Contributed by- Dr. Pooja Chaudhary
With a Healthy Heart, the Beat moves on!
Not all heart problems come with a warning sign but most do. Incidentally, there are some heart symptoms that don’t even happen around the chest zone but can have an impact on the heart. These signs and signals which our body sends us indicate that there is something seriously wrong and it’s time to pay attention. One must not ignore them as they may signal some serious problem or even an imminent threat to life. On the other hand, these symptoms may turn out to be nothing serious, but you won’t know that for sure without seeing a physician.
Below are 11 important symptoms that one should not ignore. These are warning signs sent by our heart telling us to put a stop to it before it stops you.
CHEST PAIN OR DISCOMFORT
This is the most detectable coronary artery disease symptom.
Chest pain is the first sign of a heart attack. This is caused by narrowing of the coronary arteries and is also called angina. It is possible to have a chest pain and not have a heart attack. There are different types of angina and they are indicative of signs of CAD.
Reminders: Need to consult a doctor immediately. It also indicates that one should take heart health seriously.
Heart palpitations are mostly not a sign of heart attack. But they can be a symptom of an abnormal heart rhythm or arrhythmia. Palpitations can be a result of stress or anxiety, and not essentially a heart problem symptom. Smoking can also lead to palpitations, and there are certain cold medicines or other drugs which can also cause it.
Warning: Arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat) can be mild or severe. They can also be quite serious and require medications or procedures designed to prevent episodes when your heart isn’t beating normally. It is always advisable to consult a doctor and rule out the cause of it.
SHORTNESS OF BREATH
A sudden feeling of difficulty in catching your breath, even with mild exertion like climbing one flight of stairs, can be a sign of several different health problems. And it can definitely be a sign of heart attack also.
Other conditions which can be manifested by shortness of breath are heart failure, heart attack or low blood pressure (hypotension). If a person has trouble breathing especially when lying down, it can possibly be a sign of heart failure.
Advice: If a person notices that suddenly they have developed shortness of breath, then a doctor should be contacted at the earliest.
PAIN SPREADING TO THE ARMS
This is another classic heart attack symptom. A person can feel a pain that radiates down the left side of the body. Pain mostly starts from the chest and moves outward. It can also be felt only in the left arm.
Remember: Chest pain radiating to the left arm is an indicator of a heart attack.
FEELING DIZZY OR LIGHTHEADED
There are a lot of factors that can make a person lose their balance or even feel faint for a moment. This could possibly be due to weakness, lack of food and water, or standing up too fast or suddenly. But if a person suddenly feels unsteady along with chest discomfort or shortness of breath, then it is an indicator of a heart attack. In this case, a doctor should be called immediately.
Important: This condition indicates that blood pressure has dropped because the heart isn’t able to pump the way it should and the person needs immediate attention.
THROAT OR JAW PAIN
Throat or jaw pain is mostly caused by a muscular issue, a cold, or a sinus problem. But when a patient experiences pain or pressure in the center of the chest that spreads up into the throat or jaw, it could be a sign of a heart attack.
Advice: In this case, the patient requires immediate supervision and should be taken to the hospital.
FEELING EXHAUSTED OR TIRED TOO EASILY
If a person suddenly feels fatigued or tired like climbing the stairs or carrying groceries from the car or performing any other activity, then this could be an alarming situation.
Note: It is important to note that if a person feels extremely exhausted or has an unexplained weakness, sometimes for days or at a time, then it could be a symptom of a heart attack. These are the most common heart problem symptoms in women.
Most of the people these days snore. It is quite normal to snore a little while you sleep. But if a person snores unusually loud and it sounds like gasping or choking then it could be a sign of sleep apnoea. In this, the patients stop breathing for brief moments several times at night while they are still sleeping. This puts an extra stress on the heart.
Note: If a patient has an unusual kind of snoring, then a doctor should be consulted.
NAUSEA, INDIGESTION, HEARTBURN, OR STOMACH PAIN
Few people experience these symptoms during a heart attack, they may even vomit. An upset stomach could be due to many reasons. But these are the warning signs.
Remember: If a person is at risk of heart symptoms and is experiencing these symptoms then a doctor should be consulted.
Sweating is a normal body process and a person normally sweats after exercise or due to heat. But, a cold sweat for no obvious reason could signal a heart attack.
Advice: This is an emergency situation and the patient should be taken to the hospital.
A cough could be caused due to several reasons. If a person has a long-lasting cough that produces white or pink mucus, then it could possibly be a sign of heart failure. This happens because the heart can’t keep up with the body’s demands, causing blood to leak back into the lungs.
Remember: If a patient has a long-standing cough and is at risk of heart disease then a doctor should be consulted to rule out the cause.
Heart disease has become the leading cause of death these days. It has also been noted that symptoms of heart disease in men are more common as compared to women. Hence, it is important to get pumped up about heart health and take care.
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