Are There any Symptoms Before a Definite Heart Attack? How can I Recognise it?

Usually, 60% of heart attack sufferers have warning symptoms for at least 1-2 weeks before a definite heart attack. But, sometimes it can also happen as the first warning symptom of coronary heart disease. A person with long standing angina has a higher risk of heart attack. Angina is often mistaken for indigestion and cannot be recognized easily.

How to recognize Angina?

Any pain in front of your chest that comes with exertion and is relieved quickly by taking rest is likely because of angina. It is not necessary that anginal pain should be severe. If anginal pain becomes more severe and frequent, and comes with less exertion over a period of two weeks or one week, then it may be a signal of an imminent heart attack.

How to recognize a heart attack?

Coronary heart attacks usually start with pain in the middle of your front chest. Often, this pain goes up into your arms and jaws. If a person has experienced angina pain before, then the coronary heart attacks may likely cause less pain or more pain, or it may be the same. The pain may be more severe and with much more persistence. Usually, angina pain rarely lasts more than 5 minutes, providing you take rest. If it lasts more than 15 minutes, you should call for a doctor or send for an ambulance.

Coronary heart attacks may cause severe pain. But, the pain is usually more like a heartburn due to upward stomach acid leakage into the gullet, which is also called oesophageal reflux. Experimentally, most people who have already experienced either oesophageal reflux or a coronary heart attack cannot differentiate the pain. Therefore, many heart attack sufferers actually take it for granted assuming that it must be “indigestion”.

Some people who actually have a heart attack may not experience pain at all or some may experience very light pain. You cannot determine the seriousness of the heart attack by the severity of the pain. A heart attack which is bad enough to cause acute heart failure with severe congestion in the lungs and shortness of breath can also happen with no pain at all.

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