If something went wrong together with your heart, would you know?
Not all heart problems accompany clear warning signs. There isn’t always an alarming chest clutch followed by a fall to the ground as seen in the movies. Some heart symptoms don’t even occur in your chest, and it isn’t always easy to inform what’s going on.
Charles Chambers, MD, director of the Cardiac Catheterization Lab at Penn State Hershey Heart and Vascular Institute said, “If you are not sure, get it examined.”
Vincent Bufalino, MD, spokesperson for the American Heart Association says, this is especially true if you’re 60 or older, overweight, or have diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure.
Pay special attention to these issues:
1. Chest discomfort
It is the foremost common sign of cardiac danger. If you’ve got a blocked artery or are having a heart attack, you’ll feel pain, tightness, or pressure in your chest.
“Some people say it’s sort of a pinch or a burn.”
The sensation usually lasts quite a couple of minutes. It can happen once you are at rest or once you do something physical.
If it’s only a very brief pain – or if it’s somewhere that hurts more when you touch or press it – it’s probably not your heart, Chambers says. You should still get it verified by a doctor. If the symptoms are more severe and do not go away after a couple of minutes, you should call 911.
Also, remember that you can have heart problems – even a heart attack – without chest pain. It is especially common in women.
2. Nausea, indigestion, heartburn or stomach pain
During a heart attack, some people have these symptoms. They can even vomit, says Chambers.
Women are more likely to see this type of symptom than men.
Of course, there are many reasons that you can have indigestion that have nothing to do with your heart. It might just be something you ate after all. But you should be aware that this can also happen during a heart attack.
So if you are feeling this way and are at risk for heart problems, let a doctor know what is going on, especially if you’ve got any of the other symptoms on this list as well.
3. Pain that spreads to the arm
Another classic symptom of a heart attack is pain that emits to the body’s left side.
Chambers says, “It always starts nearly from the chest and moves outwards.”
4. You feel dizzy or lightheaded
A lot of things can cause you to lose your balance or feel weak for a while. Maybe you don’t have enough to drink or eat, or you got up too fast.
But if you suddenly feel unstable and also experience chest discomfort or shortness of breath, call a doctor immediately.
Also Read: Read About the Subtle Signs of Heart Disease
5. Pain in the throat or jaw
On its own, throat or jaw pain is perhaps unrelated to the heart. More likely, it is caused by a muscle problem, a cold, or a sinus problem.
But if you are feeling pain or pressure within the center of your chest spreading down your throat or jaw, it might be a sign of a heart attack. Call 911 and see a doctor to make sure everything is fine.
6. You get exhausted easily
If you suddenly feel tired or short of breath after doing something you had no problem doing in the past, such as going up stairs or carrying groceries from the car, make an appointment with your doctor immediately.
Extreme exhaustion or unexplained weakness, sometimes for days on end, can be a symptom of heart disease, especially in women.
It is normal to snore a little while sleeping. But unusually loud snoring that looks like choking or gasping can be a sign of sleep apnea. This is when you stop breathing for some moments several times at night while you are still sleeping. This puts additional stress on your heart.
Your doctor can check if you would like a sleep study to see if you’ve got this condition. If you do, you may need a CPAP machine to soften your breathing while you sleep.
Having a cold sweat for no apparent reason could signal a heart attack. If this happens at the same time as any of these other symptoms, call 911 to go to the hospital immediately. Don’t try to drive yourself.
9. A cough that doesn’t stop
In many cases, this is not a sign of heart trouble. But if you have heart disease or know you’re at risk, pay considerable attention to this circumstance.
If you’ve got a persistent cough that produces white or pink mucus, it might be a sign of heart failure. This happens when the heart cannot meet the body’s demands, causing blood to flow into the lungs.
Ask your doctor to check for the cause of your cough.
10. Your legs, feet and ankles are swollen
This could be a sign that your heart is not pumping blood as efficiently as it should.
When the heart cannot pump fast enough, blood flows back into the veins and causes bloating.
Heart failure can also make it harder for the kidneys to get rid of excess water and sodium from the body, which may cause bloating.
11. Irregular heartbeats
It is normal for your heart to race when you are nervous or excited, or when you skip or add a beat every now and then.
But if you feel your heart beating out of time for more than a couple of seconds, or if it happens often, talk to your doctor.
“In most cases, this is caused by something that’s easy to fix, such as too much caffeine or not enough sleep,” says Bufalino. But sometimes it could signal a condition known as atrial fibrillation that needs treatment. So ask your doctor to check it.