, can indicate a heart attack. This is particularly true if the sweating is accompanied by other symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, or nausea.

Sweating, a natural response to physical exertion or stress, can also occur suddenly and for no apparent reason, indicating a possible dysfunction of the heart’s functioning. In response to the heart’s inadequate functioning, the sympathetic nervous system increases its activity, triggering sweating.

Apart from heart conditions, sudden sweating can result from other factors, including anxiety or certain medications. Therefore, it is imperative to be aware of any unexplained or sudden sweating and seek immediate medical attention if other symptoms are present, particularly for individuals with a history of heart disease or other risk factors. Early response is crucial to preventing further damage to the heart and increasing the likelihood of complete recovery.

What to Do?

If a man is experiencing heart attack symptoms, it is important to act quickly and seek emergency medical attention. Here are some steps to take:

  • Emergency Call: If you or someone else is experiencing heart attack symptoms, call for emergency medical help immediately.
  • Stay calm: While it can be frightening to experience or witness heart attack symptoms, it is important to remain calm and take action.
  • Assist with medication: If the man has been prescribed nitroglycerin, help him take it as directed.
  • Provide comfort: Try to keep the man calm and comfortable, and reassure him that help is coming.
  • Monitor vital signs: If you have a blood pressure cuff or another monitoring device, use it to check the man’s vital signs, such as blood pressure and heart rate.
  1. Do not drive: If the man is experiencing heart attack symptoms, it is important not to drive him to the hospital. Emergency medical services should be called to transport him to the hospital.

Remember, time is critical when it comes to treating a heart attack. Acting quickly and seeking emergency medical attention can improve outcomes and save lives.

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