How do you know if you have an unhealthy heart?
Having a healthy life and to age gracefully is certainly what most people would want to. Taking care of heart health plays a big role in achieving this. Taking care of the heart health does not only have effects on the heart but also to the mind and body wellbeing in general. Heart as a vital organ works nonstop throughout a person’s life. However, because the heart is working endlessly, people usually take heart health issues lightly until the heart actually causes symptoms.
Symptoms affecting the heart should be taken seriously. Either mild or not the symptoms are but as long as it is related to the heart diseases should be treated as a suspected unhealthy heart. Below are signs or symptoms that you may be having an unhealthy heart:
- Chest pain- Chest pain or discomfort could be signs of the poor blood flow to the heart. The pain may start off as mild discomfort, feeling as if something is pushing against the chest, squeezing of the chest or burning sensations. The feelings typically last longer than a few minutes. It could occur when you are taking rest or when you are doing physical activities. Chest pain, even if it is brief or did go away, should be getting checked by doctors.
- Fatigue- Unusual or extreme tiredness may or may not be a sign of an unhealthy heart. Tiredness that could be explained such as from working long hours or staying up all night may not be signs of an unhealthy heart but that does not entirely mean there is no possibility of heart problems. Unexplained fatigue that lasts for days should be checked by doctors as this could be signs of heart disease.
- Pain that spreads to the left arm- This is a classic heart attack symptom. This is very likely to be a sign of an unhealthy heart.
- Jaw pain- By itself, it may not be a sign of an unhealthy heart. However, when it is accompanied with chest pain or pain spreading to the left arm, this should definitely be considered as signs of heart attack.
- Shortness of breath- It is true that this may result from many health problems not related to the heart such as anxiety, anaemia and allergic reactions. Even so, shortness of breath that develops gradually may be signs of heart diseases such as heart failure. It can be caused by the poor blood flow of the heart or fluid-build up into the lungs. Sudden shortness of breath can be a sign of dangerous pulmonary embolism which is an emergency.
- Swelling of the lower limbs- Swelling of the legs, ankles or feet that become significant may be a sign of an unhealthy heart such as heart failure. Although, swelling of the lower limbs may be caused by other reasons not directly related to the heart.
- Feeling dizzy or lightheaded- This indicates that there is lack of oxygen to the brain. Heart diseases such as heart valve disorders or heart failure can lead to such an event. Feeling dizzy or light-headed when standing up can be an early sign that something is wrong with the heart.
- Persistent cough- Cough with white or pink phlegm can be a sign of heart diseases. This happens as a result of the heart unable to pump blood as demanded by the body and causes the blood to leak back into the lungs.
- Irregular heartbeat- It can be normal to have your heart beat faster than usual when you are nervous or excited, or even after some heavy physical activities. However, when you start to feel heart palpitations for no reason, this might be signs of an unhealthy heart.
- Indigestion, heartburn or stomach ache- At most times, it is a harmless condition especially when it is caused by the meal you have just had but if these symptoms persist, it would be better to get checked by doctors especially in women and those with high risk for heart diseases such as diabetes high blood pressure or a smoker.
In essence, there are many ways for you to know if you might have an unhealthy heart. Since most of the signs or symptoms of heart diseases can be associated with other diseases that are harmless, it is best to get checked by doctors whenever you have any of the symptoms. At the very least, you should get an ECG test before leaving the doctor’s office or hospital. This will help you feel better knowing there is not something serious or dangerous affecting the heart, at least currently. The best way to make sure your heart is in its healthiest state, you should get regular health check-ups. Practising healthy eating habits, engaging in an active lifestyle of exercising, getting enough quality sleep and managing stress in good manner, can greatly help the heart to be healthy. Avoiding smoking and alcohol is a must for a good heart. For more information on heart health, contact your local doctor.