Heart attacks impact numerous people all over the world every day, and they are definitely worth being something that needs to be addressed, caught as early as possible, and should be a very big concern. Many factors can cause a heart attack, and approximately 17.9 million people die from a cardiovascular death (heart related), in which 85% of these people are from a heart attack (and sometimes a stroke). So how can you tell if you’re having a heart attack, especially when sometimes you don’t even experience chest pains? In this guide, we’re going to give you some early warning signs that you may want to get checked for.

Chest Pain

Of course, this is the most common signs that people may have when it comes to having a heart attack. If your chest feels pressure and tightness, or sometimes it can even feel like your chest is burning or throbbing. Other signs are if there is a frequent feeling like something is poking your chest or stabbing it with a knife. If you feel these pains, stop doing whatever it is that you’re doing and tell someone immediately, then get help. Especially if these pains continue for a minute.

Arm and Shoulder Pain

While it is possible to just have muscle pain, or pain associated with ergonomics that causes arm and shoulder pain, you may notice that you have a burning pain in your shoulder that travels down to your upper arm. While the left arm is common for this, it’s also common that you’ll feel this pain in the right arm as well. This can be before or during a heart attack, or while you’re feeling chest pains.

Severe Indigestion

Heartburn is another major common factor, especially if it’s sudden, and extremely bad and persistent. You may even experience other pains such as nausea, vomiting, and upper abdominal cramps, and while you may not be having a heart attack, if your blood pressure is elevated or you have other symptoms mentioned in this list, then it may be early signs of one. These symptoms are extremely prominent in women more often than men, but can affect both.

Having Pain in the Jaw

When it comes to jaw pain, this doesn’t mean that you’re necessarily having a heart attack, but combined with chest pain that radiates into your jaw and throat, then you need to possibly get help right away.

If You Feel Faint

Being lightheaded isn’t uncommon when it comes to pairing it with chest pain and other symptoms of a heart attack. This should never be ignored either, as if you’re dizzy for no reason at all, then you may have blood pressure issues (when your blood pressure crashes) which means your heart isn’t pumping blood to your brain as it should.

Sleep Apnea

While it’s common that snoring is a sign of sleep apnea, not everyone who has this condition will actually snore. Sleep apnea is when you stop breathing, and then sometimes gasping for air after snoring or while sleeping. This is extremely bad for your heart and can be an early sign and trigger for a heart attack. You should report this to your doctor immediately.

Sudden Fatigue

If you’re fatigued easily after very little exercise, or even for no reason at all, especially if you’re having any other signs in this list that we’re mentioning, then you’ll want to consider talking to a doctor as soon as possible, as this could be an early sign of lowered blood pressure as well.

Sudden Irritability

If you’re normally a pretty happy and chipper person, and of course you may have stress which causes irritability (it happens to all of us), if you find that your mood is extremely the opposite, or someone you know, it is possible that they’re having more than just a bad day. This can also be a sign of extremely elevated blood pressure, and therefore, it could mean that someone is on the brinks of having a heart attack.

Heart Palpitations (Abnormal Heartbeats)

Many people have heart palpitations, or their heart “skips a beat” from time to time. Not only that, but some people are also born with a condition where this happens. However, if your heartbeats are increasing really fast for no reason (no stress, or constantly skipping beats while beating fast), then you may want to watch out for this. This can be however caused by nicotine, caffeine, or even sleep deprivation, so you may want to talk to a doctor quickly.

Profuse Sweating for No Reason

You need to consider this a possibility too, because even though sweating is associated with many things, having a cold sweat (sweating without physical activity or being “hot”), then you may want to consider this a very possible sign of a heart attack, especially if it’s happening with other symptoms we’ve mentioned above.

Poor Circulation or Podiatry Bloating

Having swollen feet, ankles, or even legs is nothing to ignore, especially if it’s associated with other symptoms that we’ve discussed. However, you also need to keep a close eye on this to make sure that it’s not just because of sodium and water retention, and other problems. If your feet ever start to discolor and turn purple, this can be a sign of low blood pressure and can be a sign of a possible future heart attack.


If you follow this guide, we’re not telling you to rush to the doctor every time you have a cough, swollen ankles, and other symptoms, but it is definitely something to be concerned about, and if these symptoms are frequent, or last more than just a little bit, then you may want to consider talking to a doctor. If you’re ever having chest pains as mentioned above associated with any of these symptoms, don’t call a doctor, but call an emergency line if you can or have someone do it for you if you can’t immediately.


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