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Heart Symptoms You Should Not Ignore

Published on Nov 01, 2021   -  5 min read

Abstract

Heart diseases are so prevalent these days among people of all age groups. This article explains all the possible alarming signs and symptoms of heart diseases that you should be aware of.

Contents

Introduction

Heart disease is the most common cause of emergency visits to hospitals and one of the common causes of death. There is no age limit for heart disease to occur. It can be seen at any age, right from newborns to older adults. Nowadays, the common age group affected is the middle age group. So every one of us should be aware of the cardiac symptoms and understand the warning symptoms to address them without delay.

Can Heart Diseases Occur Without Any Sign or Symptom?

It is not necessary that your heart will always give you clear warning signs for its abnormality. Sometimes signs and symptoms may be totally new to you, or it might present with atypical symptoms and rarely asymptomatic as well. There will be no heart clutch always followed by falling on the ground, as we see in movies. So you should understand early if anything is wrong in your heart, and if you are not sure that you are perfectly fine, then better to get it checked by a cardiologist on time, especially if you are 40 years and above and have associated comorbidities usually associated with cardiac diseases like diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, obesity, smoking, and a strong family history of coronary artery disease. You should immediately address the problem and reach the hospital at the earliest.

What Warning Signs and Symptoms Do Heart Diseases Cause?

Let us go through a few signs and symptoms of heart problems.

1. Chest Discomfort -

Chest discomfort is the most common symptom of heart disease. You might feel chest tightness or pressure or feel pain if you have a blocked artery. Patients can feel a different kind of pain, or they will experience additional symptoms such as chest compression, heaviness, tightness, piercing type of pain. Some will say it is penetrating pain, or few might feel like an elephant is sitting on their chest, or few will say it is a pinching or burning type of pain. The feeling of discomfort may last for a few minutes. It may occur during rest or exertion or while doing any activity.

If pain is mild and confined to a particular site and increases after pressing, it might not be a cardiac pain. If the pain is very severe and associated with any other cardiac symptoms, you should immediately rush to the hospital within a few minutes of symptoms or call for emergency care immediately. Always remember, heart problems, even heart attack without chest pain, is possible in diabetic and elderly patients, whereas women are known to have an atypical presentation.

2. Stomach Pain, Nausea, or Indigestion -

These are a few symptoms that might be felt during a heart attack. Though these are usually associated with many other systemic diseases, we should be aware that they are also associated with an acute heart attack. People may vomit, or they may have feelings of indigestion. According to studies, women have more of these symptoms than males. So we should not ignore all these as these too could happen in a heart attack. Hence, better to get yourself evaluated if you have any of these symptoms and are prone to a heart attack. Let your doctor take a detailed history of your symptoms and do some necessary investigations to rule out cardiac emergencies.

3. Burning Sensation in the Heart -

This is another common but atypical symptom in case of heart attack or heart problems.

4. Radiating Pain in the Arm or Pain Spreads to the Arm -

One of the classic symptoms of heart attack is chest pain that radiates to the left arm. It always tends to start from the chest and move outward towards your left shoulder and arm and rarely to your right shoulder. Few of the patients possess pain in the arm that at times turns out to be an attack.

5. Shortness of Breath -

Shortness of breath or breathlessness is another common presentation of an acute heart attack. It is an angina equivalent, more specifically in elderly patients and patients with diabetes. New onset or sudden onset shortness of breath and rapidly progressive symptoms need urgent evaluation and management. It could be due to an acute heart attack, heart failure, pulmonary embolism, valvular heart disease, or hypertensive emergency and needs urgent management.

6. Dizziness or Lightheadedness -

You may experience fainting or feel dizzy for a moment as a sign of a heart attack, but this may also happen if you do not have enough food or drink or when you stand up very fast or suddenly. But it is an emergency if you have associated symptoms like shortness of breath and chest discomfort, and you should call a doctor right away, as it may be because of dropping down of blood pressure, which makes it difficult for the heart to pump.

7. Pain in the Jaw or Throat -

Most of the time, pain in the jaw and throat may be present because of muscular tissue, teeth, cold, or sinus issue. But when pain is in the chest and radiates to the jaw or throat, it is most probably because of a heart attack. So one should immediately seek medical care to make sure everything is alright.

8. Feeling Exhausted and Weak Easily -

If you are feeling fatigued even after little physical exertion or you are feeling exhausted even with climbing steps or carrying a few things which were not a tiring task before, then you should consult a doctor immediately.

9. Snoring -

Snoring for a bit of time is not that hazardous, but if you snore unusually loud, like gasping or choking, it may be a sign of sleep apnea, and that is when you stop breathing for brief moments, and this will happen several times at night when you are in sleep. This severe snoring puts extra stress on the heart. Hence, it might be a cause or a symptom of a heart attack.

10. Sweating -

Profuse sweating or breaking out in a cold sweat for no obvious reasons is a major signal for a heart attack. This can happen along with other symptoms, so it is time you should call an emergency medical care number to get to a hospital right away. In this kind of situation, do not try to drive by yourself or climb the stairs.

11. A Cough That Does Not Stop -

Coughing is not always a sign of cardiac trouble. When you have heart problems and cough for a long duration, then understand that you are at risk, and you should pay special attention to the possibilities. When a heart patient has a cough for a long duration and has pink or white frothy sputum or mucus expectoration, it may signify heart failure. In this kind of situation, it is better to visit a doctor.

12. Swelling in the Legs, Feet, and Ankles -

Swelling or bloating in the legs, feet, or ankles could be because of the inability of your heart to pump blood as effectively as it should be. That is the reason blood backs up in the veins and leads to bloating. Because of the inability of the heart to pump blood, it makes it harder for the kidney to remove extra water and sodium from the body, which also contributes to bloating.

13. Irregular Heart Beats -

When an individual is excited, the heart may race or sometimes skip a beat for a while when you are nervous. But it should not happen so frequently. When you feel that your heart is beating out of time more frequently, you should consult your doctor about your concern. It may not always be a heart problem; sometimes, it might be because of inadequate sleep or too much caffeine. But occasionally, it could be a signal of atrial fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia that needs urgent attention. So consulting a doctor is a must.

Conclusion:

If you or anyone you know experiences these symptoms mentioned above, immediately reach a hospital or contact your nearby emergency medical assistance. Ignoring them can cost one’s life until a less severe ailment is proven.

Last reviewed at:
01 Nov 2021  -  5 min read

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