The grim reality
of heart disease
For the last 15 years, heart disease has taken the cake as the
leading natural cause of death in the United States. Conditions
here include everything from ischemic heart disease to
complications of hypertension.
Luckily, we have
inbuilt health alarm systems that warn us when something isn’t
right. Below are 8 of these heart problems warning signs that
everyone needs to know about. That way, whether you want to monitor
yourself or your sweet old granny you know exactly what to the
This is one of the most important heart problems warning signs.
It often presents as swelling on both lower limbs. The extent of
the swelling depends on the severity of the condition and increases
from the level of the feet up to the ankles and eventually to the
legs and knees.
This is a common sign of heart failure especially when the
chambers receiving blood from the body are the ones affected. Here,
the heart is not able to pump efficiently leading to fluid buildup
in the periphery.
The heart and
lungs are the body’s resident BFFs; to put it in the simplest (and
perhaps most sacrilegious) terms. Essentially, when one system
isn’t working right then the other inevitably suffers. It,
therefore, comes as no surprise that one of the most important and
accurate group of heart disease early signs and symptoms involve
in a number of ways including shortness of breath, sleep apnea, and
general difficulties in breathing. The mechanism behind this
involves heart failure affecting the right side chambers. When they
fail, fluid builds up in the lungs which in turn results in all
6: Actual chest
Another one of
the most important cardiovascular disease warning signs is a pain.
This could be as a result of anything from angina and heart attacks
to heart failure and cardiomyopathies.
important to distinguish is the character and specific location of
the pain. Don’t worry, no one expects you to become an overnight
expert on chest pains. However, should you experience any it would
be wise to take note of these characteristics so you can give your
doctor a clearer picture of the situation?
5: Neck, shoulder and left
serious warning signs of heart disease and often point to
emergencies. More often than not, pain radiating to the neck,
shoulder and left arm are associated with ischemic heart diseases
like angina and heart attacks. To put it simply, this is when your
heart muscles don’t get an adequate supply of things like oxygen
and nutrients leading to their failure or death.
experience such pains, it is important to seek medical attention as
soon as possible. This is because of all the signs discussed
previously and in subsequent sections, no group is as threatening
and deserving of emergency status as this one.
4: Skin changes and
The skin is not
spared when it comes to heart disease early signs and symptoms.
Common changes include blue discolouration and pale skin. This is
as a result of heart failure with subsequent inadequacy of supply
to the skin and other organs.
There are also
other very specific skin blemishes and spots that are found mainly
on the hands and soles of feet. These point to infections and
inflammatory processes affecting the heart. They are harder to
distinguish as a non-medical professional so make sure to point out
any new marks during your regular doctor visits
Fainting can be
a result of either neurological processes or cardiologic ones. With
the latter, failure of the heart to pump adequate amounts of blood
to the brain is to blame. With heart disease-related fainting
spells, in particular, things, like lying down and cooling down,
helps minimize the frequency. They also stand out as they are often
accompanied by one or more of the other symptoms and signs
highlighted in this list.
2: Exercise intolerance
Have you been
having trouble making the same on-foot commute to work? Does that
flight of stairs on your walkup seem a little harder to tackle?
This could be an important cardiovascular disease warning sign that
you shouldn’t ignore.
supplies your lungs and muscles with blood which makes physical
activities bearable. In the event that it is not working right,
your abilities and resilience take a major hit. So if you or
someone else has noticed some intolerance to activities previously
easily done, then plan a visit to your doctor as soon as
1: A cough that just won’t
looking out for heart disease early signs and symptoms, any
suspicious coughs should be on your radar. These point to the
involvement of the lungs in the heart disease and are often
associated with breathing difficulties. You should particularly be
concerned in the event that you produce pinkish frothy sputum when
coughing. Whatever the case, it is always best to get it checked
out to rule out other conditions and start treatment promptly.
Now that you know all the major warning signs of heart disease, it
is unlikely that you will be caught off guard. It is also important
as you look out for these warnings that you make sure to take
active steps to protect yourself from lifestyle-related heart
diseases. This means watching what you eat, maintaining healthy
body weight, and making physical activity a part of your daily