Six symptoms that can appear a month before a heart attack

Roughly three quarter of a million Americans suffer a heart attack every year, making it the leading cause of death in the United States.

But did you know that your body could be giving you warning signals well in advance of a heart attack? In fact, according to a study at Harvard University, only one in four heart attack sufferers experienced no warning signs. So awareness could be crucial in terms of both prevention and survival. If you experience any of the following, consult with a doctor as soon as possible.

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1. Fatigue

If you are just occasionally tired, there is probably no cause for concern. This can happen to anyone who hasn't been getting enough sleep or who has been particularly active. But if you are truly fatigued to the point where even simple activities like doing the grocery shopping tire you out, or if you are out of breath from climbing a flight of stairs, this shouldn't be taken lightly. Fatigue can be caused when in situations of stress the heart is no longer receiving an adequate blood supply and this could be a sign of an impending myocardial infarction (also known as a heart attack). 

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2. Chest pressure

A common warning sign of heart attack is a strong tightening in the chest. This is sometimes accompanied by a racing heart and pain in the chest, back, jaw, neck, arm, or upper abdomen.

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3. Breathlessness

Shortness of breath is a strong signal that your heart is not carrying enough oxygen to your lungs and this could be a sign of a blocked artery. If you're experiencing shortness of breath on a more than occasional basis under light or moderate exertion, this should set off the alarm bells.

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4. Lethargy 

If you're generally feeling weak and sapped of energy, this could be a sign that your muscles are not receiving enough oxygen. This is often the first warning sign of a heart attack.

5. Dizziness and cold sweat

If you notice these symptoms, you should visit a doctor. Excessive sweating can be an early sign of a heart attack and dizziness is likely caused by lack of oxygen to the brain.

6. Cold/Flu

Cough, runny nose and fever got you feeling under the weather? Of course, this could simply be a harmless common cold. But what many people don't know is that these symptoms often appear approximately a month before a heart attack. The cough helps your body to improve blood flow.

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If heart disease runs in your family or if you haven't always followed the best dietary and exercise habits, it's a good idea to consider making a few changes. There's a lot you can do to lessen the risks of heart attack. Avoiding smoking and heavy alcohol intake are probably top of this list but equally advisable are a healthy diet, adequate sleep, and regular exercise. Last but not least, minimizing stress levels and learning to manage stress is one of the most important favors you can do for your heart and your overall health. So, above all, don't let this list stress you out! If you're concerned about any of these symptoms, there's no better place to go for advice than to a trusted doctor. 

This website is neither intended nor suitable to replace, complete or refute professional advice, examinations, treatments, diagnoses, etc. by doctors, pharmacists, psychotherapists, medical practitioners and / or any other medical professional.

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