If something went wrong with your heart, would you know it?
Not all heart problems come with clear warning signs and some heart symptoms don’t even happen in your chest, and it’s not always easy to tell what’s going on.
According to experts, there are five symptoms of a bad heart that you should take note of and seek immediate medical attention if you experience them.
5 signs of poor heart health to never ignore
1.Abnormal heart beat
Also known as an arrhythmia, and it does not necessarily mean your heart is beating too fast or too slow.
This could seem like a skipped beat, an additional beat, tachycardia (beating too quickly), or bradycardia (beating too slowly). Or it may show no symptoms at all, being a silent arrhythmia. These could be serious or harmless, so it is the best to visit your doctor.
Symptoms of an abnormal heartbeat include:
- Heart palpitations
- Pounding in the chest
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain or tightening
- Feeling very tired (weakness or fatigue)
There could be no symptoms if it is a silent arrhythmia.
If you have an abnormal heartbeat:
- Stop doing certain activities that bring on the complaint more often
- Stop smoking
- Stop excessive drinking of alcohol
- Stop excessive intake of caffeine
- Stop taking cold and cough medicines containing stimulants.
Chest pain can be caused by anything from muscle pain to a heart attack and should never be ignored. Yet, it might not be the heart that is causing this pain. As well as the heart, the pain could be caused by the muscles in the affected area, lungs, gullet, nerves, or ribs, including the sternum. Types of chest pain include sharp, dull, burning, aching, stabbing, or a tight crushing sensation.
Symptoms to watch out for in addition to chest pain:
- Dizziness, nausea, confusion, fast heart rate or breathing, and excessive sweating
- Pain spreading to the jaw, left arm, or back
- A sudden feeling of pressure or crushing under the breastbone
- Extremely low blood pressure or heart rate
- Shortness of breath
Causes of heart-related chest pain:
- Coronary artery disease
- Heart attack
- Myocarditis, the same symptoms of a heart attack but without the blockage
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
- Mitral valve prolapse
- Coronary artery dissection
3.Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
This is caused by a blood clot in one or more deep veins. It usually occurs when you suffer from some specific medical conditions that affect how your blood clots. DVT can also happen if you don’t move for a long time, such as after surgery, following an accident, or when you are confined to a hospital or nursing home bed. It is well-known that DVT can also cause a pulmonary embolism, thanks to a free-running blood clot which goes straight to the lungs.
Symptoms of DVT include:
- Pain, swelling and tenderness in one of your legs (usually your calf)
- A heavy pain in the affected area
- Warm skin in the area of the clot
- Red skin, especially at the back of your leg below the knee
- DVT usually (but not always) affects one leg
If left untreated, about one in 10 people with a DVT will develop a pulmonary embolism.
Symptoms of a pulmonary embolism include:
- Breathlessness, which may come on slowly or quickly
- Chest pain, which may become worse when you breathe in
- Sudden collapse
A heart attack happens when blood flow stops to a part of the heart causing damage to the heart muscle. The most common symptom is chest pain or discomfort which may travel into the shoulder, arm, back, neck, or jaw. Often it is in the center or the left side of the chest and lasts for more than a few minutes. The discomfort may occasionally feel like heartburn. Other symptoms may include shortness of breath, nausea, feeling faint, a cold sweat, or feeling tired.
The quicker you react to the onset of heart attack, the higher the chances of survival.
5.Coronary heart disease
Coronary heart disease is the term that explains what happens when your heart’s blood supply is blocked or interrupted by a build-up of fatty substances in the coronary arteries. Over time, the walls of your arteries can become coated up with fatty deposits. This process is known as atherosclerosis and the fatty deposits are called atheroma.
Atherosclerosis can be caused by lifestyle factors and other conditions, such as:
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure