How To Recognise A Heart Attack

by Jessica Lakes

You might think you know a heart attack when you see one. After all, you’ve seen the classic Hollywood movie scenes, haven’t you? You know, the scenes where the guy clutches onto his ribcage with one hand and the tablecloth with the other. Eyes bulging, gasping for breath, he then collapses into a heap on the floor.

Yep, that guy was definitely having a heart attack, and if that ever happened to you, you’d know you were having a heart attack. So, until that happens, you’ve got nothing to worry about, right?



You see, Hollywood is all about the drama. Whether it’s a couple kissing or a guy keeling over with a heart attack, Hollywood dramatises everything. The reality is actually very different. 65% of heart attacks creep up on us slowly. They rarely strike like lightning, and they rarely cause us to take the tablecloth, the steaks and the wine with us onto the floor. They’re more subtle.

According to researchers in Ireland, only 35% of heart attack victims experienced a sudden onset of symptoms, such as those witnessed on the silver screen. Sure, heart attacks can strike suddenly, and they can often be fatal when they pounce like this. But because 65% of heart attacks creep up slowly and emit symptoms you wouldn’t normally associate with a heart attack, we’re gonna take a look at some of these.

You’re Overcome With Nausea 

If a heart attack is imminent, it can cause you to feel suddenly nauseous and you could find yourself scrambling for the toilet. This is because a parasympathetic nervous system has been put into overdrive.

The good thing – if we can put it that way – is that nausea and vomiting very rarely comes on suddenly. Sure, it can be down to a stomach bug, but this sudden onset of violent symptoms should set alarm bells ringing.

You’re Experiencing Heartburn 

This symptom is perhaps as far removed from the classic Hollywood-style heart attack as you can get. Heartburn, after all, is something many of us experience a couple of times a year. It’s just one of those things that happen, and for this reason it can be very easy to dismiss the possibility that you’re having a heart attack.

But dismiss this possibility at your peril. You see, a heart attack prevents a health blood flow from reaching our arteries, and because of this heartburn-like symptoms can appear out of no where. Key phrase here being “out of no where.”

If you experience heartburn along with other risk factors, such as nausea and sweating, we recommend seeking medical advice.

You’re Break Out In A Sweat 

A heart attack is bloody stressful – on your body, that is. For this reason, it can cause you to break out in a rapid sweat. If you happen to break out in a sweat for no apparent reason, consider seeking medical advice because you could be having a heart attack.

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