How Healthy Is Your Heart?
These signs may mean it's time to see a doctor about your heart.
It's not always obvious that you have heart disease. In fact, many symptoms of heart disease can be similar to those of other conditions or you may chalk them up to a busy lifestyle or a stressful job.
But here are 5 things that should send you to your doctor to talk about your heart health.
- You're tired. Many of us are tired thanks to overloaded lives, but if you feel sluggish even when you've had enough rest, your heart may be to blame. If you wake up tired and your partner says you snore, you may also have sleep apnea. This condition increases your chance of high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, heart failure or stroke.
- You're short of breath. If activities you used to do without a problem cause you to be short of breath, don't ignore it. Don't just assume you're out of shape or are tired. Being short of breath can be a symptom of heart failure. Sudden onset can also be related to a heart attack so if you can't catch your breath and have chest pain, call 911.
- You're dizzy. It's not uncommon to have a quick bout of dizziness when you stand up from a seated position too quickly or don't eat enough. But feeling dizzy can be related to your blood pressure or an abnormal heart rhythm. It can also be a symptom of a heart attack.
- Your legs are swollen or achy. If your heart isn't pumping effectively, it can lead to poor circulation in your extremities, especially your legs. Swollen feet or ankles can be a symptom of heart failure and pain in your lower leg can indicate a dangerous blood clot.
- You have pain in your upper body. Not all heart attacks are accompanied by sudden and severe chest pain. Instead you may notice discomfort in your arm, jaw or back, especially if you're a woman. If you have pain you can't attribute to another cause or also have symptoms such as fatigue, dizziness or sweating, you may be having a heart attack and need to get medical help.
Know Your Heart Age
Is Your Heart 10 Years Older Than You?
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Date Last Reviewed: June 21, 2017
Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor
Medical Review: Perry Pitkow, MD