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6 Signs of a Heart Attack a Month Before

Published on: May 24, 2024
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Are you experiencing occasional chest pain along with sleep issues and unusual fatigue? If yes, do not ignore them. It is time to consult a cardiologist, as they can be early symptoms of a heart attack.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau’s (NCRB) annual report, there were 32,457 incidents of heart attacks in India in 2022, resulting in 32,410 fatalities.

The report highlights a sharp 12.5% increase in heart attacks in 2022 against 28413 known cases in 2021. Even 3,329 individuals below 30 years of age have experienced heart attacks, up against 2,371 in 2018.

In this compelling situation, knowing the symptoms of heart attack is crucial. Studies have pointed out that individuals may witness symptoms days or even months before the impending emergency.

This blog highlights the early signs of a heart attack so that you can seek timely medical help and prevent adverse outcomes.

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What is a Heart Attack?

A heart attack (scientifically known as myocardial infarction) occurs when the coronary arteries transferring blood to the heart are extremely reduced or blocked.

It happens due to fat or cholesterol build-up ( a condition known as atherosclerosis), which may rupture and transform into a clot, ultimately restricting blood flow to the heart.

A heart attack is a life-threatening condition, as the heart does not receive enough oxygen, leading to premature death of heart muscles.

Individuals experiencing symptoms of a heart attack should immediately seek medical consultation. The prodromal symptoms serve as warning signs of a future medical emergency.

Top 6 Early Signs of a Heart Attack

Here are the 6 early heart attack symptoms, which you may experience even days or months in advance.

1. Chest Pain

Chest pain or angina is one of the most common heart attack symptoms. It appears as a pressure or a sensation of tightness in the chest.

In some cases, individuals reported a feeling of someone squeezing their chest as a common prodromal symptom appearing even a month before a cardiac arrest.

Chest pain often appears to radiate to the arms, back, jaws, or neck. Shortness of breath, nausea, and sweating, along with chest pain, are common symptoms associated with a heart attack.

A 2023 study by Hina Sohail et al. revealed that among 242 candidates, 100 (41.3%) candidates experienced prodromal symptoms, and chest pain was the most significant early heart attack symptom, with a frequency of 68%.

Early Heart Attack Symptoms

2. Shortness of Breath

Shortness of breath (dyspnea) is another common heart attack symptom. Heart patients experience trouble breathing with a sensation of lack of air in the lungs.

You may undergo shortness of breath associated with chest pain, dizziness, fatigue, and nausea months before a cardiac arrest.

When your heart cannot pump sufficient oxygen-rich blood for the entire body, your system responds by breathing faster. It tries accumulating more oxygen for the body, resulting in shortness of breath.

If you experience dyspnea, try to find a chair and sit in a forward-leaning position. Stop all physical activities and practice relaxed breathing.

In severe cases, lying on your side resting your head on a cushion can help manage the symptom.

3. Chest Heaviness

Doctors often link chest heaviness as a symptom of a heart attack. It usually happens when there is a reduced blood flow to your heart, and heart muscles start to die.

The chest heaviness is experienced as a squeezing, crushing sensation with a feeling of tightness.

In the same study by Hina Sohail et al. for prodromal symptoms for acute myocardial infarction patients, chest heaviness was the second most prominent heart attack symptom, with a frequency of 44%.

Similarly, 34% of candidates witnessed shortness of breath in the study.

In heart attack cases, the heaviness in the chest doesn’t stay in one place. It radiates to other body parts, such as the neck, jaw, arm, or abdomen.

If you experience this symptom and chest pressure, immediately call for medical help.

4. Heart Palpitations

Several heart patients have reported palpitations as a common heart attack symptom days or months in advance. It appears as if your heart is fluttering, racing, or pounding, giving rise to a feeling that your has either skipped a beat or pumping too fast.

In the 2023 study by Hina Sohail et al., 42% of candidates reported palpitation as a notable prodromal heart attack symptom.

5. Chest Burning

Are you experiencing a burning sensation in your chest without any notable history of ulcer or
gallbladder disease?

If yes, then you should never ignore this symptom, as there are accounts of heartburn prodromal symptoms even months before an emergency.

Chest burning usually occurs when gastric acids reflux into the oesophagus. However, it can often become challenging to differentiate between heartburn and a heart attack without medical tests.

If your heartburn fails to resolve even after antacid intake, immediately visit a doctor.

6. Unusual Fatigue

Extreme tiredness and dizziness can turn out to be an early heart attack symptom.

Though occasional fatigue may result from strenuous physical work or exercises, constant tiredness can signal underlying health conditions like heart attack or coronary artery disease.

How We At Fitterfly Can Help You?

If you are experiencing symptoms of a heart attack, waste no time and immediately book a consultation with your local cardiologist.

Usually, a heart attack due to a partial blockage shows a prodromal symptom a week before the emergency, whereas an attack from a totally blocked artery shows symptoms months in advance.

We at Fitterfly have India’s first heart health program, FitHeart, to tackle heart diseases before they become severe.

Are you ready for a positive heart health journey? If yes, enroll in our FitHeart Program today.

Our team of dedicated coaches will create customised diet and exercise plans to help you avoid a future heart health emergency.

For further details, check out our FitHeart Program today or call us at 08047360646. We will be more than happy to help you.

Disclaimer

This blog provides general information for educational and informational purposes only and shouldn't be seen as professional advice.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the six early symptoms of a heart attack?

The six early symptoms of a heart attack are chest pain, shortness of breath, chest heaviness, palpitations, chest burning, and extreme fatigue.

Are there any differences between heart attack symptoms between men and women?

Females are more likely to demonstrate prodromal symptoms for heart attack than males, as per a 2023 study by Kyle J Schulte et al. Moreover, females report a higher frequency of less typical heart attack symptoms like sleep disturbances, anxiety, nausea, and jaw pain.

Which is the most common early symptom of a heart attack?

Chest pain is the most common early heart attack symptom experienced by 93.9% of males and 94.4% of females, according to a 2022 study by Alice Nyström et al.

What is the difference between heart attack and cardiac arrest?

A heart attack results when the blood supply in the coronary arteries is significantly reduced due to a blockage, whereas a cardiac arrest is the sudden stoppage of heart function resulting from irregular heart rhythms.

What should you do when you experience early heart attack symptoms?

As soon as you experience early heart attack symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath, chest heaviness, palpitations, chest burning, and extreme fatigue, immediately lie down and ask someone to call an ambulance to seek medical help.

- By Fitterfly Health-Team

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