Chest pain, pressure, and discomfort
Most people with heart attacks experience some sort of chest pain or discomfort. But it’s important to understand that chest pains do not occur in every heart attack. Chest pain is a common sign of a heart attack. People have described this sensation as feeling like an elephant is standing on their chest.
Some people don’t describe chest pain as pain at all. Instead, they may say they felt chest tightness or squeezing. Sometimes this discomfort can seem bad for a few minutes and then go away. Sometimes the discomfort comes back hours or even a day later. These could all be signs your heart muscle isn’t getting enough oxygen.
Sweating more than usual — especially if you aren’t exercising or being active — could be an early warning sign of heart problems. Pumping blood through clogged arteries takes more effort from your heart, so your body will sweat more to try to keep your body temperature down during the extra exertion. If you experience cold sweats or clammy skin, then you should consult your doctor.
Night sweats are also a common symptom for women experiencing heart troubles. Women may mistake this symptom as an effect of menopause. However, if you wake up and your sheets are soaked or you cannot sleep due to your sweating, this could be a sign of a heart attack, especially in women.
Fatigue can be a less-commonly recognized heart attack sign in women. According to the American Heart Association, some women may even think their heart attack symptoms are flu-like symptoms.
A heart attack can cause exhaustion due to the extra stress on your heart to try to pump while an area of blood flow is blocked. If you often feel tired or exhausted for no reason, it could be a sign that something is wrong.
Fatigue and shortness of breath are more common in women than men and may begin months before a heart attack. That’s why it’s important to see a doctor as early as possible when you experience early signs of fatigue.
Shortness of breath
Your breathing and your heart pumping blood effectively are very closely related. Your heart pumps blood so it can circulate to your tissues as well as get oxygen from your lungs. If your heart can’t pump blood well (as is the case with a heart attack), you can feel short of breath.
Shortness of breath can sometimes be an accompanying symptom to unusual fatigue in women. For example, some women report they would get unusually short of breath and tired for the activity they were performing. Going to the mailbox could leave them exhausted and unable to catch their breath. This can be a common sign of heart attack in women.