April 12, 2022
8 Less Typical Signs of Heart Disease
Chest pain and shortness of breath are hallmark signs of a cardiac event, but there are often telltale signs of heart disease that occur before a major problem like a heart attack or stroke happens.
Centers Health Care has the details on four everyday signs that you should keep an eye on, especially if they are coupled with issues like high cholesterol or high blood pressure.
- Trouble Breathing While Lying Down
If you have trouble while lying flat on your back but it improves when you sit up, there could be fluid in your lungs. This happens because your blood volume is redistributed when you’re lying down, and your heart can have trouble pumping the extra volume with this condition, which is called orthopnea.
- Leg and/or Hip Pain While Walking
The cause of lower-body pain while walking can be due to a number of reasons, but one is that peripheral artery disease can cause circulation problems in the legs. The pain can be even harder to diagnose because it will often go away once you stop walking.
- Sexual Problems
Heart disease can cause blood-flow problems that lead to sexual dysfunction in men and can also lead to vaginal dryness and lack of libido in women. These blood vessel issues can eventually lead to artery blockages.
- Unknown Fatigue
It’s normal to be tired when exerting energy, but if things like making the bed or getting some food out of the fridge is leaving you in need of a breather, an obstructed coronary artery can cause less blood flow to the heart, which can leave you winded.
- Waking Up to Use the Bathroom
While people will gradually begin to wake up more and more at night to use the bathroom, if you’re getting up more than once, it could be the sign of a larger problem. It’s a sign of heart disease because a weak heart pumps less blood to the kidneys, which can lead to ankle swelling. At night, the fluid is redistributed in the body while you’re laying down, filling up the kidneys and leaving you with a greater need to urinate.
- Bad Breath
Bad breath isn’t just a social problem, it can also lead to more serious physical issues as well. The bacteria that causes bad breath can get into your bloodstream through diseased gums, and that can cause inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation is one of the leading causes of heart disease and other ailments like certain kinds of cancers.
- Swollen Ankles
We mentioned earlier why swollen ankles can be a sign of heart disease, as a weaker heart cannot adequately pump blood properly throughout the body. Swelling typically occurs in both legs in this case. If it’s just in one, a blood clot or an infection could be to blame.
- Unexplained Feelings of Nausea
Weak blood flow can lead to bloating and water retention, which can make you feel full faster, a decreased appetite, or general nausea. Nausea is also more typically reported as a heart attack symptom in women. If you have nausea with shortness of breath or chest, jaw, or shoulder pain, you should call 911.