Though, we believe that the pain is the only symptom, indicating that something is going wrong in the body, but we shouldn’t avoid other symptoms too. Mostly, we ignore the symptoms and carry on our work without thinking about why it is happening to us; maybe, it is an early signal that your heart is crying for help or your lungs are not functioning properly.
Whatever it is, we usually ignore the initial symptoms and concentrate on our important meetings, office work or the household chores.
According to the Jerome Cohen, MD, “Don’t wait for pain, Heart patients talk about pressure. They’ll clench their fist and put it over their chest or say it’s like an elephant sitting on their chest.” So, if you’re facing the following symptoms, then you should consult your doctor for further screening,
1. Angina- Severe Chest Pain
Though, every 4 deaths in U.S are occurring due to the heart disease, angina occurs when any area of your heart is not getting the sufficient blood to work properly.
Angina is the cardinal sign of the heart diseases. It is divided into three types;
Stable angina is the high-physical-activity-induced-angina and it is referred to the condition in which you’ll feel severe chest pain while doing any physical activity or if you’re exposed to the stress but when you do the rest, it goes away. It usually lasts for 1-15 minutes and it is the most common form of the chest pain. Discuss this short-lived pain to your doctor.
Unstable angina is the opposite of stable angina. It is the least-physical-activity-induced-angina. It usually occurs when you’re resting or not doing any vigorous activity, thus, the intensity of the pain is severe and it lasts for 15-20 minutes. It is the cardinal sign that you would have a heart attack after a few minutes; so, don’t waste the time and visit the doctor straight away.
Variant angina is the intense chest pain when you’re sleeping or resting at night or early in the morning. What happens in this form of angina is that the arteries of the heart suddenly constrict, causing the difficulty of blood pooling in the heart.
Surprisingly, Variant Angina mostly occurs in the younger adults than the other age groups. However, it is the rarest type of Angina but you shouldn’t avoid this because your ignorance can increase the vulnerability to any other heart disease.
So, take the appointment from any cardiologist to get the possible treatment soon.
2. Anxiety and depression
Though, the relationship of the coronary artery disease and the anxiety is unknown but anxiety is the early symptoms of having a heart attack, later on, the anxiety is converted into the discomfort, stress, dizziness and tightness of the chest. So, don’t underestimate all these symptoms, until it becomes too late.
3. Chest Discomfort
About half of the women have only observed the chest pain before the heart attack. However, chest pain may also occur due to other conditions but the vivid presentation of the heart-related-chest-discomfort is that you’ll feel the squeezing or pressure under the breastbone, slightly left of the center.
Besides the sensation of the extreme pressure on the chest, some women also felt the burning sensation or minor pain, representing as the chest discomfort. If you’re facing the chest discomfort frequently then get your medical tests done immediately.
No! Overworking is not only the reason of being fatigued and tired; it can be due to the heart failure. Women, who had experienced the heart attack, also reported that they feel fatigued in the days preceding the heart attack. Additionally, some other diseases like cancer, kidney problems, infections and liver disease also feel fatigued.
When you’re fatigued and inactive all the time, you’ll not perform your daily activities efficiently and thus, it’ll alter your quality of life. Hence, you should monitor your condition and see a doctor.
5. Coughing frequently
Heart failure is the most common cause of the frequent coughing. The link between the heart failure and the coughing is that when the fluid is accumulated in the lungs, it causes a dry and persistent cough. Additionally, heart infections also give rise to a dry and persistent cough. So, check for the other associated signs and symptoms too.
It refers to the whistling sound on expiration. The excessive liquid accumulation in the lungs also develops the wheezing sound which increases the effort of breathing. Along with a cough and wheezing, the heart failure patients also expectorate the phlegm (thick, mucous-like substance) tinged with the blood.
7. Swelling in legs and abdomen
In congestive heart failure and heart failure, the legs and abdomen swells (edema) because heart is less powerful and weak to supply the blood in order to complete the demand of the fresh oxygen of all the other parts of the body.
Additionally, our legs are distal to the heart and the effect of gravity is also resisting the blood to flow downward, that’s why our legs need a greater amount of blood flow to keep the tissues alive. But when the heart’s function is compromised, the leg’s oxygen supply will be automatically altered.
When the person is suffering from the abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmia), it’ll lead to the dizziness. In cardiac arrest, dizziness is the symptom which indicates that the perfusion ratio in the brain is rapidly decreasing and death can occur within minutes. But narrowed heart valves can also drop the blood pressure and it can also be the cause of the dizziness.
9. Heart palpitations
It’ll feel like your heartbeat is too fast or fluttering, and it can correspond with many conditions other than the cardiac problems like increased intake of caffeine, panic attacks, anemia, and the thyroid problem.
If you’ve the previous history of myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and arrhythmias then go for the complete heart’s evaluation after feeling heart palpitations recently.
10. Pain in other parts of the body
In heart attack, the pain begins in the chest and later on it radiates to jaw, back, arms, shoulder and abdomen. The pain intensity changes from mild to severe pain and it subsides by the time.
According to the cardiologist Jerome Cohen, MD “I’m not too much worried about the 18-year-old, but if a person has unexplained, persistent discomfort and knows they’re at high risk, they shouldn’t wait”.
He added that “Too often people delay because they misinterpret it as heartburn or GI distress. Get to an emergency room or physician’s office right away”.
Hence, if your pain is not localized and you’re facing pain in different areas of the body then it is inevitable for you to contact with the cardiologist.
11. Shortness of breathing
When the heart failure occurs, the veins pump the blood to the lungs as the backup mechanism. But the fluid retention in the lungs is increased, which interrupts the normal breathing and it results in difficulty of breathing. If your condition is severe, then you may feel shortness of breathing at rest and sleeping.
12. Nausea and lack of appetite
Due to the clot in the arteries, the poor blood circulation to the weak heart leads to the lack of appetite, indigestion, nausea, vomiting and abdominal swelling. Women are more prone to get the impaired GIT during the activity but the symptoms are resolved at rest.
This symptom is often ignored and confused with the other GIT problem, but it may be due to compromised blood circulation.
Without the reason, if you’re sweating profusely then it is alarming sign that you would have a heart attack. If sweating is associated with other diseases like shortness of breathing, nausea, edema and chest pain then you should report to the emergency room immediately for getting the treatment.
When the heart is not pumping sufficient blood, the blood flow in all the organs including, brain, kidney and lungs will be automatically reduced, resulting in the weakness of the muscles.A few days prior to heart attack, women usually experience severe and unexplained weakness.
“One woman told me it felt like she couldn’t hold a piece of paper between her fingers prior to the heart attack” says Jean C. McSweeney, PhD, RN, associate dean for research at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Nursing.
15. Rapid weight gain
If the fluid accumulation is abundant then it’ll result in the rapid weight gain. In heart failure, the fluctuations occur in your weight. If the rapid weight gain is accompanied with the swelling in legs and lack of appetite, it is possible that your heart is unable to perform its function.
Despite of the fact that you’ve altered your lifestyle but still you’re not observing any significant changes in your weight, then it is confirmed that you’ve put extra kilos due to the heart failure.
Heart disease can be treated and the survivor can restore his normal activities, if the medical help is taken as soon as possible, it is the awful aspect of our society that we seek the medical help when it’s too late and the condition is difficult to treat.
So, if you’re facing any heart-related symptoms, then take it seriously and consult with your doctor. So, don’t ignore any symptoms for adding more years in your life!