Heart disease is sometimes referred to as a “silent killer.” It earns this grim reputation because it’s easy to ignore the signs of a problem until there’s permanent damage, or worse. By understanding the signs of potential trouble, you can head off heart problems at the pass and potentially save your own life, or that of a loved one by getting your heart checked out.
Your Overall Health
If you are age 60 or older, are even slightly overweight, or are diabetic, regular heart checkups should be routine. Age, excess weight, and systemic malfunction can put serious strain on your heart. Regular checkups can help pinpoint any problems early, so your doctor can help you decide upon an appropriate course of treatment.
If you’re experiencing chest pain, tightness, or pressure, or experience shortness of breath not associated with vigorous exercise, it may be time to schedule an appointment with your cardiologist to get your heart checked out. Tingling, pressure, nausea, cold sweats, and chest pain may be signs of a heart attack. If you experience those symptoms, don’t hesitate; call for medical help immediately.
Pain Below the Chest
While people commonly associate chest pain with the heart, the pain is not always located in the chest area. Nausea, indigestion, heartburn, or stomach pain may also point to a problem with the heart. If you experience what feels like indigestion or nausea, especially if you haven’t recently eaten anything spicy or rich, you may need to have your heart checked out.
Feeling tired all the time, run down, dragging, waking up feeling as if you haven’t had enough sleep even though you slept for a full eight hours, or a nagging feeling of depression or dread may be signs of a heart problem. If your heart isn’t working correctly, it may not be circulating oxygen-rich blood to all the areas of the body. If your body isn’t getting the oxygen and nutrients it needs, it will let you know. Listen to your body and get checked.
Swollen Feet and Ankles
If your heart is unable to efficiently deliver blood to the body, it’s also unable to keep the blood flowing correctly through the veins. Blood can pool in the extremities, resulting in fluid retention and swelling. If your hands or feet are swelling, especially if you’re having accompanying pain, see your doctor. Call today to discuss your symptoms and to begin building your treatment plan. You only get one heart. Take care of it.