Heart Disease Warning Signs You Need to Watch for

By: Bel Marra Health | Heart Disease | Thursday, March 08, 2012 - 05:38 AM

heart disease warning signsMost people know the common warning signs of an impending heart attack including: chest pain/discomfort, upper body discomfort, shortness of breath, nausea, and unexplained extreme fatigue.  However, there are some warning sign of underlying heart disease (which could lead to a heart attack) that might not be obvious to most people.

Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in Canada.  Detecting heart disease early is one of the best ways to prevent a fatal heart attack or stroke from happening to you or someone you love.

Most people know the common warning signs of an impending heart attack including: chest pain/discomfort, upper body discomfort, shortness of breath, nausea, and unexplained extreme fatigue.  However, there are some warning sign of underlying heart disease (which could lead to a heart attack) that might not be obvious to most people. Read on to learn about strange warning signs that could mean that you have some degree of heart disease.

Heart Palpitations

Most people can’t feel their own heartbeat throughout the day. However, those that experience heart palpitations can. Heart palpitations are unpleasant, often irregular, forceful beats of your heart. While some people that experience heart palpitations may have no underlying heart disease, some individuals have underlying heart arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms).  Arrhythmias can happen when your heart beats too slow, too fast or beats irregularly.  Abnormalities of different regions of the heart, including the atria, ventricles and the nodes can cause arrhythmias that result in heart palpitations. If you begin to experience heart palpitations, visit your family doctor for further investigation of your heart.  While it may be nothing serious, it may mean that you have some form of heart disease that needs to be monitored.

Sexual Dysfunction

While you may not feel that sexual health and heart health are related, they are.  If you are having difficulty performing in the bedroom it means that blood is not flowing correctly through your blood vessels. If blood isn’t flowing correctly, it could be affecting your heart, leading to heart disease.  Simple diet and lifestyle changes can significantly improve your sexual performance as well as prevent heart disease, including heart attack.

Migraines

Migraines are often caused by blood circulation problems in the body. If you have a vascular problem that is causing migraines, it could also be causing heart disease.  If you experience migraines, especially if they start later in life, speak with your doctor to rule out underlying heart disease.

Male Pattern Baldness

Male pattern baldness is not just an aesthetic problem; it is also a circulatory problem.  There is a correlation between male pattern baldness and an increased risk of heart disease.  Again, speak with your doctor to see if you have underlying heart disease.

Snoring

Snoring creates increased work for your heart.  A study from Emory University in Atlanta found that individuals who snore have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.  Additionally, sleep disturbances can lead to high blood pressure and high cholesterol – both of which contribute to heart disease and possibly lead to heart attack. The good news is, if you have sleep problems, you can have a sleep test performed and treatment can be started to improve your sleep quality. Improving your sleep pattern will help decrease your heart disease risk.

As can be seen, not all heart disease warning signs are obvious.  If you start to notice these odd warning signs, talk to your doctor.  It could be nothing or it may warrant further investigation, but it’s better to be safe when it comes to protecting your heart.


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