5 Warning Signs of a Heart Attack or Stroke


One minute everything seems fine. You’re eating dinner. You’re on your way home from work. Maybe you’re chatting with family and friends or watching a movie. Everything seems normal.

But in a minute you or someone around you could be thrust into a life or death situation.

You might think that sounds like some kind of movie trailer, but it’s not. It’s real life. Every 34 seconds someone has a heart attack or heart-related event in the United States. Every 40 seconds someone has a stroke.

In an emergency situation like someone experiencing a heart attack or stroke, every minute counts. Do you know the warning signs of a heart attack or stroke? 

Here’s what you need to know.

The 5 warning signs of a heart attack

  1. Pressure or feeling of fullness in the chest that lasts more than a few minutes or comes and goes.
  2. Pain in one or both arms. 
  3. Pain in the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  4. Shortness of breath.
  5. Unexplained cause for cold sweat, nausea, or lightheadedness

If you or someone else is experiencing heart-attack-like symptoms, call 9-1-1, or get to a hospital as soon as possible.

The 5 warning signs of a stroke

  1. Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg. Usually on just one side of the body.
  2. Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  3. Unexpected trouble seeing or blurred vision in one or both eyes
  4. Abnormal difficulty walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  5. Random and severe headache with no known cause

There’s no magic pill or secret to guarantee you won’t have a heart attack or stroke. But research shows healthy lifestyle habits can make a big difference. If you want to reduce your risk for a heart attack or stroke:

  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintain a healthy weight, or lose weight if you need to
  • Don’t smoke, or quit if you do
  • Get regular checkups
  • Control blood pressure
  • Manage stress in healthy ways
  • Avoid or limit alcohol
  • Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night
  • And last but not least...Eat Healthy foods low in sodium.

You’ll find lots of tasty and healthy options on the Low-Sodium menu made with fresh ingredients and ready to eat in minutes.