These 8 Signals Could Be Warning Signs of an Impending Heart Attack

Heart attacks are a terrifying thing, especially because it’s often difficult to predict when and who a heart attack will strike. But there’s no need to live in constant fear that you’ll be the next victim of this cardiovascular episode, not if you keep an eye out for some key signals.

Here are 8 signs that you might be at risk of a heart attack. Keep in mind, however, that this is not medical advice, and it is merely being provided for informational purposes only. Should you have any concerns regarding your health, be sure to consult with a doctor or other medical professionals.:

1. Abdominal Pain

If you’ve been noticing your stomach is upset recently (this can be nausea, pain, or even bloating) this could be a sneaky red flag, according to the Mayo Clinic. Abdominal pains before a heart attack have an episodic nature, meaning they ease off and then returning for short periods of time.

2. Insomnia

Struggling to fall asleep, maintain sleep, or waking up unusually early could be signs of insomnia. Insomnia is also associated with an increased risk of a heart attack or stroke, especially among women, according to a study published in the journal Neurology. Anxiety and absentmindedness are also symptoms of chronic insomnia.

3. Unusual Fatigue

Feeling tired, even if you’re getting a full night’s sleep? The American Heart Association found that unusual fatigue is one of the main symptoms that indicates an impending heart attack.

Fatigue like this doesn’t have to be caused by physical or mental activity, and it will increase towards the end of the day. Take note if it’s sometimes exhausting to perform simple tasks, like making a bed or taking a shower.

4. Hair Loss

One of the most visible signs of heart disease is losing hair on the crown of your head. This most commonly affects men over 50 (at least, according to a review of studies involving about 40,000 men) but some women may also be in the risk group.

5. Irregular Rhythms

Arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) or tachycardia (increased heart rate) can happen abruptly and often lasts for 1-2 minutes. Research shows if it doesn’t fade, you might feel dizziness and extreme fatigue, in which case you should call the doctor right away.

6. Loss of Breath

Dyspnea, or breathlessness, is a strong feeling of being unable to draw a deep breath; often you’ll feel tired and dizzy, as well. This sign affects both men and women for up to six months before a heart attack, according to a study published in New England Journal of Medicine.

7. Unusual Perspiration

Often associated with women going through menopause, these hot flashes could be signaling a heart attack, says the North American Menopause Society. Take note of any flu-like symptoms, clammy skin, or sweatiness occurring regardless of air temperature or physical exertion.

8. Chest Pains

The biggest and most well-known symptom is the uncomfortable sensation in one or both arms, jaw, neck, shoulders, or chest. In men, this symptom refers to the most important early signs of an impending heart attack that should not be ignored. On the other hand, it affects only 30% of women.