Cardiovascular disease – also known as heart disease – refers to any problem with the heart or blood vessels, including heart attacks and strokes.
There are many symptoms of cardiovascular disease, which often develop slowly over time. The more quickly you recognize these signs, the more quickly you can act to get your health back on track, but without professional medical help. Here are seven signs you might be suffering from cardiovascular disease, listed in no particular order.
1) Chest Pain
Chest pain is usually felt as pressure, tightness or squeezing that’s more severe than normal. It can also be described as an intense feeling of fullness or heaviness in your chest. For most people, it lasts only a few minutes and subsides with rest.
But if you experience chest pain regularly and it doesn’t go away with rest, see your doctor for an evaluation. If you’ve already been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease, you may experience mild chest pain during activities such as strenuous exercise or sexual intercourse.
Some conditions may cause a stabbing or burning sensation in your chest that radiates to your neck or arms.
If you’re always getting headaches, it may be a sign of increased stress on your body. This can result from many different sources, including cardiovascular disease, which is considered one of the leading causes of death in America today.
When your blood vessels are stressed and under pressure for an extended period of time, they’re more likely to rupture and create blockages that restrict blood flow through that area.
This can result in multiple types of headaches – even migraines – as well as muscle pain throughout your body.
If you experience regular headaches and other unexplained pains in your arms or legs, you should see a doctor to determine whether you have any underlying medical conditions affecting your blood vessels.
3) Feeling Tired All The Time
If you feel tired throughout your day, you might have heart disease.
Think of it like a car—if your engine is struggling, you’re going to feel sluggish and sluggish in general.
In terms of cardiac health, that means feeling consistently tired throughout your day; if you’re getting enough sleep and still don’t feel like you have energy, then your heart could be affected. Low-grade fatigue isn’t always a sign of an issue—everyone experiences that from time to time—but if it lasts for more than two weeks (and is accompanied by other symptoms), see a doctor immediately.
Indigestion/bloating, known as dyspepsia, is a common symptom of cardiovascular disease. Often described as a burning sensation or heaviness in your stomach after eating and may be accompanied by burping or belching.
Take it seriously and see your doctor if you have chronic indigestion/bloating. The symptoms might go away, but they also could be an early warning sign that something more serious is going on with your heart or blood vessels.
5) Shortness of Breath
If you find yourself gasping for air, it could be a sign of cardiovascular disease. Because cholesterol and fatty deposits can build up in your arteries, you may have trouble getting oxygen to your cells—and shortness of breath is one sign that something isn’t working properly.
Other symptoms include dizziness, fatigue, and chest pain or discomfort. Check out WebMD’s guide to heart disease to learn more about its symptoms and risks.
6) Swelling In Your Ankles Or Feet
Swelling in your ankles or feet is a common symptom of cardiovascular disease.
Not only can it be an indication that you are suffering from hypertension, but swelling in these regions could also point to an infection or underlying malady like diabetes. If you are suffering from swelling and notice that it is not going away, schedule an appointment with your doctor to determine what may be causing it.
Although not always indicative of cardiovascular disease, swelling anywhere on your body should never be ignored—it could point to serious issues like congestive heart failure.
7) Unexplained Weight Gain
If you’ve been steadily gaining weight with no explanation, and you can’t seem to keep your belly flat, it could be an indication of cardiovascular disease. Both heart disease and high cholesterol cause arteries to harden and stiffen, restricting blood flow throughout your body.
This causes extra work for your heart which makes it pump faster than normal in order to try to push blood through your body.
Over time, if not treated properly, high blood pressure can lead to cardiovascular disease. Heart palpitations : If you experience feelings of panic or your heart skipping a beat occasionally, it may be due to problems with your cardiac muscle or nerves in your chest region.