What are the Pre-Warning Signs of a Heart Attack?

Medically reviewed by | By

Update Date 07/12/2020 . 4 mins read
Share now

Heart-related illnesses are the leading cause of death worldwide. And among these illnesses, heart attacks are one of the most common. Thankfully, if you keep yourself informed about the pre-warning signs of a heart attack, you can seek medical attention before it gets worse.

Knowing the pre-warning signs of a heart attack can also prove useful if you have a loved one in poor health, or with a heart condition. If you recognize the symptoms that they feel as that of a heart attack, then you can take steps in order to make sure they get medical attention as soon as possible.

Pre-warning signs of a heart attack

Here are some of the pre-warning signs of a heart attack that you should know.

Chest pain

Chest pain is one of the most common symptoms that you might be having a heart attack.

When a heart attack happens, the blood flow to your heart gets cut off, or drastically reduced. If blood flow to the heart is affected in any way, this causes the heart muscles to have difficulty doing their job, which causes the pain and tightness most commonly associated with a heart attack.

The chest pain that a person experiences during a heart attack is different to other types of chest pain, and you will definitely know that something’s wrong when you feel it. So it is important to always pay attention to what your body is trying to tell you.


Lightheadedness is a feeling of dizziness, or a feeling that you might faint or lose consciousness.

In the case of heart attacks, this results from a lack of blood flowing from the heart to the brain. Since blood flow is vital to a person’s brain, you need to seek medical attention as soon as possible if you start feeling lightheaded.

Another common symptom associated with lightheadedness during a heart attack is nausea. In fact, some people even start vomiting right before a heart attack occurs. Sometimes, indigestion and abdominal pain can also accompany these sensations.

Pain in other parts of the body

Aside from experiencing pain in the chest, the pain can also sometimes radiate to a person’s arms, jaw, neck, back, and stomach. When it comes to arm pain, the left arm is usually the one affected, but it can also happen to both of your arms.

This sensation feels like there is a radiating pain coming from your chest, moving outward to the other parts of your body.

Shortness of breath

Shortness of breath is another common symptom of an oncoming heart attack. This can happen with or without chest pain.

The reason why you experience shortness of breath is because your heart pumping blood and your breathing are closely related. This means that if something causes your heart to have problems pumping blood, such as an oncoming heart attack, you can experience shortness of breath as well.

One important thing to note is that the shortness of breath can happen suddenly and without warning. This means that if you were just sitting down, or not doing any strenuous work, and experience shortness of breath, be sure to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

When Should Shortness of Breath Be a Cause for Concern?


Another one of the pre-warning signs of a heart attack is fatigue. Fatigue is generally described as a lack of energy or tiredness.

One notable thing about fatigue caused by a heart attack is that it is sudden, and unexplainable.

This happens because your heart is having difficulty beating, so it is trying to pump extra hard to compensate. This is why fatigue is one of the more common symptoms of heart attacks.


This one is an interesting symptom. Some people who have suffered a heart attack say that they have experienced intense anxiety right before it happens.

They say that it’s a strong feeling of “impending doom” and that you will definitely know it if it happens to you.

This might be a way that your body is telling you that there is something very wrong, and that you need to seek help as soon as you can.

Cold sweats

Cold sweats happen because your heart needs to make an extra effort in order to pump blood throughout your body.

Because of this, your body starts to sweat to help keep you cool while your heart is exerting itself. This results in cold sweats that happen right before a heart attack.

If you experience any combination of the symptoms above, it would be best to seek medical attention immediately. While it is possible that some of these symptoms can be caused by other illnesses, it is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your health.

Instead of ignoring these symptoms, be sure to pay attention to what your body is trying to tell you.

As always, getting medical treatment immediately is best when it comes to heart attacks. This can help get your treatment started as soon as possible, and can significantly lower the risk that you might suffer another heart attack in the future.

Learn more about heart health, here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Was this article helpful for you ?
happy unhappy

You might also like

Causes of Hypertension: What Makes Blood Pressure Go Up?

If left unchecked, hypertension or high blood pressure can have negative effects on one's health. Read on to learn about the causes of hypertension.

Medically reviewed by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
Written by Kip Soliva
Hypertension 22/12/2020 . 3 mins read

What is Alcoholic Cardiomyopathy?

Alcohol abuse can have lots of negative effects on our bodies. One of them is known as alcoholic cardiomyopathy. What is alcoholic cardiomyopathy?

Medically reviewed by Dr. Mia Dacumos
Written by Tracey Romero
Cardiomyopathy 18/12/2020 . 4 mins read

What Causes Gestational Hypertension

What causes gestational hypertension or high blood pressure during pregnancy? It occurs in 6 percent of all pregnancies and should be closely monitored.

Medically reviewed by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
Written by Den Alibudbud
Hypertension 18/12/2020 . 3 mins read

10 Ways To Fight Congestive Heart Failure

What are the best ways to fight congestive heart failure? Here are ten, expert-backed changes and steps to take to prevent this condition.

Medically reviewed by Dr. John Paul Abrina, M.D.
Written by Jan Alwyn Batara
Heart Failure 13/12/2020 . 4 mins read

Recommended for you

types of heart attacks

Types of Heart Attacks: Risk Factors, Causes, and Prevention

Medically reviewed by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
Written by Kip Soliva
Published on 30/12/2020 . 3 mins read
what is sinus arrhythmia

Everything You Need To Know About Sinus Arrhythmia

Medically reviewed by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
Written by Ruby Anne Hornillos
Published on 29/12/2020 . 3 mins read
heart valve disease symptoms

Heart Valve Disease Symptoms and Risk Factors

Medically reviewed by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
Written by Isabella Olivares
Published on 29/12/2020 . 4 mins read
what is the normal range of cholesterol levels

What is the Normal Range of Cholesterol Levels?

Medically reviewed by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
Written by Kip Soliva
Published on 28/12/2020 . 3 mins read