Cardiologist Stacey E. Rosen, MD, says this is one of the most common symptoms she sees, especially in female heart-attack patients. “In my 25 years of practice, people on the verge of a heart attack report feeling tired and not able to do their usual activities,” says Dr. Rosen, the vice president for women’s health at the Katz Institute for Women’s Health at North Shore-LIJ Health System in New Hyde Park, NY. During a heart attack, blood flow to the heart is reduced, putting extra stress on the muscle, which could make you feel exhausted. If you’re feeling fatigued, it’s smart to talk to your doctor about why. He or she will decide if an electrocardiogram (EKG), which checks heart activity, or another test, is necessary. Here are some other tests for your heart that could save your life.
Soreness in the back, arms, or chest
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Noticeable pain or soreness in the back, chest, or either arm is often a silent heart attack sign. Because the pain is often not accompanied by the typical chest heaviness associated with heart attack, people tend to ignore it, says Dr. Rosen. “I’ve had patients say they only felt the pain when they were working out, so they assumed it was just from exercise, but that’s not right,” she says. “If the symptom is something new, that’s worrisome and you should see a doctor.”