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What are the early symptoms of blocked arteries?

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Early symptoms of blocked coronary arteries may include angina and shortness of breath, according to Mayo Clinic. In the early stages of coronary artery disease, though, there may be no symptoms at all. Other early symptoms include rapid or irregular heart beats, weakness, dizziness, nausea and sweating, reports WebMD.

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Angina is the most common symptom of blocked arteries, or coronary artery disease, claims WebMD. Angina is the term used to refer to the pain in the chest often described as a sensation of pressure or heaviness. Angina can be an aching, squeezing, painful or burning feeling that sometimes is mistaken for heartburn or indigestion. Some describe the feeling as a heaviness or numbness in the chest. Though angina typically is felt in the chest, the symptoms also manifest in the left shoulder, arms, jaw, back or neck.

Emotional or physical stress usually triggers angina, which typically disappears within minutes after the stressful activity stops, notes Mayo Clinic. Exertion may lead to shortness of breath since the heart is unable to pump an adequate supply of blood through clogged arteries.

When the arteries become completely blocked, a heart attack may result, according to Mayo Clinic. The classic sign of a heart attack is chest pain, though some people, especially women, experience less typical symptoms, such as nausea and jaw pain, and a heart attack may cause no recognizable symptoms in some people.

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