Here’s a list of 10 warning signs that indicate improper functioning of the heart:
1.Aching In The Shoulder And Chest
Chest pains, especially on the left side of the chest near the heart, have been a sign for a potential heart attack. The pain induced due to the death of heart muscle cells. Tightness and strain on the heart can sometimes be so painful and discomforting that the pain can move its way to the upper torso, especially the shoulder area. This is known as angina, which is associated with pain that is directly related to the irregular and interrupted blood flow to the heart.
Sharp pain in the shoulder doesn’t direct towards a problem with the heart, but a slow and gradual building of pain in the shoulder area may be a sign of unhealthy heart issues.
2.Snoring And Sleeping Problems
Sleeping problems like insomnia and sleep apnea, a disorder where you experience disruptions in your breathing while you sleep, have been directly associated with heart disease and other cardiovascular issues.
Episodes of sleep apnea, which can make sleepers to wake up gasping for air, is a cause of inconsistent sleep patterns that can be stressful on the heart.
There is also a disorder known as obstructive sleep apnea, which is directly related to high weight and obesity—two of the leading factors that lead to heart disease. OSA occurs when “weight on the upper chest and neck blocks the flow of air,” causing anxious sleeping patterns. Once sleep apnea has been treated, doctors have noticed a decrease in patients’ blood pressure.
3.Difficulty With Sexual Function
Erectile dysfunction—the inability to hold an erection firm and long enough for sex—can be an early warning sign of current or future heart problems. ED can be caused due to an improper relationship between the flow of blood from the heart to the penis, indicating a possibility of atherosclerosis—the narrowing of arteries and a cause for heart disease.
An irregular heartbeat, formally termed as “arrhythmias,” which means that your heart isn’t pumping sufficient blood at its normal rhythm. While you can be healthy, you can still have a case of an irregular heartbeat, it is also a sign for heart failure or an impending heart attack. “High blood pressure and coronary artery disease (blockage in the tubes of the heart) are the main reasons for blood vessel disorders” like an irregular heartbeat, said the Heart Rhythm Society.
5.Sore Gums And Jaw, Mouth Problems
You may be wondering, how could sore gums mean there’s a problem with the heart? It’s not precise to say that if you have a gum disease like gingivitis, then you definitely have a heart problem. But doctors have found gum diseases and heart issues are associated with each other.
Pain running from the heart up to around the jaw area is a very common symptom of a heart attack, especially in women. Jaw ache alone isn’t a strong symptom for a heart attack but rather an issue with your temporomandibular joint (TMJ). When jaw ache is paired with chest pain or other signs on the list, that’s when it becomes a matter of concern.
6.Puffy Legs And Feet
Swelling of the legs and feet can be a critical indication of heart failure. You may notice your lower extremities becoming more swollen gradually when you take off your shoes and/or pants off at the end of the day.
Similar to the pain in the chest and torso, the swelling of the legs and feet are a result of improper blood flow to the heart. Because blood isn’t flowing out as it’s supposed to, blood also isn’t flowing back in properly as well. This causes clogging of the blood or completely stop your heart from working.
7.Shortness Of Breath And Fatigue
You have breathlessness during any sort of physical activity (most commonly), at rest, or while sleeping, which may occur suddenly and wake you up.
You need to be propped up after facing difficulty in breathing while lying flat.
You wake up feeling extremely tired or restless after sleeping through the night.
Blood vessels can hold back due to an unhealthy heart, and it starts spreading to places it shouldn’t be, like the lungs. This causes shortness of breath.
Feeling dizzy or lightheaded—or even fainting—can be a major sign that blood flow to the brain is obstructed, which is a primary cause for strokes and heart attacks. Dizziness and fainting can also be caused by a decrease in blood pressure. “Dizziness, especially when standing up too quickly, is a very common symptom for people with heart failure,” according to one study.
A cough is not always a sign your heart has a problem, because it’s a symptom of many common illnesses like a cold, the flu, and bronchitis. A never-ending persistent cough can be a sign of fluid building up in your lungs, which is a sign of congestive heart failure.
10.Random Bouts Of Cold Sweats
Sweating is a natural, healthy function the body goes through in order to cool itself down. Sweating, especially cold sweats, may be a problem with your heart when you’re not engaging any sort of physical activity, particularly when there’s chest pain associated with it. The sweat may come within your body in order to cool down the inflammation around the heart.
These are few of the many signs to look out for. If you experience any of these symptoms then consult your healthcare provider as soon as possible.