Movies and TV have taught us the telltale sign of heart trouble: A sharp, distinct pain in the chest that’s immediately evident as an emergency. That’s not a great education. “Signs of heart disease can often be mild and so brief that they could be dismissed for something else or not even be noticed at all,” says Roshini Malaney, DO, a cardiologist with Manhattan Cardiology in New York City. Oftentimes, the heart sends subtle messages that’s something’s wrong, in the form of symptoms that can be felt from your head to your legs.
1. Tugging In Your Chest
Sometimes a heart attack won’t have you dramatically clutching your chest, just feeling that something’s not quite right. “Patients typically will complain of a pressure/tugging/discomfort, usually in the middle of their chest, sometimes that radiates down the left arm, or into the jaw,” says Jeremy Pollock, MD, a cardiologist at the University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson, Maryland. “This can be associated with exercise or exertion, and relieved by rest.”