Heart disease refers to a range of medical conditions that affect your cardiovascular system and include irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias), coronary artery disease, and more. Although each of these problems requires different treatment, they share similar warning symptoms. Learning to recognize signs that may signal heart disease can help you seek Deerfield Beach heart disease diagnosis and treatment early. Here are four warning signs you should keep an eye out for.
1. Leg or Arm Pain
Leg pain associated with heart disease often presents as a gripping or cramping sensation in your calves when you walk. This type of pain can signify peripheral arterial disease (PAD) – a condition that is most common in people with diabetes and smokers. Similarly, pain that radiates down your left arm or into your neck can be a sign of a heart-related problem. You should especially seek medical help if it does not go away or worsens with time.
2. Chest Pain
Chest pain is a classic heart attack symptom yet most people do not recognize it as a medical emergency. If, in addition to a constricting feeling in your chest, you feel very unwell, you should call 911 immediately. Many people describe heart attack chest pain as a pressure, tightness, or heaviness in the chest, much like “an elephant sitting on your chest” or a “tight band wrapped around your chest.” If the pain appears when you exert yourself then goes away when you stop, it could be a symptom of angina. This does not require immediate medical attention but you should see your doctor.
3. Indigestion or Stomach Pain
A burning sensation or indigestion-type pain in your stomach or chest can be a sign or a heart-related problem such as a heart attack. The esophagus, stomach, and heart lie next to each other in the body, which means diagnosing this type of pain at home can be difficult. Your best bet of a proper diagnosis is visiting your physician to discuss these and other symptoms you may be experiencing.
Most times, nausea will not indicate a heart attack. But if it is accompanied by arm, leg, or chest pain, it could be. This is especially true when you have intense chest pain, even when resting, and you also feel feverish, sweaty, and nauseated.
Reducing Your Risk for Heart Disease
Although there is little you can do about genetic factors that predispose you to heart disease, you can take steps to improve your heart’s health. You can, for example:
- Reduce unsaturated fat and salt from your diet
- Quit smoking
- Adopt healthy stress management techniques
- Exercise for about 30 minutes a day
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Monitor and control other medical conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes
Did you know that heart disease is responsible for about 25 percent of deaths in the United States? Early detection and intervention often increase a patient’s chance of successful treatment, which is why learning to recognize these signs is important. If you experience symptoms that seem to point to heart disease, contact Life Imaging Fla for heart scans and stress testing. You can book an appointment online or call the Deerfield Beach, Florida office today.