Chest Pain: Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore

Woman with chest pain.

When you have chest pain, it can be difficult to know whether or not it’s caused by a serious condition or a mild one, such as heartburn. There are certain symptoms associated with this type of pain that you should never ignore. These symptoms can indicate that you are at risk of having a heart attack and requiring immediate medical attention.

Heart Disease and Heart Attacks

Heart disease impacts many people in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), roughly 610,000 die from heart disease each year and 735,000 have heart attacks every year. If you have one or more risk factors for heart disease, such as being obese or having a family history of it, it’s important to know the early warning signs of heart attacks. If you experience any of the following, you should seek medical care.

Chest Pain or Tightness

Having soreness in your chest or a feeling of pressure is one of the most common signs of a heart attack. This symptom typically lasts longer than just a couple of minutes and can occur whether you’re resting or moving around. If the pain subsides, you should see a cardiologist to determine the cause. If the pain becomes severe and lasts for a longer period of time, you should seek emergency care.

Pain in Other Areas

Chest pain can move down your left arm during a heart attack. In fact, this is another common early warning sign of heart attacks. Keep in mind that some people only have pain their left arm during a heart attack rather than chest pain that moves down the arm. Pain that occurs in the middle of your chest and moves to your jaw or throat can also be a sign of a heart attack. Seek immediate medical care if you experience these symptoms.

Nausea or Stomach Discomfort

Heart attack symptoms don’t just affect the chest. You can also experience nausea or an upset stomach during a heart attack. These types of symptoms more commonly occur when women have heart attacks, but they can also occur in men who are having them. Since these symptoms are also associated with many other conditions, it can be hard to know if they are happening due to a heart attack. If you’re unsure, seek medical attention if you have these symptoms along with chest pain or other heart attack signs or if you’re at risk of heart problems.

Sudden Sweating

If you break out in a cold sweat out of the blue, it could indicate an early sign of a heart attack. When you have chest pain and other symptoms in addition to sudden, unexplained sweating, it’s crucial to seek emergency care.

Abnormal Heartbeat

Your heartbeat typically speeds up when you’re upset or excited, but this should only last temporarily. You might also have times when your heart seems to skip a beat or beat irregularly, but these should be rare. If you have an abnormal heartbeat that lasts for longer than a few seconds or an irregular heartbeat that occurs frequently, see your doctor to find out the cause. In some cases, this symptom indicates that you have a heart condition that requires treatment.


Heart problems can make you feel winded when you do any type of physical activity. This can even occur when you do simple tasks that have never bothered you before, such as going up a flight of stairs or lifting objects. If you have exhaustion that lasts for a couple of days or more or if you frequently feel winded after doing normal activities, it’s time to see a doctor to check for heart problems. Keep in mind that some women who have heart attacks experience exhaustion that lasts for a few days.


There are a number of possible causes of lightheadedness or dizziness, but this symptom can indicate that you’re having a heart attack. If you feel dizzy all of a sudden and have chest pain and other symptoms, such as trouble breathing, seek medical care right away. These symptoms can occur when your blood pressure drops suddenly due to heart problems. Seeking medical care helps ensure that you receive treatment if it turns out to be a heart attack. If your symptoms are due to another cause, going to a doctor helps you determine what it is and how to treat it.

If you have chest pain, it’s important to have the cause diagnosed as soon as possible. Contact Park Avenue Medical to schedule an appointment with one of our cardiologists. If your symptoms are associated with another condition, such as gastrointestinal issues, rather than a heart condition, our physicians can also provide you with the care you need.



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