How Healthy is Your Heart? Signs of an Unhealthy Heart
Unlike in movies where they clutch their chest and drop to the ground, some heart problems symptoms aren’t always clear cut. It could get even more complicated when you’re older in age, overweight, have diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure. The more you’re riddled with risk factors, the more alert you should be on the signs of an unhealthy heart. To aid you, be on the watch for the symptoms below.
1. Chest Discomfort
Experiencing discomfort in the chest region is probably one of the most common and important signs of heart problems. Indication of a blocked artery or imminent heart attack, is pain, tightness, or pressure on the chest. Some describe it as an elephant sitting on them while others describe it as a burning sensation. It could spring up when at rest or when doing physical activities. If the pain is fleeting or a spot hurts more when you touch or push on it, then it's unlikely your heart. If you’re experiencing severe chest aches that don’t go away after a few minutes, immediately call 999. It’s important to keep note that heart attacks can occur even without chest pain and this is common among women.
2. Nausea, Indigestion, Heartburn or Stomach Pain
Some heart attacks mask themselves through unassuming symptoms like vomiting or stomach pain. These symptoms are commonly experienced by women who have these symptoms during a heart attack. This doesn’t mean every upset stomach should alarm you because after all, it could be just that. If you’re experiencing these symptoms and have a risk for cardiovascular problems, it’s best to consult with a professional immediately.
3. Radiating Pain That Spreads
Radiating pain that spreads down the left arm is another heart attack symptom known to many. Don’t be afraid to seek medical help if you’re experiencing shooting pain down your arm as could be a heart attack.
4. Feeling Faint or Lightheaded
Dizziness or feeling faint can stem from many things, including having low blood pressure or not having enough to eat or drink. That said, if you suddenly feel lightheaded, paired with chest discomfort or having shortness of breath, call for an ambulance right away. It could mean your blood pressure has dropped because your heart isn't able to pump in the way it should.
5. Throat or Jaw Pain
On its own, having throat or jaw pain probably doesn’t have anything to do with the heart and everything to do with a muscular issue, a cold, or sinus problem. However, pain or pressure radiating from the centre of your chest that spreads up into your throat or jaw, could be the body’s way of telling you it's having a heart attack. Rush to the emergency department or dial 999 to seek medical attention.
6. Easily Tire
Feeling exhausted easily when normal activities like climbing up a flight of stairs was easy suggests something wrong with your heart. Dial up your doctor immediately and set an appointment for consultation. Stark changes that go on for days such as this carry more weight than it seems, like a symptom of heart disease, especially among women.
Snoring when sleeping is a norm among both men and women. However, abnormally loud snoring that sounds like gasping for air or choking can be a sign of sleep apnea. This is a serious disorder in which breathing stops for brief moments numerous times throughout the night while during slumber. Sleep apnea places extra stress on your heart. Check with your doctor or undergo a sleep study to see if you have this condition. If you suffer from sleep apnea, you could possibly need a CPAP machine to normalise your breathing while you sleep.
Breaking out in a cold sweat without doing any physical activities like exercise could be a telltale sign of a heart attack. Don’t hesitate for a second to call 999 or get to a hospital. Don’t drive yourself when this occurs and seek help from family and friends for this instance.
9. Persistent Cough
In most cases, coughing could be remnants of a cold. But if you’re susceptible to heart disease, keep an eye on it and take action if it lingers. In addition, if your long-lasting cough excretes white or pink mucus, that could be an indication of heart failure. This occurs when the heart is overworked and can’t keep up with the body’s demands, causing blood to seep into the lungs. Consult your GP or cardiologist on what’s bringing about the cough.
10. Swollen Legs, Feet and Ankles
Swollen legs and ankles is a sign of bloating, which translates to the heart not pumping as effectively as it should. Bloating occurs when the heart doesn’t pump rapid enough and blood backs up in the veins. Serious conditions like heart failure makes the kidney work extra hard to remove excess water and sodium from the body, which can lead to bloating.
11. Irregular Heart Beat
It's perfectly normal for your heart to skip a beat or race when you’re scared or nervous or excited. So how do you tell when you’re in trouble? When you feel like your heart is beating way more within seconds, or if it happens more frequently than it should, book an appointment with your doctor. Irregular heartbeats in most cases are caused by fixable things like too much caffeine or not enough sleep. Ever so occasionally, irregular heartbeat may be the body triggering a condition called atrial fibrillation that needs treatment. Have it checked out immediately by a doctor.