Note: Women have several other symptoms to recognize
Symptoms of Heart Attack
Common signs and symptoms of a heart attack include:
- Chest pain or discomfort.
- Pain or discomfort that radiates up to the jaw area or down the arm, to the back or stomach.
- Shortness of breath.
- Dizziness or lightheadedness.
- Nausea or vomiting.
“The hallmark signs and symptoms (are) like what we see in the movies,” Elfrey says, describing it as a crushing chest pain, where the individual grabs their chest or makes a fist and holds onto their chest.
Someone experiencing a heart attack may describe the feeling as an elephant sitting on their chest. The pain may feel like an excruciating, severe squeezing sensation, explains Dr. Daniel Hermann, an interventional and structural cardiologist and director of structural cardiology at Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center in Houston.
Heart Attack Symptoms in Women
Signs of a heart attack in women can present much more subtly than heart attack symptoms in men. In addition to the symptoms listed above, these include:
- Discomfort in the upper belly or lower chest, similar to the feeling of indigestion.
- Extreme fatigue.
All of these signs can be more prominent in women than the classic chest pain symptom. For women, maybe their chest pain is less prominent, or sometimes completely absent, Hermann says.