Heart Disease Awareness Month
- #1 leading cause of death in the U.S. among men and women
- Heart attacks claim a life every 60 seconds in the U.S.
- Kills 1 in 3 every minute
Heart disease is not a single disease, but a group of conditions that affects the heart. Some of them show up later in life that can be prevented through lifestyle choices, while other are found to be a birth or earlier in life. A few of the conditions that can affect heart function are:
- Coronary artery heart disease affects the arteries to the heart
- Valvular heart disease affects how the valves function to regular blood flow in and out of the heart
- Cardiomyopathy affects how the heart muscle squeezes
- Heart infections where the heart has structural problems developed before birth
People usually seek medical attention when experiencing sudden/severe chest pain; people are not often aware of the early warning signs and symptoms that can help indicate heart disease, because of this a quarter of the population are unaware of the condition warnings. This makes most of the symptoms go untreated.
Symptoms of Heart Disease:
Chest pain: This pain is not limited to the heart; although it is most common in women, the sharp and severe pain can also be found throughout other parts of the body; including, jaw and arms. This may feel life a squeezing, pressure, heaviness, tightness, or fullness. Most people have a difficult time distinguishing the pain from a pulled muscle. The discomfort can be sudden or gradual and may come and go.
High blood pressure: The higher your blood pressure, the higher your risk for heart disease. This and high cholesterol are symptoms that people can manage with different healthy lifestyle changes. You should pay attention to changes to your body and health choices.
Fatigue: As the most common symptom of heart disease, fatigue is caused by heart problems due to the fact your heart is not pumping blood sufficiently through the body. Many women have experienced the feeling of tiredness from daily tasks such as walking or climbing stairs.
Shortness of breath: Known by doctors to be the most dismissed symptom, it can be a sign of poorly functioning heart. If you have trouble catching your breath for no reason during minimal activity or activities that previously did not cause shortness of breath, seek medical attention. This symptom does not have to be paired with chest pain but sometimes is paired with dizziness.
Coughing and Wheezing: This symptom can be hard to distinguish from allergies or a lingering cold, but it is occasionally accompained by pinkish phlegm. Coughing and wheezing are caused by a buildup of fluid in their lungs and is found more commonly in people with congestive heart failure.
Nausea and Vomiting: This is an early sign of heart attack, which includes, nausea, sweating, and chest discomfort. It can be put off and thought to be a sign of indigestion, anxiety, the flu, or stomach ulcers. This is generally paired with another symptom.
Family History: Heart disease is known for running in families. Being aware of your family health history is a good way to catch any problems in early stages. If heart disease has been present in family members, then it is a good idea to have regular checkups and choose healthier lifestyle choices.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, we recommend seeking medical attention.