You may have heard someone say that cardiovascular disease or heart problems are silent. But our bodies give signs, however subtle, that our heart health is at risk.
If you are in a risk group, due to an illness you already have, be sure to pay attention to the signs, no matter how small, and get regular checkups.
Prevention and early diagnosis are the most important measures to avoid the consequences of heart problems which can, in many cases, be fatal.
According to the Brazilian Society of Cardiology, cardiovascular diseases, which affect the heart and circulation, are the leading cause of death in Brazil, more than all types of cancer combined, deaths from accidents and violence, respiratory diseases and infections.
Many of these cases can be avoided with simple preventative measures and treated if identified early. For this, it is important to know the signs that indicate a probable heart problem.
See what signs may indicate that you are at risk of having a heart problem.
Certain groups of people need additional care
Before knowing the signs that indicate a heart problem, it is important to know which groups of people are more at risk of developing these problems, so that attention and care can be redoubled:
Uncontrolled hypertension (high blood pressure)
overweight and obesity
Bad eating habits, with a diet very high in fats and sugars.
Family history of heart disease
Signs of heart problems
The first thing to keep in mind is that signs of heart problems won’t always be sudden or sudden. It is important to mention this because we often associate heart problems with a heart attack.
In fact, a heart attack is a very serious type of heart problem and is characterized by sudden chest pain, shortness of breath, and fainting.
But, the signs are not always so striking and sudden. Cardiovascular diseases develop over time and can be confused with everyday life situations, such as poor physical condition, snoring or fatigue.
So, when you notice the next signs, be sure to seek medical attention and perform routine checkups as they can reverse serious situations.
Fatigue is defined as a feeling of extreme tiredness, weariness and lack of energy.
It is natural for someone who leads a sedentary lifestyle to feel out of breath when they start exercising. But over time, she notices an improvement in her physical condition, and gradually she feels less fatigued with this level and load of exercise.
What’s not normal is feeling extremely tired during light daily activities, such as walking, bending, or cleaning the house. Feeling extremely tired during light activities that do not require a lot of energy indicates that the heart is weak and not able to pump blood properly.
Fatigue is a very important sign and is one of the first symptoms of many heart problems, such as:
Acute myocardial infarction
It is important to be aware of extreme and constant fatigue
Cold sweat is a very general symptom, which can be present in times of anxiety, stress or hypoglycemia, in those who use insulin to control the hyperglycemia of diabetes.
But cold sweats can also indicate a cardiovascular problem and signal an acute myocardial infarction. So, in the frequent and constant presence of this symptom, seek a doctor to find out the cause.
Chest pain and palpitations
These are the symptoms that usually make people more concerned about a possible heart problem, as they are the most characteristic and easily recognizable.
Chest pain may be concentrated or radiate to the shoulders, arms, back, and abdomen.
Palpitation is a cardiac arrhythmia, that is, when the frequency of the heartbeat is no longer regular, becoming very weak, strong (tachycardia) or irregular.
Neck and jaw pain
Pain in these areas appears to be unrelated to the heart, but may indicate blockages in the arteries, which may progress to a heart attack.
Blockage of the arteries can occur due to the accumulation of fat or blood clots resulting from the rupture of these arteries. With this, the heart ceases to receive oxygen and nutrients, leading to the death of its cells.
Depending on the artery affected and the duration of the infarction, the heart may stop working altogether.
dizziness and fainting
A sudden feeling of lightheadedness or fainting may indicate a cardiovascular problem, which has caused reduced blood flow to the brain. These signs can occur moments before a person has a heart attack.
Constant dizziness could be an indication of a heart problem
Bluish discoloration of fingertips or nails
The constant feeling of cold hands and feet, which turn the fingertips and nails blue, can be a sign of heart failure.
In heart failure, the heart cannot pump enough blood to supply all parts of the body, giving priority to vital organs and leaving the extremities with less blood supply. This is why the hands and feet become colder than the rest of the body.
Swelling and pain in the legs
Due to the action of gravity, the legs, ankles and feet tend to become more swollen and painful when a person has heart failure.
As this problem causes water retention, the legs are the parts that suffer the most from the swelling. It is also common for this symptom to be accompanied by shortness of breath when the person lies down to sleep or when doing physical activity.
pee several times during the night
The weakening of the myocardium, which is the heart muscle, is linked to water retention. So if you need to get up more often than usual to urinate during the night, it could be a symptom of heart failure.
Nighttime coughing is also a sign of heart failure because when fluid builds up in the lungs, coughing occurs as a natural body reflex. Frequent coughing and wheezing does not always mean lung disease or asthma.
So, if when you lie down you cough a lot and feel short of breath, you should see a cardiologist to check your heart health.
Obstructive sleep apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea is difficulty breathing during sleep, which causes the person to stop breathing for a few seconds during the night, with breathing pauses of at least 10 seconds.
The drop in blood oxygen levels is interpreted by the body as a warning sign, which results in the constriction of blood vessels, so that blood circulates faster, so as not to leave the brain and the heart without oxygen. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for cardiovascular problems.
Nausea, lack of appetite and stomach pain
These are not only symptoms of digestive problems, they can also indicate heart problems.
Changes in the anatomy of the heart that interfere with proper functioning of the right side of the organ can cause symptoms of nausea and lack of appetite. Additionally, problems with the arteries that supply blood to the lungs can also cause these symptoms.
A faulty heart can also cause fluid buildup. When this retention occurs around the abdominal organs, it can lead to problems with digestion, manifesting as stomach pain or an enlarged liver.
Prevent heart problems
It is important to keep in mind that preventing heart problems is not a complicated task as it basically involves cultivating healthy habits and having regular checkups.
Knowing the signs that indicate a heart problem is very important for you to consult a doctor at the beginning of the problem, because it increases the chances that the treatment will be effective and avoid serious complications, which can be fatal.
So don’t forget, on a daily basis, to:
Eat healthy, avoiding excess fat and sugar and increasing your intake of protein, vegetables and healthy fruits.
Practice regular physical exercises, with aerobic and resistance exercises (weight training).
Do activities that help you relieve stress and anxiety.
Schedule an annual checkup with heart tests.
Source: https://www.mundoboaforma.com.br/sinais-que-podem-indicar-um-problema-no-coracao/ – Specialist in the field: Dr. Lucio Pachecoa