Heart disease is no joke, and the sooner that you learn the signs of heart disease, the better off you will be. Heart failure and cardiovascular disease kills 647,000 people annually in the United States. Learn these top ten warning signs of heart disease and put yourself on a better track to taking good care of your health.
Heartburn or Nausea
Heartburn can signal more than just a pesky pain. It can be a serious sign that your heart is trying to tell you something.
Women tend to experience more chronic heartburn and nausea leading up to a heart attack than men. If you find yourself suffering from persistent heartburn or nausea, especially if you haven’t eaten any strange foods or engaged in activities that generally give you these problems, make a note of it. Generally speaking, heartburn and nausea occur in conjunction with other items on this list.
Heart palpitations during periods of rest are serious signs that something is wrong with your heart. Of course, it’s very common for your heart to race when you’re excited or have just finished working out, but it’s abnormal for you to experience these sorts of symptoms while your ticker is at rest. Heart palpitations feel a whole lot like your heart skipping a beat.
If you experience palpitations at rest, and you haven’t done anything like ingest a large amount of caffeine prior to the discomfort, you should speak with your doctor.
Arm pain or pain that radiates down the body is a classic sign of a heart attack. Heart attacks always move out from your chest, going through the blood vessels to the lower parts of your body. Generally, arm pain is isolated to one side of the body, and this symptom is very much more prevalent in women. If you find yourself experiencing sudden arm pain, or pain cascading down your body on one side, consider it a very serious symptom of a potential heart attack. This is doubly true if you experience this sort of pain in conjunction with other problems on this list.
Heart disease shows its face in strange ways, and one of them is excessive fatigue. Just as with heart palpitations, consider what you’re doing before you experience this fatigue. If you’ve just worked out or hit your 3 p.m. slump, fatigue might be normal. If you are usually far more active and have trouble staying awake, you could be experiencing a dangerous sign of heart disease.
Excessive fatigue is linked to many physical and mental health complaints, so always take it seriously.
Mysterious Aches and Pains
Again, you need to consider the source on this one. Aches and pains after a hard cardiovascular workout, or if you irritated a pulled muscle are one thing, but mysterious aches and pains that come out of the clear blue sky are another entirely. If you have mysterious aches and pains in conjunction with one, or several, of the other items on this list, you should strongly consider visiting your doctor for a checkup.
Trouble Catching Your Breath
Shortness of breath is very heavily linked to heart disease. Chronic trouble breathing might spill over into other areas of your life as well. You could develop chronic migraines or other problems as a result. If you have trouble catching your breath, see a doctor. You might have a very simple problem that is easy to fix, or they could be a sign of something worse, like heart disease. As with many of the items on this list, it’s always better to be safe rather than sorry!
Tightness In Your Chest
Chest tightness is a very serious symptom of heart disease, or an oncoming heart attack, especially in women. If you experience any tightness in your chest, you need to call 911 immediately. You might be in the middle of a heart attack and not even know it. Tightness in the chest, especially when paired with shortness of breath and radiating pain, is a very big problem that could literally spell a life or death situation. It’s best not to take any chances. If this happens to you, seek medical attention immediately.
Swollen Lower Body
A swollen lower body, including legs and feet, could mean that your heart isn’t working well enough to send blood to the lower regions of your form. This could show up in the form of “tingles” in your feet or even hands, as well as swollen ankles or feet that mysteriously no longer fit into any of your shoes. Like many items on this list, there are several reasons why your body might be swollen that are not related to heart disease.
Take a swollen lower body seriously if it happens in conjunction with other items on this list.
If you notice yourself having more, or increasingly serious, dizzy spells, you might have a problem with your heart. Some dizziness occurs when we don’t get enough blood to the brain. Prolonged lack of blood to the brain can be very dangerous for our cognitive abilities and even seriously impact our day to day lives.
If you experience a dizzy spell once in a while, it’s probably no big deal, but if you find yourself suffering from more and more of these incidents, it’s time to get checked out by your doctor.
Breaking Into Cold Sweats
Cold sweats are a serious sign that something is very wrong, and if you find yourself suddenly running very cold, it’s advisable to get a checkup right away. Although you might not have heart disease, the cold sweats could be indicative of something else that is just as ominous. Cold sweats are an extreme reaction by your body, and they should not be ignored.
Heart disease is a very big problem in the United States, but you can learn to identify early signs and live a long, healthy life. For more, check out the resources at Aging Today.