Patient Comments: Heart attack - Symptoms

The symptoms of heart attack can vary greatly from patient to patient. What were your symptoms at the onset of your disease?

A Doctor's View on 12 Heart Attack Symptoms and Early Warning Signs

Read the Comment by Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

Recognizing heart attack symptoms and signs can help save your life or that of someone you love. Some heart attack symptoms, including left arm pain and chest pain, are well known but other, more nonspecific symptoms may be associated with a heart attack. Nausea, vomiting, malaise, indigestion, sweating, shortness of breath, and fatigue may signal a heart attack. Heart attack symptoms and signs in women may differ from those in men. Read the entire Doctor's View

Comment from: Manatou, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 13

My pain began suddenly but was a burning sensation across my chest and down my right arm - not an indigestion burning, more like the burn from an extreme workout. I didn't know what was going on until I began to feel really bad, really fast. Don't focus on any specific symptoms, be alert for a sudden and extreme change in how you feel. Get checked out by a doctor - my mother died from a heart attack hours after checking in with her doctor because she wasn't aware that it's okay to insist that something isn't right. The only reason I survived a total blockage of my left main artery is because I listened to my husband and paid attention to the severity of my symptoms. I'm a 43 year old female and I almost convinced myself that there was no way I could have a heart attack at my age - I was wrong and it could have been fatal.

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Comment from: jaygal, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: December 05

I had shortness of breath, chest pains, heartburn, arm pain and upper back pain.

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Comment from: Betty, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 24

I had no pain at all when I had my heart attack, just pressure above my elbow that was very slowly going up my arm almost like a tourniquet wrapped around my right arm. I took 2 aspirins and walked around and it started moving to my shoulder, again there was no pain, just pressure. I called 911. After 3 enzyme tests it was confirmed I was having a heart attack. No stent could be put in as the artery was too small. I am being treated with medicines. It is amazing that there was no pain, but I was told that women have different symptoms than men.

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Comment from: Lucky, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 15

I was 60 when I had heart attack. I got up, my upper back was hurting, went to work. At 9:45 in the morning I felt faint and thought I was going to be sick and the pain got worse. I didn't know I was having a heart attack.

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Comment from: Wifey, 55-64 Male (Caregiver) Published: March 04

My husband is 58 and had chest pain but, like so many, relegated it to heart burn. (He suffers from acid reflux.) He told me on the first evening that he felt as if someone had punched him in the chest. I wanted to take him to the ER, but he would not go. I gave him an aspirin and some antacid. Next afternoon, he took himself to the doctor who told him to get some Mylanta on the way home, but that his blood pressure was high so he wanted to see him next morning at 8:30. He was sent for blood tests (25 miles away -- he drove himself there and back). The doctor called my husband at 11 a.m. and told him to come right to his office. This time, I went with him. I told the doctor I was on my lunch hour and he said, "It's going to be a long lunch hour." My hubby was taken by ambulance to a hospital 45 miles away. He spent three days in the ICU and was sent to another hospital 150 miles away for a dye test. There is slight damage to his heart and minimal damage to his arteries, and one month later, he is recovering well. We have a new lifestyle, but we are so thankful. Don't play around! Go to the ER even if you feel slightly "off."

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Comment from: redbug70, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: November 18

I'm a 56-year-old man who had a heart attack. It was on a hectic Tuesday morning. The first symptom was aching in my left shoulder, which I attributed to sleeping wrong the previous night. Shortly after that came profuse sweating and a clammy, uneasy feeling. Then the pressure in my chest began. I was certain it was indigestion. Eventually, I knew what was happening and, in disbelief, I drove to the local ER. I have received both cheers and jeers for driving myself. I truly believe I saved valuable time by doing so. I never felt I was losing control at that point. The ER staff reacted immediately. In a short time, a stent was placed. I think reacting as quickly as I did, along with the prompt ER treatment, saved me from "the big one." It got my attention, and now I'm trying to make the necessary lifestyle changes.

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Comment from: mrogerson, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: September 11

I was a 32 year old female who worked in the hospital. I had worked all day and had 1 more hour left of my shift. I went out to smoke as I always did. When I came back in, I was walking down the hall and I suddenly felt like I was getting the flu. All the joints in my upper body ached on both sides. I sat down for a bit. Someone was talking to me and I felt like I was fading away. I had to get up and move. I felt very agitated and couldn't sit still. Then the sweating came. In seconds, I was drenched. I told my coworkers that I didn't feel right and I was going to the ER. I thought it might be my blood sugar. The ER doc immediately pushed the chair I was in to the bed because he said something didn't look right. They did EKG and it was normal. About 10 mins. later I had a pain in the center of my chest. Did another EKG and said I was having a heart attack. They gave me Retavase and had me airlifted to the bigger hospital. I had a heart cath and 2 stents placed. 2 days later, I had another heart attack, another cath, and 2 more stents. Needless to say, I had major life changes. Quit smoking and try to live a healthy life. At 32 who would have thought. But it has been a year and I'm still here.

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Heart Attack - Treatments Question: What was the treatment for your heart attack?
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