Heart conditions bear the burden of a significant number of deaths every year. Early detection and treatment are the only way to ensure your heart condition will not become fatal for you. A number of conditions can result from a reduction of heart rate,weakening of its strength, and thickening of its walls. But your body gives you several signs to indicate deteriorating heart health. That is why, this World Heart Day, you should pledge to look out for the following symptoms so that you can take the right action at the right time.
Shortness of Breath - Frequent fatigue and shortness of breath even with light activities are the early signs of a failing heart. Sudden feelings of unsteadiness and shortness of breath are symptoms of blood vessels not being able to supply oxygen to the various parts of the body. Such symptoms require medical attention and should not be taken lightly.
Dizziness - Like shortness of breath, dizziness is also among the early symptoms of deteriorating heart health. Although there can be a number of reasons for your dizziness, occasional or severe dizziness that results in fainting spells are strong indicators of your heart needing immediate attention. Sometimes dizziness is also accompanied by tachycardia or rapid heart rate or bradycardia or unusually slow heart rate.
Numbness of limbs - Limbs feeling numb and bloated are also signs of an unhealthy heart. A noticeably bloated limb, especially the legs may be indicative of the heart’s inability to pump blood throughout the body. Even numbness is a sign of poor circulation in your limbs, typically occurring in the fingers and foot. It is advisable to get checked for clogged blood vessels if such conditions are persistent or recurrent.
Discomfort in chest and heartburns - Chest pains, tightness, and strains, especially on the left side can indicate trouble with the muscles of the heart wall. This can shoot to the upper torso and shoulders and appear as a slow and gradually increasing pain. Such pains are usually indicative of a condition called angina that results from interruptions in blood flow to the heart.
Irregular heart rate - Arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat combined with high blood pressure signals blockages in the blood vessels supplying the heart. These make you up to five times more likely to suffer from a stroke or some form of heart ailments unless treated in the early stages.
Armed with the knowledge of these signs, you now know better than procrastinating about your next doctor’s appointment. With regular health screenings, good lifestyle choices, and listening to the signs of your body, you can easily defeat coronary diseases and have a long and healthy life.
Regular health screenings and consultation with a medical professional is vital to ensure a healthy heart. Our heart is affected by several health conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol levels, hypertension, etc. along with hereditary considerations. Age, gender, and ethnicity are also known to play a part in determining the health of your heart.
With so many factors, several beyond your control, it is essential that the heart is monitored regularly with vital health checks. On World Heart Day, we would recommend everyone, despite their age, to consider booking a doctor’s appointment for the sake of a happy and healthy heart.
Here are a few reasons regular health checks are a must for your heart-
Blood Pressure - Blood pressure is among the most important indicators of heart health and aberrations in BP usually remain undetected without regular monitoring. Blood pressure levels higher than the normal 120/80 mm Hg are indicative of coronary disease risk factors. It is advisable to get blood pressure checked at least twice a year after 20 years of age. The frequency can be higher if you are predisposed to coronary diseases. The good news is blood pressure can easily be controlled through simple lifestyle changes and medications.
Blood Glucose Levels - When diabetes goes undetected and untreated for long periods, it can cause strokes and other heart diseases. It is recommended to monitor blood glucose levels every 3 years after 40 years of age if you are not a known diabetic.
Lipid Profile - A lipid profile screening screens for high-density lipoproteins, low-density lipoproteins, and triglycerides. Screening once every 4 to 6 years after 20 years of age can give sufficient indication about the health of the heart. Higher cholesterol levels make you more prone to coronary diseases, but the condition can be easily reversed through good lifestyle choices and medication when detected early on.
Lipid Profile - A lipid profile screening screens for high-density lipoproteins, low-density lipoproteins, and triglycerides. Screening once every 4 to 6 years after 20 years of age can give enough indication about the health of the heart. Higher cholesterol levels make you more prone to coronary diseases, but the condition can be easily reversed through good lifestyle choices and medication when detected early on.
Body Weight - With many individuals leading sedentary lifestyles, overweight and obesity have become commonplace. However, obesity increases the risks of several lifestyle and coronary diseases. It is therefore important to ensure a healthy body weight.
Regular monitoring of heart health is possible even at home, but proper laboratory screening is recommended at least once every two years. These health checks ensure your heart is safeguarded against risk factors and allow early detection of the warning signs. Timely detection and treatment can help you live a long and healthy life. However, it is equally important to adopt healthy lifestyle choices like a proper diet, management of stress, and adequate physical activity, without which you cannot shield your heart against potential risks.