11 Heart Attack Warning Signs

Written by Pliro
Dec 30, 2016 Last updated: May 8, 2019

Most people are of the view that minor ups and downs in health should be ignored due to unnecessary stress. However, certain bodily signs should not be ignored, no matter how mild or insignificant they may seem at that moment. Let us take a look at some of the common heart attack warning signs that should be treated as soon as possible.

Difficulty in Breathing

Labored breathing is a common way to determine a heart attack warning sign. This may be due to uneven breathing or shortness of breath and is medically known as dyspnea. The lack of oxygen to the heart or brain makes is what causes this to occur.

Chest Pains

Chest pain or discomfort is probably the most highly associated symptom of a heart attack warning sign. These pains may be described as cramping, fullness or pressure that is felt at the center of the chest. This pain may continue to go on till an attack is first felt or it may come and go at irregular intervals.


When it comes to pain, one might experience an intense headache. This is because the pain of a heart attack is likely to spread from the arms to the head. This may be felt with or without chest pains. Headaches can be cured temporarily with the consumption of off-the-counter medicines but a persistent headache should be looked into.

Toothache or Jaw pains

When it is not chest pain, some people report a severe tooth or jaw pain before having a heart attack. This may sound strange but is true in most cases. The reason is that the mouth, head and neck are all connected and a heart attack is related to pain in any of these parts.

Nausea or Vomiting

In some cases, especially with women, nausea or a feeling of indigestion may be associated to heart attacks. This is not exactly chest pain but is directly related to the chest since the sensation is most strongly felt in that region. Vomiting may occur if the nausea becomes more intense and one may even vomit more than once in this case.

Heart Burn

Similar to nausea, heart burn may also occur and cause feelings of indigestion and pressure from burping and/or belching. It may or may not be related to the consumed food which is why one should get it checked if it continues for some time.

Stomach Pain

Like nausea and heart burn, one may experience discomfort in the stomach region, usually identified by a heavy, sinking feeling. This may also be termed as epigastric discomfort, which is pain in the upper middle abdomen.


Breaking out in a cold sweat is a common symptom of a heart attack. Quivering and loss of energy also occur. An attack causes a sudden sinking or draining feeling.

Back Pain

The pain that a heart attack causes is likely to spread along a wide region of the body. The upper back is a common target for this spread since back pain typically starts between the shoulder blades. Even though people associate heart attacks to the chest area, the back area should not be ignored since it can intensify, causing discomfort to the spine and pelvic area.

Arm Pain

Another warning sign is the pain from the upper back spreading to both the arms, travelling across the chest and shoulder blades. It is more common for this type of pain to occur in the left side of the body. However, it does also affect the right side and wrists and fingers often also fall victim to the pain.

Feeling of Being Unwell

A general uneasiness is felt in the absence of a major warning sign. One symptom is when a person simply does not feel up to the mark or in perfect shape. This includes fever, dizziness or even fatigue and laziness.

Probably the most frightening way to experience a heart attack is having one without any symptoms or warning signs. About a quarter of heart attack victims experience it without having any idea that they may be going through it or that it might occur.

Symptoms of a heart attack may seem stressful or frightening. However, those who are fortunate enough to receive heart attack warning signs should immediately consult a doctor or physician to deal with the problem.