Health & Wellness

Heart Attack Symptoms and Warning Signs you Should Never Ignore

A heart attack is a common health condition that can happen to both men and women. The survival rate is high and people can enjoy a normal life after this traumatic incidence.

People need to be aware of the warnings and symptoms and take necessary precautionary measures in an emergency.

Ever wondered what happens during a heart attack? During this period, the flow of blood is stopped and the heart muscles do not receive adequate oxygen to carry its functions. Other terms used for heart attack are myocardial infarction, cardiac infarction, and coronary thrombosis.

Heart Attack Symptoms Warning Signs you Should Never Ignore:

Heart Attack Symptoms and Warning Signs:

Warning signs of heart attack are same for both the genders

1. Chest Pain and Discomfort:

The patient suffering from a heart attack will feel pressure and tightness in the chest which can radiate towards the chest, arms, neck, jaw, or back.

The pain can be in one arm or both the arms. The chest pain happens on the center or the left-hand side of the chest.

The pain lasts for few minutes and can occur frequently.

People may mislead the pain to be heartburn or indigestion. Often bloating also causes pain and discomfort in the chest. In women, chest pain cannot be considered as a warning sign.

Other symptoms should be checked along with chest pain such as discomfort in the abdomen, pain radiates towards the arm, neck, and jaw, nausea, vomiting, etc.

Make a note that people will not have all or the same symptoms. The symptoms will vary from person to person basing on the intensity of the heart attack. People can have mild to severe pain.

Few people may not feel pain at all. No symptoms may be dangerous and can result in cardiac arrest.

Heart attacks may occur suddenly but one will have warning hours to weeks before the actual heart attack.

The first sign of heart attack is chest pain which gets aggravated by exercise and increased physical activity. The pain results because of decreased blood flow to the heart.

2. Shortness of Breath:

The person suffering from heart attack will feel difficult to breath. The problem arises due to constriction and tightness of chest.

The shortness of breath will happen even at rest and increases while doing physical activity.

3. Dizziness:

People experience sudden dizziness or light-headedness.

4. Cold Sweat:

People who suffer from heart attack will sweat profusely and have cold sweats.

Other common symptoms of heart attack are nausea, vomiting, fatigue, restlessness, intense anxiety or general wellbeing.

People most often do not realize the symptoms of a heart attack until there is an emergency situation.

Also Read: Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water in the Morning and Side Effect

Risk Factors:

There are a number of risk factors which contribute to heart attack including the agents which are responsible for forming fatty deposits on the arteries.

The thinning of the passage of arteries decreases or slows the flow of blood. You can work towards reducing the risk of heart attack and also fatty acid deposition, here is the list of factors which can contribute towards risk for heart attack

1. Age factor:

Men older than 45 years of age and women older than 55 years of age are at risk of developing. People of this age group should take all the precautionary measures to avoid heart attack.

2. Tobacco:

People who smoke or do passive smoking for a long time are more likely to develop a heart attack.

Smoking damages the lining of arteries which facilitates fatty acid deposition.

According to a study, smoking is the largest preventable risk factor of a heart attack in the United States

3. High Blood Pressure:

Increases blood pressure can be due to many reasons such as obesity, smoking, high cholesterol, or diabetes. Increased blood pressure can result in damage to arteries which turns into deposition sites of fatty acid.

The deposited arteries become narrower increasing the heart risk. Increased blood pressure during pregnancy can also be a contributing factor for blood pressure (pre-eclampsia).

Don’t Miss: How to Cure High Blood Pressure Quickly in 7 Days

4. High Blood Cholesterol:

Cholesterol is of various types such as triglycerides, low-density-lipoprotein (LDL), VLDL (very-low-density-lipoprotein), and HDL (high-density lipoprotein).

Triglycerides, low-density-lipoprotein (LDL) and VLDL (very-low-density lipoprotein) are bad cholesterol that gets deposited on the arteries.

The deposited fat increases the risk of a heart attack. HDL (high-density lipoprotein) is good cholesterol, so food-rich in cholesterol should be consumed.

5. Diabetes:

The body becomes resistant to sugar and sugar metabolism gets decreased either due to the insensitivity of insulin or decreased production of insulin.

The increased blood sugar level can have detrimental effects on your body. Body should have a sufficient amount of insulin in the body to have control over diabetes. Uncontrolled diabetes can result in heart attack.

6. Genetics:

Candidates whose brothers, sister, parents, or grandparents have had heart attacks at an early age (men 45 years and women 65 years) are more likely to develop a heart attack.

7. Obesity:

Increased body weight is a contributing factor of a heart attack. Obesity can be due to diabetes, cholesterol, and blood pressure.

Take measure to reduce body weight even 10% loss of body weight can help in improving the overall health status.

8. Sedentary Lifestyle:

Today’s modern life does not give enough time for workout and people often find it difficult to join the gym. This results in increased blood lipids and obesity.

Physical activity helps in burning fats and in keeping sugar and weight in control. The three risk factors diabetes, cholesterol and weight can be managed with exercise.

9. Stress and Depression:

These are the contributing factors for heart attack.

10. Drug use:

Certain drugs such as cocaine or amphetamines, can cause spasm of the coronary arteries and contribute to a heart attack.

11. Autoimmune Diseases:

Certain diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and chronic kidney disease, can increase your risk of having a heart attack.

Also Read: Natural Ways to Reduce Bad Cholesterol Within 4 Days

Preventive Tips:

It is very much possible to prevent heart attack and reduce the risk.

Eat Well:

Daily diet should be composed of fresh fruits and vegetables. The food should be rich in omega-3 fatty acids like fresh tuna or herring. People should reduce the intake of salt, sugar, red meat and fat.


Make a schedule and do some physical activity such as exercise, yoga, walk or jogging.

One can do meditation to reduce the stress level. It helps in relaxing and calming the mood and the body.

Stop Smoking:

Stop the use of tobacco and related products. Stop smoking and also passive smoking.

You can seek professional advice to get rid of nicotine habit. Smoking less than 5 cigarettes a day also have early signs of heart attack.

Control Blood Pressure:

Take tablets timely to control blood pressure, reduce salt intake and do exercise.

Control Blood Sugar:

Diabetes can damage the arteries triggering deposition of fatty substances. Check with your doctor and follow adequate measures to control sugar.

Control Cholesterol:

The bad cholesterol (LDL, VLDL and triglycerides) deposition may form plaque in the arteries resulting blockage and preventing flow of blood and ultimately, heart attack.

Have control of your cholesterol, doctors may prescribe medicines for lowering cholesterol.


An adult should sleep eight hours a day to relax and destress your body.


Exercise and diet can help you in having a healthy weight reducing the health issues.


Certain patients are given aspirin tablets, as an anti-coagulant to reduce the risk of heart attack.


Spend time with family and friends, this helps in reducing stress and is good for hearth health.


Control intake of alcohol.

What to do If you are Having Symptoms:

As soon as you experience symptoms of heart attack, follow the below steps:

Try to reach for medical help as soon as possible.

Do not drive, ask someone to drive for you or wait for an ambulance.

Chew an aspirin if available.

Open doors and windows and breath fresh air.

Stay calm, do not panic.

Every minute counts in emergency situation, do your best to reach the nearest hospital.

Dr Maria

MD. Board Certified physician. Fellowship In Family Medicine UK. 8 years of medical experience in Lifestyle-related health disorders. Graduated from AIIMS – All India Institute Of Medical Science, INDIA

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