Signs of Heart Attacks in Men

What if you could tell when you’re about to have a heart attack? It turns out there are signs in men that can warn you a cardiac episode is possibly on the way, so you can seek medical attention earlier.

As Men’s Health points out, it’s not always like in the movies when a guy that seems perfectly healthy suddenly clutches his chest and keels over. That scenario does happen – but not as common as you might think, it adds. There are ways your body may be trying to tell you that something’s up with your heart, and here are 12 of them…

1. Tummy Troubles

It’s apparently true that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. says nausea, vomiting and other stomach issues can indicate early warning signs of a heart attack.

The source also indicates that abdominal pain or heartburn could be a sign of a “silent heart attack,” which is when you have a heart attack without all the classic symptoms. In fact, it says as many as 200,000-Americans have a silent heart attack every year without realizing it.

2. Bedroom Woes

Men’s Health says this symptom is very specific to men – and that’s erectile dysfunction, to be exact. The reason some men can’t maintain an erection is from blood vessel damage, and it notes if “your blood vessels down there are damaged, there’s a good chance the ones near your heart could be damaged as well.”

The source says if it’s an isolated performance issue, it could be down to being tired or stressed. But if it happens to you regularly, then you’re going to want to talk to a doctor about the possible causes.

3. Excessive Snoring

This could be a sign of sleep apnea, a serious condition that causes you to stop breathing during the night. And sleep apnea can put you at higher risk of a heart attack if left untreated, adds the source.

It turns out those “pauses in breathing” put a lot of stress on your body, while raising your blood pressure, it notes. High blood pressure mixed with the associated irregular heartbeat from improper breathing can make a heart attack more likely, it explains.

4. Chest Pressure

If you feel like an invisible person is sitting on your chest, then your body may be trying to give you a heads up about your heart, says WebMD. While there may be pain involved, it’s generally a feeling of fullness or squeezing, it adds.

In some cases, this warning sign could be mistaken for heartburn. The discomfort will be located in the left or middle part of your chest, and the feeling can come and go, says the source.

5. Chest Pain

WebMD adds that the sudden onset of pain and other symptoms is often referred to as a “Hollywood heart attack,” as that’s how they’re often depicted in films. However, a heart attack will most often begin with mild pain or discomfort as we mentioned, says the source.

However, this doesn’t mean it can’t happen this way. While it’s pretty obvious extreme pain in your chest is a medical emergency, you should also consider consulting a doctor for mild pain and discomfort, as it could be the beginnings of something a lot more serious.

6. Feeling Fatigued

Feeling chronically tired can be a sign of many health problems, but 1-of those potential problems is physical exhaustion – at least in women, says Men’s Health. “And though studies can’t say for sure whether the same is true for men, you should pay attention if your usual routine suddenly seems unusually hard – or you’re too worn out to do your normal tasks altogether,” it adds.

This is because the left ventricle of your heart responsible for pumping blood to the rest of your body may be having troubles, it adds. It may also result in not being able to properly fill with blood between heartbeats, it adds. The result is tissues not getting the vital oxygen they need, leaving you feeling exhausted.

7. Pain In Other Places

A heart attack doesn’t just mean you feel pain in your chest, reminds WebMD. It notes that other areas of your body may start to ache because they’re being starved of blood supply.

The source says this painful area will usually be a part of your body above your waist, such as the stomach, shoulders, one or both arms, back, neck, jaw, and even your teeth.

8. You Can’t Walk it Off

Men’s Health says that excessive pain or burning in your legs from walking may be a sign something’s up. The source says this is a common symptom of peripheral artery disease, “a narrowing of the arteries that limits blood flow to your limbs, stomach, and head,” it adds.

You might find you can’t walk the same route without feeling discomfort, or you’ll have to stop to take a break more often before continuing, it adds. What’s this got to do with your heart? “The plaque buildup that contributes to the narrowing of your arteries in your limbs may also be occurring in arteries by your heart,” it adds.

9. Acute Anxiety

If you’re normally pretty cool and collected, but find yourself feeling quite anxious out of the blue, it could be related to your heart, says Men’s Health. This symptom is more common in women, but still something to pay attention to if you’re a man, it adds.

If you’re not in a stressful situation but are having strong anxiety symptoms such as shortness of breath or heart palpitations, then you might actually be experiencing a heart attack (on the flipside, people end up in the ER mistaking a panic attack for a heart attack). However, the source says some guys put off seeking medical help when they have these symptoms, thinking it’s just a “mood thing.”

10. Shortness of Breath

WebMD calls this dyspnea, and it can occur on its own or with chest pain when it’s related to a heart attack. In fact, it may be your only warning sign that you’re having a heart attack, adds the source.

The shortness of breath can happen whether you’re being active or sitting still, “and is probably due to congestion (fluid buildup) in your lungs,” adds the source. You may also be coughing or wheezing too.

11. Sense of ‘Impending Doom’ says you may feel like something unpleasant is going to happen before it actually happens. It’s apparently more than just a reaction to something that’s already happened; it can be a precursor to something that’s medically significant, notes the source.

It says people who have experienced this symptom describe a “feeling that something unusual is happening” or even a “desire to seek immediate medical care even though other symptoms don’t seem to warrant it.” While some people may write this feeling off, the source says it’s medically significant and has been dating back to ancient Greece. It admits there are “surprisingly” few studies about sense of impending doom as a medical symptom, but says the symptom is connected to a heart attack, as well as other health episodes.

12. Defending Against an Attack

Of course, the best approach is to identify any risk factors such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol long before you’re being admitted to hospital for a heart attack.

That means scheduling regular medical checkups “and learning to recognize the symptoms of a heart attack,” says Healthline. If you have any cardiac risk factors (such as smoking, for example), then specifically ask for tests to check the condition of your heart, it adds.

Jeff Hayward

Jeff Hayward

Jeff has more than 15 years of experience writing professionally about health, travel and the arts among other subjects. He continuously looks to improve his own overall health through exercise, diet and mindfulness. He is also a proud stay-at-home dad that loves taking photographs both professionally and as a hobby.