American Heart Month brings awareness to the fact that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Heart disease has a broad definition that encapsulates many different conditions. Many of these conditions are preventable through adopting healthy eating habits, exercising regularly, and minimizing stress when possible. Your heart health is no joke, and this article will focus on common heart disease symptoms so you may be able to recognize them and make the effort to see your doctor for proper treatment.
The following are five of the most common signs and symptoms of heart disease (according to the Mayo Clinic) among both men and women. Be sure to contact your doctor or seek emergency care any time you experience pain or discomfort.
1. Shortness of Breath:
We may all get a little winded walking up a few flights of stairs or after exercising, but if you find yourself having to take breaks after even a little exertion to catch your breath, this could be a sign of aortic disease, arrhythmia, or heart failure.
2. Chest Pain:
Consistent chest pain that doesn’t worsen when touched (indicating bruising) and feels like pressure, burning, or pinching, is called angina, and it’s linked to heart disease. Always seek medical attention for persistent chest pain especially when it is accompanied by other symptoms on this list.
3. Nausea, Back Pain & Heartburn:
As we get older it gets easier to blame heartburn on the last meal you ate, and back pain to pulling something during physical activity or “sleeping wrong.”. But if any or all three seem to be persistent and, again, occur in conjunction with any of the other symptoms on this list, see your doctor.
4. Swollen Feet, Ankles, or Legs:
The medical term is “edema,”, and it occurs when one or both of your heart’s lower chambers are not able to pump blood effectively. This causes blood to back up in your lower extremities, which swell with the backed-up blood or other fluids. Many times, swollen feet or ankles is one of the first signs of heart failure.
5. Sleep Apnea / Snoring:
There have been many studies showing a link between people with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and cardiovascular disease. In fact, in an article by the National Institute of Health on the correlation between the two, they claim that, “Analysis also showed that patients with OSA had four times the odds for atrial fibrillation.”
While men and women may have other signs and symptoms specific to their gender markers, these five are the most easily recognized and should be discussed with your doctor. Take the time to make an appointment if you know you are experiencing any of them, especially if you are experiencing more than one.
Information and resources found on the MEDECEEXPRESS website and blog are intended to educate, inform, and motivate readers to make their health and wellness decisions after consulting with their healthcare provider. The authors are not healthcare providers. No information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease or condition.