Some of us know the signs of heart disease, which is a heart condition that causes a buildup of plaque in its chambers. It’s only after you’ve had a heart attack or are suffering from severe chest pain that you get a proper diagnosis and treatment for your condition.
However, it can take years of following the doctor’s orders before getting a proper diagnosis. While many of us are may be aware of heart attack symptoms, there are some signs of heart disease we should look out for to prevent the condition before it becomes severe.
7 Signs Of Heart Disease You Should Not Ignore
You Feel Dizzy Or Lightheaded
You Feel Dizzy Or Lightheaded
This could be a sign of what’s known as “orthostatic hypotension.” It means that you’re not getting enough blood flow to your brain, which can cause dizziness and lightheadedness and be a sign of heart disease.
If you have orthostatic hypotension, this should get better with time. If it persists, it could signify that your circulation is severely impaired, and you should see a doctor.
You Have Swollen Ankles, Hands, Or Feet
If the heart isn’t pumping blood efficiently, your ankles, hands, or feet may swell (edema) with fluid. In a study of adults without a history of cardiovascular disease, fluid in the lower extremities was associated with future heart failure hospitalizations. It is one of the primary signs of heart disease.
Heart failure is often accompanied by swelling of both legs. Sometimes a blood clot causes one leg to swell. If the veins cannot return fluid to the heart, fluid can accumulate in the legs.
Leg or Hip Pain When You Walk
Besides being caused by injuries, arthritis, or being out of shape, leg and hip pain can also be a sign of peripheral arterial disease, affecting blood circulation in the legs.
In much the same way that clogged arteries in the heart can result in heart attacks, clogged arteries in the legs can also cause pain while walking. This is known as claudication. A blocked leg artery probably means that the heart has blocked arteries.
Pain related to circulation can often be felt during exercise and disappears when you stop. This occurs because the muscles receive less oxygen. The pain disappears when you stop walking since you do not need as much oxygen.
An Uncontrollable Urge To Urinate Wakes You Up
If you have to run to urinate in the middle of sleeping and it’s not due to drinking any liquids before bed, it could be a sign of heart disease.
This is called Nocturnal polyuria. When the heart is weak, it pumps less blood to the kidneys, which results in fluid retention and swollen ankles and legs. During sleep, gravity pulls fluids from the legs back to the heart. More fluid must be filtered by the kidneys, increasing the need to urinate.
In older adults, especially those who have enlarged prostates or experience urinary incontinence problems, nighttime urination is more common. However, a frequent need to urinate at night, especially with swelling ankles, needs attention and a doctor’s examination.
You Discover Xanthomas (Fatty Bumps)
The bumps referred to as xanthomas are calcium deposits in the tendons usually associated with high cholesterol levels. People with a family history of high cholesterol are especially susceptible to tendon xanthomas at their ankles and elbows.
According to one report, people with familial hypercholesterolemia (a genetic predisposition to high cholesterol) if left untreated have a 20-fold increased risk for coronary artery disease.
Laying Flat Makes It Difficult To Breathe
Symptoms such as trouble breathing when sleeping on your back, but better breathing when sitting up, may be signs of fluid buildup in your lungs, which could mean that you have heart problems.
When you lie flat, your blood volume gets redistributed. The heart can have problems pumping this extra blood volume, leading to increased shortness of breath due to increased fluid in the lungs. This condition, known as orthopnea, needs a doctor’s immediate attention.
You’re Fatigued Not Knowing Why
An obstructed coronary artery may make you feel tired after doing ordinary chores, such as sweeping the kitchen floor. The first symptom of a cardiac event is fatigue for most women.
Low blood flow to the heart can cause fatigue up to a month before a heart attack. Get medical help if you feel tired doing mundane tasks.
Heart disease is a leading cause of death worldwide. It is the primary reason people don’t live to the age they might otherwise expect to.
There are many risk factors associated with heart disease, but there are also signs and symptoms that you can look out for and take precautions to prevent.
If you notice any of the signs of heart disease listed above, and if they are persistent and happen for no known reason, you should seek medical attention. While it’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions and take medications as prescribed, it’s also essential to maintain a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and get regular checkups.