11 Warning Signs That Indicate Your Heart Doesn’t Work as it Should. Never Ignore

If something went wrong with your heart, would you know it?

Not all heart problems come with clear warning signs. There is not always an alarming chest clutch followed by a fall to the floor like you see in movies. Some heart symptoms don’t even happen in your chest, and it’s not always easy to tell what’s going on.

“If you’re not sure, get it checked out,” says Charles Chambers, MD, director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at Penn State Hershey Heart and Vascular Institute.

That’s especially true if you are 60 or older, are overweight, or have diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure, says Vincent Bufalino, MD, an American Heart Association spokesman. “The more risk factors you have,” he says, “the more you should be concerned about anything that might be heart-related.”

Especially watch out for these problems:

1. Chest Discomfort

It’s the most common sign of heart danger. If you have a blocked artery or are having a heart attack, you may feel pain, tightness, or pressure in your chest.

The feeling usually lasts longer than a few minutes. It may happen when you’re at rest or when you’re doing something physical.

If it’s just a very brief pain — or if it’s a spot that hurts more when you touch or push on it — it’s probably not your heart, Chambers says. You should still get it checked out by a doctor. If the symptoms are more severe and don’t go away after a few minutes, you should call 911.

Also, keep in mind you can have heart problems — even a heart attack — without chest pain. That’s particularly common among women.

2. Nausea, Indigestion, Heartburn, or Stomach Pain

Some people have these symptoms during a heart attack. They may even vomit, Chambers says.
Women are more likely to report this type of symptom than men are.

Of course, you can have an upset stomach for many reasons that have nothing to do with your heart. It could just be something you ate, after all. But you need to be aware that it can also happen during a heart attack.

So if you feel this way and you’re at risk for heart problems, let a doctor find out what’s going on, especially if you also have any of the other symptoms on this list.

3. Pain that Spreads to the Arm

Many have experienced pain in one or both arms before having a heart attack. This happens when the pain from your heart travels to your spinal cord where many nerves of your body are connected and your brain gets confused and thinks that your arm is in actual pain when that’s not the case.

4. You Feel Dizzy or Lightheaded

A lot of things can make you lose your balance or feel faint for a moment. Maybe you didn’t have enough to eat or drink, or you stood up too fast.

Losing consciousness is very common among those with heart-related problems. When the heart is not pumping blood as it should, you might have clogged artery which can lead to heart attack. If you faint very often, you should definitely visit your doctor for a check-up.

5. Throat or Jaw Pain

By itself, throat or jaw pain probably isn’t heart related. More likely, it’s caused by a muscular issue, a cold, or a sinus problem.

But if you have pain or pressure in the center of your chest that spreads up into your throat or jaw, it could be a sign of a heart attack. Call 911 and seek medical attention to make sure everything is all right.

6. You Get Exhausted Easily

If you suddenly feel fatigued or winded after doing something you had no problem doing in the past — like climbing the stairs or carrying groceries from the car — make an appointment with your doctor right away.

“These types of significant changes are more important to us than every little ache and pain you might be feeling,” Bufalino says.

Extreme exhaustion or unexplained weakness, sometimes for days at a time, can be a symptom of heart disease, especially for women.

7. Snoring

It’s normal to snore a little while you snooze. But unusually loud snoring that sounds like a gasping or choking can be a sign of sleep apnea. That’s when you stop breathing for brief moments several times at night while you are still sleeping. This puts extra stress on your heart.

8. Sweating

Breaking out in a cold sweat for no obvious reason could signal a heart attack. If this happens along with any of these other symptoms, call 911 to get to a hospital right away. Don’t try to drive yourself.

9. A Cough That Won’t Quit

In most cases, this isn’t a sign of heart trouble. But if you have heart disease or know you’re at risk, pay special attention to the possibility.

If you have a long-lasting cough that produces a white or pink mucus, it could be a sign of heart failure. This happens when the heart can’t keep up with the body’s demands, causing blood to leak back into the lungs.

Ask your doctor to check on what’s causing your cough.

10. Your Legs, Feet, and Ankles Are Swollen

When your heart is not pumping properly, the fluid from your blood vessels leaks into surrounding tissues and cause your legs and feet to swell. This is called peripheral edema and many people who have it do not have heart disease. But still, it is a very common symptom amongst heart disease patients and you should pay close attention to it.

11. Irregular Heart Beat

It’s normal for your heart to race when you are nervous or excited or to skip or add a beat once in a while.

But if you feel like your heart is beating out of time for more than just a few seconds, or if it happens often, tell your doctor.

Source:webmd.com

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