10 Sneaky Signs You May Have Heart Disease
Heart disease is often referred to as the "silent killer" because it can develop quietly over time, without obvious symptoms. This is why it's crucial to be aware of the sneaky signs of heart disease that might go unnoticed until a serious cardiac event occurs. While chest pain is the most well-known symptom, there are many other subtle signals your heart might be in trouble. In this blog, we'll explore these sneaky signs of heart disease, providing you with valuable information on how to protect your heart health.
Crushing chest pain and shortness of breath are classic signs of a heart attack. But what about the less obvious signs of heart disease? It doesn’t always announce itself with a bang. Are there other, more subtle signs that indicate you may have trouble with your ticker?
Symptoms may vary depending on the type of heart disease you have. Indicators that you may have heart problems include:
- Changes in skin color (blue or gray tinge)
- Struggling to catch your breath while doing things that used to be easy or struggling to breathe while lying down
- Swelling in your legs, feet or ankles
- Coughing and wheezing
- Rapid weight gain
- Rapid heartbeat
- Indigestion and heartburn
- Nausea and sweating
- Chest pain, the most common sign (also known as angina), can feel like a dull pressure or a sharp pressing or stabbing pain, which may or may not radiate to the jaw, neck, back or arms.
Also see: Heart Attack Symptoms Women Should Know
Episodes of chest pain are common with exertion prior to experiencing a heart attack. Sometimes the very first sign something is wrong with your heart health is a heart attack.
It’s especially important for women to learn to recognize the signs of heart problems. Heart attacks are traditionally considered to be a disease of men. However, heart disease kills more women than any other condition. Women are especially vulnerable after menopause (which generally occurs around age 50) when their levels of estrogen drop and the risk of heart attack increases.
Women often delay getting lifesaving care for heart attack symptoms, because their symptoms do not match what they think a heart attack should feel like. Only about half of women who have heart attacks first experience chest pain. Oftentimes, women write off these ‘silent’ heart attacks as indigestion, a sprained or strained muscle, fatigue, anxiety or just feeling run-down.
Some fail to take the symptoms seriously. Others feel embarrassed that a trip to the emergency room might reveal that their symptoms were caused by something other than a heart attack.
For both women and men, various factors increase the risk of heart disease. The most common include diabetes, excess weight, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, lack of exercise, tobacco use, untreated sleep apnea and a family history of heart disease.
Heart disease is a leading cause of death worldwide, but it can often develop without obvious warning signs. By being vigilant and recognizing the sneaky signs mentioned above, you can take early steps to protect your heart health. If you or a loved one experience any of these symptoms, consult a healthcare professional promptly, or it is important to visit or call the Nearest Emergency Room for medical help. We have board-certified physicians, nurses and staff to help you recover and give appropriate treatment and medical advice.
Additionally, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise, a balanced diet, and stress management, can go a long way in preventing heart disease. Remember, your heart's health is in your hands, and early detection can make all the difference.
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