According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most people die of heart disease in the United States. In fact, every 1 in 4 deaths is caused because of a heart problem. This means only within the US; 610,000 people die from this each year.
Of course, heart problems do not discriminate- they can affect anyone, including white people, Hispanics, and Black people. According to some research, the number of people experiencing heart problems is rapidly rising. It must be kept in mind that heart disease is deadly. However, it can also be prevented if you notice the signs early on.
Below are some of the top signs of a heart problem. If you notice the onset of symptoms earlier, you can make some lifestyle changes to ensure that you live longer and your heart gets healthier.
1. Chest Pain
The most obvious sign of a heart problem is heartache. However, many people don’t understand that this is a medical emergency.
If you suddenly start to feel unwell and that your chest is contracting, get someone to call an ambulance. A heart attack feels like heaviness, tightness, or pressure in the chest. In fact, people commonly also describe it by saying that an elephant sat on their chest or that a tight band was around their chest. The basic feeling is constriction.
If you feel pain in your chest when working out or exerting yourself, but notice that the pain goes away when you stop, don’t worry; this could be a condition called angina. However, make sure to show your doctor still.
2. Feeling of Sickness
Obviously, just because you feel nauseous does not mean that you have a heart problem. However, if you feel pain as well, you need to be careful. If you feel chest pain even when you are not doing anything except for sitting and notice yourself feeling sick at the same time, you may have a heart problem.
Remember, a heart problem can also feel like discomfort. It does not always have to be intense pain. If this happens, consult a doctor as soon as you can.
3. Stomach Pain
Did you know that the heart and the stomach are interlinked? The truth is that the heart, the pathway between the mouth and the stomach, and the stomach itself lie extremely close to one another.
Hence, it is common for doctors to confuse indigestion and burning pain with heart pain. However, if you have any doubt, the best thing is to consult a professional. The chances are that your doctor will give you a set of algorithms to rule out heart pain. However, each person is different, and the same algorithm may not apply to them. The best thing to do is conduct some heart tests to be sure.
Of course, there is no denying that you will not feel sweaty on a hot summer day. Sweating in the gym or when doing a tedious activity is also common. However, if you suddenly start to feel extremely hot and clammy and notice chest pains, it is time to call an ambulance.
Many women undergoing menopause experience hot flashes. In these, most women complain about feeling hot suddenly and not being able to breathe properly. Make sure to check in with your doctor regardless so that you can rule out any heart-related problems.
5. Arm Pain
It is uncommon to associate heart problems with arm pain. However, arm pain is one of the signs of a heart attack. If you notice pain going down the arm, particularly the left arm, or notice it going into the neck, the chances are that you are experiencing some heart-associated problem instead of indigestion.
If the pain is persistent or does not go away with medicine, seek emergency medical advice. Otherwise, this could be fatal.
6. Jaw or Back Pain
Usually, heart problems result in pain in the jaw or the back. If this pain is persistently felt, you must consult a doctor.
Studies show that most women with heart attacks are more likely to experience some “classic” chest pain. Moreover, women are less likely to opt for medical treatment and emergency help.
7. Feeling of Extreme Fatigue
If you feel chronically tired, you may have an underlying heart problem. Of course, this symptom is not specific, which means that your local doctor will have to rule out heart failure, angina, as well as a set of other problems.
A good trick to understand is to see if you are tired or have been working late or staying up beyond your bedtime. If any of these are true and you feel incredibly fatigued, the chances are that your heart is okay. However, if your lifestyle has not gone through any change and you still feel exhausted, it is a good idea to catch up with your doctor.
8. Irregular Heartbeat
You will find loads of studies on the internet trying to diagnose irregular heartbeats. According to a study, 700 people were given heart monitors. Out of these 700, only 20 were found to have atrial fibrillation- a condition that can increase your risk of heart disease. The other subjects were found to have extra ectopic heartbeats. These are usually harmless and do not indicate heart problems.
An irregular heartbeat is hard to decipher. Being overly aware of the way your heart is beating is common. In most cases, you must not get too anxious about this.
However, if you feel that your heart is beating extremely fast and is jumping around, you should pay a visit to your doctor. If you experience blackouts when feeling this way, call an ambulance as soon as possible.
In case of any doubt or complication, do not wait. Consult your doctor and rule out any doubts about a heart problem. Remember, the earlier you diagnose it, the higher your chances of survival.