Commonly Missed and Ignored Heart Attack Symptoms

As you age, your risk of developing a life threatening heart attack increases. Your heart will age with the rest of your body, and over the years, your arteries and heart valves can become soft and lose their elasticity. This can lead to major heart problems, including heart attacks. You are especially at risk if you are overweight, eat many fatty foods, eat a lot of meat, or get very little exercise. Most people know the most common symptoms of a heart attack, the chest pain, tightening of the chest and the left arm pain. But did you know that there are many commonly missed and ignored heart attack symptoms for both males and females? If you are worried about your heart and your overall health, then keep reading to learn about 10 heart attack symptoms that you should not ignore, no matter how small they may seem.


A sudden onset of anxiety can be a sign of a serious heart problem. If you are generally a low-anxiety, relaxed person, then a sudden onset of crippling anxiety can be a sign of a pending heart attack. A feeling of impending doom may be your body’s first signal that you are in trouble and need to see a doctor.

Chest Discomfort

Chest pain is a definite sign of a heart attack, but general discomfort in your chest can also be a sign of an impending heart attack. Heart-related chest pain is often localized under your breastbone and can spread throughout your entire chest. Heart attack survivors have also spoken about burning sensations that they felt before their heart attack. Men tend to experience chest pain that is tight and full of pressure. They also may feel a squeezing sensation in their chest. Women, however, may feel a slight ache in their chests or a burning sensation that feels like heart burn.


Persistent coughing may be a sign of an impending heart attack. Coughing or wheezing is your body’s way of trying to get rid of excess mucus and fluid in your body. In heart failure, fluid will build up around your heart and in your lungs. This fluid could cause a persistent cough.


Heart attacks often cause dizziness and fainting. If you are experiencing a mild heart attack, then your only sign could be excessive dizziness. This feeling could be from an irregular heartbeat that occurs during a minor heart attack. If you are experiencing a major heart attack, then you could even faint.

Unusual Fatigue

Fatigue is almost a normal part of many people’s lives, however if you have been extra tired lately, then you may be having heart issues. Fatigue is an early sign of a heart attack that can occur up to many weeks before your attack. Women especially may feel overly tired in the weeks leading up to their heart attack. If you are able to get enough sleep and rest, and still do not feel better, then your fatigue could be a sign of a more serious problem, and not just ordinary tiredness.


During a heart attack, your abdomen can swell and cause a lot of nausea. This can occur before your heart attack and during it. Your nausea may even escalate to vomiting.

Irregular Pulse

An irregular pulse, a thready pulse, or a rapid pulse are all symptoms that need to be checked out by a doctor ASAP. Any of these symptoms can be a sign of a heart attack, or a larger heart issue. If your pulse does not become regular after a few hours to a day, then you should get it checked out by a doctor. If your irregular pulse is accompanied by shortness in breath and chest pain, then see a doctor immediately.

Shortness of Breath

A sudden onset of shortness of breath can be a sign that your heart is failing or that you are about to have a heart attack. Fluid can build up around your heart before a heart attack or while in heart failure. This fluid can make it difficult for you to breathe properly, and may cause shortness of breath. If you do not have any type of pulmonary condition that could cause shortness of breath such as asthma or COPD, then a sudden onset of the symptom could be a sign of a serious heart condition.


Sweating is a common sign of a heart attack that many people miss. People who have had heart attacks often report that they broke out in a cold sweat right before their heart episode began. Suddenly, you may be sweating profusely as if you just finish exercising, but in reality, your may be having a heart attack. Breaking out in a sweat combined with other symptoms of a heart attack should not be ignored.

Overall Weakness

Many people who suffer from heart attacks describe a feeling of sickness and weakness in the days before their heart attack. If you suddenly feel extremely weak to the point where it is difficult to function, you should definitely consider going to a doctor.

Heart attacks are incredibly scary whenever they occur, for both the sufferer and their family. While most people understand the common symptoms of a heart attack, some do not know these more uncommon symptoms. Heart attacks affect everyone differently. One person may feel chest pain and discomfort, while another may simply feel weak and tired. For this reason, it is vital that you understand all of the common and less common symptoms of a heart attack. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms alone or together, then it is important that you speak with a doctor immediately. More than likely, if you are not experiencing any heart pain or chest tightening, then you are probably not suffering from a heart attack. However, you do not want to risk your health and ignore your symptoms. Ignoring simple symptoms of a heart attack could very quickly turn into a fatal event.

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