7. Have the flu? Think again. Chronic fatigue and flu-like symptoms can start a week before a heart attack.

Many people are unaware that fatigue can be a sign of a heart attack, particularly among women. In some cases, women mistake heart attacks for merely the symptoms of a flu-like illness. Symptoms commonly associated with the flu include body aches, fatigue, fever, chills, muscle aches, headache, appetite loss, and general malaise. If you’ve been suffering from these maladies on a regular basis, don’t just shrug them off; although it might just be the flu, there’s a possibility it could be something much more serious.

The reason a heart attack might cause fatigue is that a blockage preventing adequate blood flow exerts undue stress on the heart, resulting in exhaustion. If you regularly find yourself feeling fatigued and can’t figure out what’s causing your exhaustion, heart problems may be to blame. However, chronic fatigue can also have other causes, so it’s a good idea to consult with your doctor to determine the nature of your condition.

Fatigue as a heart attack symptom tends to be more prevalent in women than men. This fatigue can sometimes be accompanied by dizziness and lightheadedness. Fatigue can begin weeks or even months before a heart attack occurs. Therefore, it’s essential to address this issue with your doctor as soon as possible. With something as dangerous as a heart attack, it’s far better to be safe than sorry.