Chest pain is a common sign of a heart problem, and most people are aware of this. However, there are multiple, hidden signs of heart problems of which most people are unaware. This article will discuss the symptoms of heart trouble that often go unnoticed.
Swelling and Weight Gain
People with heart valve problems may develop swollen ankles, legs or feet. Some people swell in the abdominal area. The swelling is caused by a build-up of fluids. These fluids build due to a reduction in blood flow from the heart. Due to decreased heart functioning, some patients begin to gain weight rapidly. Rapid weight gain is described as the gaining of two or more pounds in a day or five or more pounds in a single week. Heart patients should watch out for swelling and weigh themselves weekly.
Unexplained aches or pains
The blockage of the blood supply to the heart muscle that occurs with coronary artery disease leads the heart to “cry out in pain” when it is asked to work harder. However, that pain is not always felt in the chest. Sometimes it is felt in the shoulders, arms, back, jaw, or abdomen. Particularly when pain in these locations occurs with exercise and disappears with rest, the pain could well be a sign of heart disease.
Nausea and Lack of Appetite
Though people don’t normally associate stomach problems with heart trouble, stomach problems are not uncommon in heart patients. Some patients lose their appetite due to a decreased amount of blood received in the digestive system. This decrease in blood weakens the digestive system. Heart patients who lose their appetite may complain of feeling overly full or nauseated.
It is common knowledge that confusion and a lack of cognitive functioning are associated with illnesses such as Alzheimer’s. However, many people are unaware that cognitive problems can also be associated with heart disease. People with heart trouble may have memory loss and a general feeling of disorientation. This is caused by changes in the levels of substances in the blood.
While coughing and wheezing may not necessarily be “hidden signs,” these symptoms are sometimes overlooked or mistaken for cold or flu. People with heart disease tend to cough or wheeze often. This is because fluid builds up in the lungs. This cough can interfere with daily activities, and it may worsen over time. The wheezing and coughing is often most severe during physical exertion. Those who experience this coughing might also produce pink or white mucus mixed with blood.
A cold sweat
People having a heart attack sometimes break out in a cold, clammy sweat.
The aforementioned symptoms can be indicators of various illnesses, and they should all be taken seriously, especially when they occur simultaneously. A person diagnosed with heart disease should make his or her doctor aware of worsening symptoms, new symptoms or changing symptoms. A cardiologist can recommend medications, therapies and changes in daily activities that may lessen the severity of symptoms.
While there is no cure for heart disease, modern medicine and a change in patient lifestyle can treat symptoms and improve a patient’s overall quality of life.
It is important that you have regular visits with your doctor to determine your health, get regular exercise, and eat a smart diet. Even if you follow the healthy lifestyle rules, you should also know that your genetics can play a role in whether or not you get any forms of heart conditions. You should still do what you can to reduce your risk regardless of whether you might be at a high risk or not, but also see your doctor for regular checkups. You may need anything from medication that lowers your blood pressure and cholesterol, to losing weight, or even having certain types of surgical procedures.
You should continually take your heart health seriously and not underestimate the potential dangers of heart disease, whether it means avoiding a heart attack or if your doctor has diagnosed you with high blood pressure.
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