Heart disease continues to be the number one killer in America for both men and women. Unfortunately, many lives are taken because we ignore or are just not aware of the signs and symptoms that reveal a heart problem. By not knowing or even overlooking these symptoms, you are putting your life at risk. Matters of the heart are often sudden and life-threatening.
There are some common signs and symptoms of a heart problem that many of us are aware of including chest pain, headaches, and left arm pain. However, some people don’t experience these common symptoms. Instead, they are plagued by uncommon symptoms.
Becoming aware of the less common symptoms of heart problems could be the difference between life and death.
Swollen legs or ankles: Swollen limbs can be a result of many things, like too much salt. But fluid build up in the ankles or lower part of the legs is actually a common symptom of congestive heart failure. This condition is when the heart is unable to process blood in and out at a proper rate.
Headaches: A severe headache is a symptom of a pending stroke or blood clot. Although a headache alone doesn’t signal these issues, a headache experienced with other symptoms like neck stiffness, fatigue, or dizziness could be a tell-tale sign of something more serious.
Exhaustion: The reasons to feel exhausted are truly endless, so deciphering heart-related exhaustion can be quite challenging. In this case, a person will experience an abnormal amount of exhaustion, which would be weird for the person because they would normally feel okay. Furthermore, this exhaustion may be accompanied with weakness as if you have developed the flu. This occurs because your heart is unable to pump enough oxygenated blood. This symptom is very easy to dismiss, so make sure you are listening to your body and don’t continue to push yourself.
Stomach cramping: Another symptom that can occur for several other reasons, stomach cramping can be caused by heart pain that radiates down to the stomach. Sharp stomach cramping can be a signal sent down from your heart. If this is a symptom you never experienced before, then you should see a doctor right away or else it could signal heart burn or the flu. Once again, pay close attention to any accompanying symptoms.
Fainting: Fainting is the result of a sudden drop in blood pressure. A valve disorder can cause this, as the heart may be beating too fast or too slow. One episode of fainting isn’t a sign of a heart problem, but if you’re fainting repeatedly, you may be in trouble.
Dizziness: Sporadic light-headedness isn’t a long-term concern, but sudden or persistent dizziness could be the result of a blocked artery or valve disorder.
Upper back pressure: This is another case where heart pain radiates elsewhere. A patient may describe this pain like an elephant is sitting on their upper back—just imagine how much pressure that would create.
Although the signs and symptoms of a heart problem may not always be clear, they are still important to know. If you find yourself experiencing them, call for help.