Heart disease is a group of conditions that affect heart health and can range from problems that are present at birth in the form of congenital heart defects, to problems only detected later in life due to high cholesterol, family history, or lifestyle choices. No matter the cause of heart disease, it’s important to recognize the early signs to ensure proper care and prevention. Here are the 10 most common early signs.
Chest, arm, or neck pain, whether mild or extreme, that’s accompanied with tightness, numbing, or tingling is a clear indicator of a heart problem and should be considered an emergency requiring immediate help.
Trouble breathing due to shortness of breath could mean the heart is unable to adequately pump blood to the lungs. Being out of breath for no reason should be reported to the doctor.
Decreased heart pumping means the muscles tire quickly, resulting in fatigue. Chronic fatigue due to normal activities should be checked out.
Swelling can occur when blood vessels begin leaking fluid because the heart isn’t pumping well. It’s usually first visible in the feet.
Persistent palpitations can indicate cardiac arrhythmia, which is an abnormal heart rhythm. While occasional palpitations are quite common, frequent palpitations accompanied with other early heart disease symptoms are cause for concern.
Dizziness can sometimes be attributed to decreased blood flow to the brain. This may be caused by arrhythmia or heart failure, so repeated dizzy or fainting spells shouldn’t be ignored.
Frequent coughing or wheezing is often present in people with heart failure because fluid can begin to build up in the lungs. The cough is usually worse when lying down.
High Cholesterol or Blood Pressure
High cholesterol and high blood pressure are both indicators that there’s trouble looming for your heart. High cholesterol and blood pressure are both risk factors for developing heart disease, so it’s important to keep both closely monitored and under control to reduce your risk.
Nausea that’s accompanied with sweating and chest discomfort can be more than digestion troubles. These symptoms can come right before a heart attack or even weeks before.
Unfortunately, family history isn’t something you can control, but it’s an indicator that helps you be more aware of your heart’s health. If there’s a family history of heart disease you should not only avoid other risk factors related to your lifestyle, but watch for other early signs heart disease and have regular checkups to detect any problems.