Signs of a Possible Heart Problem You Need to Know
Heart disease is not a silent killer anymore. In the United States alone, heart disease is the #1 cause of mortality in both men and women at 1 million deaths annually. One person dies of heart disease every 33 seconds, making it a more serious and rampant case than AIDS and all cancers combined. It is estimated that heart disease will be the leading cause of death in the world by 2020.
There is no other remedy to this growing problem than prevention and early treatment.
Early diagnosis means receiving proper treatment before symptoms turn from bad to worse. Lastly, prevention by raising awareness on health and wellness is considered to be the most powerful weapon that humanity has against heart disease.
Here are top signs of a possible heart problem. If you feel one, two, or more of these symptoms, it is recommended to seek doctor’s consult immediately.
#1 - Difficulty of breathing
Breathing difficulties are characterized by shortness of breath as if you are unable to catch a breath or inability to breathe altogether. This is caused by weakened heart muscles that results in the return of the blood from the heart to the lungs. The pain caused by the fluid leaking into the lungs can be alleviated by elevating the head which facilitates proper circulation.
#2 - Increased Anxiety Levels
The feeling Impending doom is a common sign that your heart is in trouble. Reduced tolerance to stress or exposure to stress for prolonged periods of time has always been directly related to heart disease. People prior to heart attacks will suffer from feelings of impending doom or unmanaged stress. Individuals who feel more anxious or more stressed than usual should consult with their doctor to get treated accordingly.
#3 - Chest tightness
Chest tightness featuring uncomfortable pressure or heaviness is primarily caused by the increased accumulation of fluid in the chest cavity. On the other hand, the drowning feeling is due to the increasing pressure within the lungs as a result of fluid distention in and around this region of the body. Although these symptoms are not painful, it is considered to be one of the earliest signs of an impending heart problem.
#4 - Loss of Appetite
People with heart disease will suffer from gradual loss of appetite. This is evident even if you haven’t had a proper meal for many hours. This symptom is attributed to the accumulation of fluid around vital organs responsible for digestion such as the liver, the stomach, and the intestines. The decrease of blood flow to the stomach as a result of compromised circulation and heart problems not only slow down the digestive process, but bring about minor but uncomfortable GI symptoms such as vomiting and nausea.
#5 - Behavioral Changes
Decision making as well as day-to-day activities significantly change among people suffering from heart problems. Due to the lack of oxygen supply to vital organ systems, a patient may unconsciously change her decisions as well as activity patterns is a means by which the entire body compensates for the discomforts caused by heart disease.
#6 - Weight Gain
Increase in total body weight of up to 3 pounds in 3 days is a clear sign of heart disease. Normal weight gain is due to the increase in caloric intake, but weight gain as a result of heart disease is due to accumulation of fluids in vital organ systems of the body.
#7 - Persistent Cough
Cough that lasts for more than a week or months is a tell-tale sign of a possible heart disease. Persistent cough and wheezing sounds upon auscultation is due to fluid buildup in the lungs. This symptom is most often accompanied by the excretion of thick, blood-tinged mucus.
#8 - Edema
Edema or swelling in distal regions of the body are due to the restricted flow of blood to the kidneys. Impaired kidneys then produce hormones that retain excess salt and water to distal portions of the body, namely the legs, ankles, and feet.