4. TRANSIENT CHEST PAIN What it feels like:
A heavy ache that comes on suddenly and then goes away just as quickly.
Otherwise, you feel fine.
What it could be: Maybe indigestion. Or it could be a heart attack. "Even if it's very short in
duration, it can be a sign of something serious," says John Stamatos,
M.D., medical director of North Shore Pain Services in Long Island and author
Here's how serious: A blood clot may have lodged in a
narrowed section of a coronary artery, completely cutting off the flow of blood
to one section of your heart.
How much wait-and-see time do you have? Really, none. Fifty
percent of deaths from heart attacks occur within 3 to 4 hours of the first
symptoms. You're literally living on borrowed time.
How to fix it: A
blood test checks for markers of damaged heart tissue. Treatment: angioplasty
or bypass. Then try any or all of our 100 Ways to Protect Your Heart.