Most of us know about some of the major warning signs of a heart attack. However, once those occur, it is often too late and significant damage may already have been done to the heart, which may even result in death. If you know the following 5 subtle heart attack symptoms, however, there is a chance that you can take action sooner and avoid having a full heart attack.

Understanding 5 Subtle Heart Attack Symptoms:

1. Not experiencing any chest pain. Rather, you may feel burning, aching, tingling, tightness, or pressure in your upper back, shoulders, arms, neck, jaw, throat, and ear. These things could indicate a heart problem. It often feels a lot like having a pulled muscle, or arthritis, or sometimes even a pinched nerve. It may very well be that, in fact. However, if the feelings are persistent, it is better to have the possibility of a heart attack ruled out first. If you have jaw pain that is constantly present, it is likely that you have an issue that requires dental care. However, if you find that it comes and goes, and that it is particularly bad when you exercise, then it is more likely to be the heart. The jaw and heart nerves are very close to each other.

2. Shortness of breath is one of the 5 subtle heart attack symptoms as it is common with heart problems. You may feel breathless or like you are panting, or your heart rate may start to race when you do something simple like go upstairs or other daily activities. You may also struggle to have a conversation without having to gasp for breath. Sometimes, people feel like they just ran several miles, even if they haven't moved at all. These symptoms could also be indicative of COPD or asthma, or you may be having a panic attack. However, the latter shouldn't last more than about five minutes. If it starts slow and then lingers, you should get it checked out.

3. Unusual and extreme fatigue, which was reported to be present in 70% of women one month before having a heart attack, according to a study in Circulation. This isn't fatigue caused by not sleeping enough, doing too much, or having the flu. It is extreme fatigue that stops you from being able to do anything without sleeping. It is often caused by a blockage to your heart, which means blood doesn't get there quick enough.

4. Feeling overheated or sweating, particularly sudden, unexplained episodes of cold sweats, can be symptomatic of a heart attack. For women, do be aware that this could also be indicative of a heart attack.

5. Anxiety, including a sense of fear or impending doom shortly before people have a heart attack, as well as during. They know that there is a real problem, but they don't know what it is or what they should do. In many cases, this is attributed to stress, because people live such hectic lives, but it could also be a heart attack. You must learn to truly listen to your body, in other words.