Some common symptoms of a heart attack are pain and / or pressure on the left side of the chest, which can target the upper limbs. However, these reactions may not be the only ones during a heart attack, making it difficult for a person to identify.
With that in mind, understand what symptoms, in addition to the conventional ones, can be linked to a heart attack and the differences between a heart attack in men and women.
What are the symptoms of a heart attack?
Pain on the left side of the chest is usually the most characteristic symptom of a heart attack.
Infarction symptoms tend to vary, since factors such as age, sex and clinical condition interfere with the appearance of signs. Thus, there are no rules for how the symptoms of a heart attack will arise, and a person may manifest all the reactions expected during a heart attack or only a few.
A heart attack can happen to anyone (especially if they have a family history), however, individuals over 45 who have any of the risk factors ( smoking , high blood pressure, diabetes , obesity , physical inactivity, stress , anxiety and depression ) are more likely to have a heart attack.
Symptoms that can occur during a heart attack are:
- Paleness and cold sweat: during the period before the infarction, it is common for the person to lose the natural color of the skin, becoming pale and also beginning to sweat excessively;
- Palpitations: due to the change in heart rate, which becomes faster at that moment, palpitations may appear;
- Muscle weakness: the feeling of muscle tiredness can occur a few hours before the heart attack, so it is a warning sign for people who are in the risk group;
- Dizziness and fainting: due to the reduced flow of cerebral oxygenation, the heartbeat ends up becoming irregular, leading to dizziness;
- Nausea and nausea: these reactions occur due to discomfort in the abdominal region, which if they are constant, can mean the onset of a heart attack.
- Pain in the left side of the chest: this is the most characteristic symptom of a heart attack, in general, the person begins to feel a pain or pressure in the chest that starts weak and can intensify over time, this reaction lasts on average 30 minutes ;
- Pain in the upper limbs: The sensation of numbness or tingling in the arms, shoulders and even the mandible is one of the very common symptom of infarction, since the pain felt in the chest usually spreads to the upper limbs (usually on the left side of the body);
- Back pain: often the pain or intense tightness in the chest causes the person who is suffering a heart attack to have a feeling of heaviness in the lumbar region;
- Difficulty breathing and coughing: the infarction can affect other systems, in addition to the heart, so the tightness in the chest can affect the lung structure during the heart attack, causing shortness of breath and dry cough.
How to identify the beginning of a heart attack?
In general, to identify the onset of a heart attack, it is necessary to notice the appearance of pain in the center of the chest that may or may not spread to places such as the neck, back and arms (especially the left). These symptoms usually appear in the early hours of the morning.
Identifying a heart attack may not be an easy task, especially if the symptoms that arise are not those that characterize the heart attack (pain / tightness in the chest and tingling in the left arm). In addition, some people may have a silent heart attack (not realizing the problem) or confuse the reactions with other illnesses they have.