5 Signs to Have Your Heart Checked

Changes in how you feel can prompt you to wonder about heart disease and what the 5 signs to have your heart checked are. It is important to be aware of the warning signs involved in heart disease, especially if you are in a high risk category due to health, lifestyle or family history. Knowing what to look for and when to have your heart checked are crucial in getting the preventative care that you need and being aware in the event of a cardiac emergency such as a heart attack. A great start is to have your annual physical and discuss any concerns that you may have about your potential risk of heart disease. Once done, it is always important to be aware of your body and respect any changes that may occur. Often times people overlook signs that indicate that they should have their heart checked, believing symptoms to be caused by everyday occurrences or that they are too young for heart disease. Making those types of assumptions could prove to be fatal and are easily avoided by taking the first step and learning the five signs to have your heart checked.

  1. Chest pain. The first thing that one naturally thinks of when discussing heart disease and potential heart attacks is chest pain. Chest pain occurs when your heart isn't getting enough oxygen and can feel like a tightness or pressure in the chest. Chest pain may travel from the chest to the throat, jaw, back or to the left arm. This is the most obvious of the five signs that you should have your heart checked.
  2. Fatigue. Experiencing unusual fatigue is another sign that you may need to see a doctor about your heart. Persons who need to have their heart checked will often experience a sense of being overly tired because the heart isn't pumping as effectively as it should. When this happens, the vital organs are getting the most blood and other areas are making do. A lack of oxygen rich blood equals fatigue.
  3. An Irregular heartbeat. If you experience an irregular heartbeat, new, or uncommon heart palpitations this could be a sign that you need to have your heart checked. Although heart palpitations can be due to any number of things it is important to take notice if it occurs when you are at rest, or if it is in conjunction with any of the other symptoms mentioned here.
  4. Edema. Another potential sign of heart problems is swelling of the ankles, feet, legs and belly. Edema occurs when the heart does not efficiently pump blood and fluid collects around the body.
  5. Breathlessness. If you are experiencing difficulty catching your breath not only while walking or other physical activities, but also while sitting or lying down, then it is important to inform your doctor. Shortness of breath in relation to heart disease could be caused if the blood returning to the heart backs up and the fluid begins to leak into the lungs which will make it increasingly difficult to breath.


American Heart Association

Avera Sacred Heart Hospital

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