Why do heart attack symptoms come and go?

2021-09-13

Why do heart attack symptoms come and go?

The heart attack symptoms may come and go, but whether your symptoms seem apparent or are more subtle, you should take them seriously and get medical care.

The typical heart attack symptoms

  • Chest pain or discomfort: This discomfort or pain in the chest may feel like a tight ache, fullness, squeezing, or pressure in your chest that usually lasts more than a few minutes. This discomfort or pain may come and go.
  • Upper body pain: Sometimes, the pain or discomfort from the chest can spread beyond to your shoulders, neck, arms, back, teeth or even the jaw. In that case, you may have upper body pain without any chest discomfort.
  • Stomach pain: Other times, the pain may extend towards the downward direction, into your abdominal area, and it can feel like heartburn.
  • Shortness of breath: Sometimes, shortness of breath can be a heart attack symptom, and in that case, you may pant for breath or try to take in deep breaths. It mostly happens before you develop chest discomfort, or sometimes you may not experience any chest discomfort.
  • Anxiety: Sometimes, you may feel a sense of doom. And other times, you may feel as if you have a panic attack for no apparent reason.
  • Lightheadedness: You may also feel dizzy or feel like you might pass out in addition to feeling chest pressure.
  • Sweating: You may also break into a sweat with cold, clammy skin all of a sudden.
  • Vomiting or nausea: Feeling sick to your stomach or feeling like vomit can be symptoms as well.
  • Heart palpitations: Sometimes, you may feel your heart is skipping beats, or you may be very aware that your heart is beating.

Try to get help immediately

Heart attack symptoms can vary extensively. At times, you may only have minor chest discomfort while somebody else may have excruciating pain.

However, one thing applies to everyone: If you suspect that you have a heart attack, contact your local emergency medical services number or call 911 without wasting any time.

Ask someone to drive you to the nearest hospital if you don't have access to emergency medical services. If there are absolutely no other options, drive you only as a last resort.

Women may have different symptoms of a heart attack

The symptoms of heart attack are typically different in women. For example, women may have all, just a few, many, or none of the typical heart attack symptoms. However, chest discomfort, pressure, or pain is still a typical heart attack symptom in women. However, it is widespread among most women who may experience heart attack symptoms without any chest pain. They may include:

  • Pain in the jaw, back, neck, or shoulders
  • Shortness of breath
  • Abdominal pain or sometimes heartburn
  • Pain in the arms
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Fainting or dizziness
  • Unusual or unexplained fatigue, possibly for days

Additional information about a heart attack for older adults and people with diabetes

People with diabetes and older people may have very mild or sometimes no symptoms of a heart attack. Therefore, it's essential never to dismiss heart attack symptoms, even if they seem that serious.

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