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Don’t ignore these four subtle heart attack symptoms

Don’t ignore these four subtle heart attack symptoms

heart attack

More than 1 million Americans suffer heart attacks each year. While we all know the famous symptoms, like chest pain, numbness in the arms and shortness of breath, there are other more subtle symptoms to consider.

Heart attacks, also known as myocardial infarctions, occur when the flow of blood is blocked in the coronary arteries by a buildup of fatty substances and cholesterol. Over time, these substances form a hard plaque. The interrupted blood flow eventually damages part of the heart muscle. In some cases, this interruption destroys part of the heart muscle. We often associate heart attacks with a dramatic scene, but this is seldom the instance. While some heart attacks can be fatal, others usually aren’t found until weeks or months after they occur.

These types of heart attacks are aptly named the “silent heart attack.” They occur more frequently in women than men, and often occur with no symptoms. In fact, if symptoms do occur, they are minimal or even unrecognizable. Signs could be as simple as a seemingly strained muscle.

We’ve compiled the four symptoms you should watch for when considering a silent heart attack.

Discomfort in the jaw, upper back or arms

While this symptom could be due to an overly vigorous workout or too much play time with the kids, discomfort in the jaw, upper back and arms could be a sign of a silent heart attack.  A problem with the heart could signal the nerves in this area (jaw, back and arms), which causes pain or discomfort. You might think you have just strained a muscle, but don’t ignore the pain without considering all of the possibilities first.

Unusual fatigue

We understand how busy lifestyles, especially those of moms on-the-go, often lead to fatigue. But if you are experiencing new or dramatic fatigue, you should consider other causes. Feeling especially tired, even after routine activities like making the bed or walking up stairs, could be a sign of a silent heart attack. Also, trouble sleeping through the night, even though you are unusually fatigued, could be another symptom.

Shortness of breath

Alone, shortness of breath could be attributed to slight weight gain or a lack of exercise. But in certain instances, they could signal a heart problem. If you are experiencing shortness of breath without exertion, when lying down or propping up or accompanied by chest pain or fatigue, you should contact your physician.


While not life-threatening on its own, indigestion could be a sign of heart issues. Like the triggers that signal pain in the jaw, neck, and back, indigestion could be a similar signal that something isn’t quite right with your heart. Pay attention to the foods you are eating. If you have heartburn without just cause or combined with the symptoms above, it might be time to contact your physician.

Ready to discuss these symptoms with a professional? We’re here to help! Make an appointment with us by calling 662-282-4226 today.






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