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Chest Pain Isn’t the Only Symptom of Potential Heart Issues

September 27, 2022

There are many atypical symptoms. Here are some and how to recognize them.


Chest pain is the symptom most associated with cardiovascular issues. On the other hand, there are many other atypical symptoms that may indicate something is wrong with the heart. For instance, symptoms like lightheadedness, shortness of breath and jaw pain may seem unrelated to heart issues, but things like high blood pressure, arrhythmias, valve issues, and even blood clots could be behind these symptoms. Dismissing these issues frequently cause people to delay urgent, life-saving care.

Symptoms that Could Signal Heart Issues

Tingling Or Pain In The Legs

Pain in the legs, even though it seems like it’s so far from the heart, could, in fact, signal that there’s something happening with the cardiovascular system.

Pain or swelling in the calves or lower legs could be due to a blood clot in the deep veins of the body. Leg swelling can also occur if the heart has issues pumping blood throughout the body, causing reduced blood flow the legs.

Dizziness Or Lightheadedness

Abnormalities in blood pressure - including blood pressure that’s either too high or too low - can cause dizziness. The lightheadedness can be a symptom of heart palpitations, or extra heartbeats, that can trigger lightheadedness.

Though many arrhythmias are benign and triggered by factors like caffeine or menopause, some irregular heartbeats can be a sign of heart disease or a blockage in the heart arteries.

A Bad Headache

A severe headache may be a marker that something’s amiss with the heart. A frontal headache with pain that shoots across the forehead and behind the eyes can indicate that a person has high blood pressure,

Some people don’t feel their blood pressure, but at one point, it gets a little too much blood pressure for their brain to handle and then they’ll get that frontal headache and pain behind the eyes.

High blood pressure resulting in a headache can be an urgent issue. If the pressure is high enough and sustained for long enough, it can lead to the blood vessels bursting.

Nausea Or Decreased Appetite

Nausea and a loss of appetite can be signs of heart failure. When the heart begins to fail, fluid can accumulate in the legs and belly. When the gut fills with fluid, it doesn’t absorb nutrients as well, causing people to lose their appetite and feel full all the time.

Occasionally, nausea and upset stomach are the only symptoms that patients with a blockage in the back artery of the heart will feel.

Many patients who have a heart attack won’t have chest pain or shortness of breath, they’ll just get nauseous.

Jaw Pain And Tightness

Some people with cardiovascular issues will experience jaw pain and heaviness that radiates up the neck, into the jaw and down into the left arm. This is more common when patients are exerting themselves.

These symptoms can be a sign of a heart attack, but they may also be a sign of angina (significant blockages). People experiencing neck and jaw pain should immediately be evaluated by a doctor.

As these examples show, medical emergencies aren’t always easy to recognize or predict. That’s why it’s so important to be prepared. Protect yourself with a Medical Air Services Association (MASA) plan today. MASA provides coverage from emergency medical transportation bills and protects you from the expensive cost of ground and air ambulances. A trip to the Emergency Room is stressful enough – the bill for the ride doesn’t have to be. IRTA and AMBA offer MASA, and joining is easy. You can even sign up online. Learn more at or call 877-290-3170.


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