Common heart attack symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea, and sudden dizziness, to name a few. Many of us are well versed in the symptoms of a heart attack and know if we experience them, we need to seek emergency medical attention. Unfortunately, most of us are unfamiliar with symptoms relating to other heart problems aside from a heart attack, such as heart failure, valve problems, and irregular heartbeats. These symptoms are often overlooked, so heart problems can continue and worsen until it’s too late to recover from them.
Cardiologist Dr. Randall Zusman explained, “Any symptom that seems to be provoked by exertion and relieved by rest could be heart-related. Particularly in people with underlying risk factors such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, tobacco use, a sedentary lifestyle, obesity, and a strong family history of heart disease, other symptoms besides chest pain may be the clue to a heart problem.”
Here are some symptoms to pay attention to that can reveal an underlying heart-related issue.
Symptoms you should never ignore
This is a difficult symptom to base a problem on because it is indicative of several different conditions ranging in severity. New fatigue that seems to be constant could signal that your heart isn’t pumping enough blood efficiently, which could signal coronary artery disease.
Unexplained aches and pains
Pain experienced in the abdomen, jaw, shoulders, arm, or back that occurs without a reason can be a result of coronary artery disease because the muscles aren’t getting enough blood. If this pain appears while moving but stops while at rest, it could also signal heart disease.
Shortness of breath
Shortness of breath may be a result of lack of fitness, but if the smallest amounts of activity have you huffing and puffing for air, then this is a sign of a heart problem.
Swollen feet and ankles
If your foot or ankle is swollen and when you press on it with your finger, an indentation is left, you could have heart failure. This could also be the result of kidney disease, too much salt intake, liver failure, inefficient blood flow, or a side effect of medications. In any case, you should have this symptom looked after.
When your heart doesn’t beat regularly, it is known as a heart palpitation. These can feel like a rapid, slow, or irregular heartbeat where it fixes between fast and slow. There are a variety of reasons for heart palpitations including caffeine or alcohol intake, stress, anxiety, and dehydration. First review your diet and current situation when experiencing heart palpitations to narrow down if it is a serious heart-related problem or caused by something that will pass.