8 Warning Signs That Your Heart Isn't Working Properly

Jun 22, 2018 by apost team

The Heart Foundation reported this year that nearly 800,000 people in the U.S. died last year from a variety of forms of cardiovascular diseases including strokes, heart attacks, and progressive heart disease. Heart disease and other diseases associated with it far outnumber cancer as the reason for premature death. 

For women, heart disease is the greatest killer with 1 out of 7 deaths attributed to heart disease. Men, who have always been susceptible to heart problems, where their symptoms can be somewhat different than for women. Regardless of gender, an important factor attributed to heart disease, in general, is poor lifestyle choices in physical activity, stress, and diet.

One way to combat the onset of heart problems is to be aware of the signs that your body is giving you to make the necessary changes to your health: 

1. Arm Pain 

Women will usually experience this pain in both arms while men will experience the same type of pain in only their left arm. Pain can also occur for women in their elbows immediately prior to becoming afflicted with an actual heart attack. When the constriction of the heart muscles occurs and causes overwhelming pressure in the body, the pain manifests itself in the region of the spinal cord where there is a myriad of connected nerves. The brain usually reads this as arm pain when it is a full-blown heart attack that is occurring. 


2. Persistent Coughing 

Although chronic coughing can be a symptom of a number of different things, when it is directly related to heart disease a blush-color discharge will follow which is a sign of possible heart failure. The best advice is to not ignore this as some other minor issue. Go see your doctor and let him give you a thorough checkup to determine if heart problems exist. 

3. Leg, Ankle, and Feet Swelling 

Many of the reasons why heart disease occurs is because the organ is not pumping at the rate that is should be pumping blood throughout the body’s system. When this happens, it creates leakage into the surrounding tissue. This extra blood is a victim to gravity and immediately flows down to the lower appendages—legs, ankles, and feet. This creates what is known as edema which is a severe swelling of these areas of the body directly related to heart disease. 

4. Nausea and Lack of Appetite 

When heart disease progresses, it creates a build-up of fluid around major organs including the liver and intestines. These are directly related to the digestive functions of the human body. So, if they are not able to work properly due to fluid build up around them, the result will be feeling nauseous when you are eating or directly afterward, or even an inability to keep food down leading to pain in the stomach region. It can also result in not having an appetite at all even if you have not eaten for hours and even days. 

5. Heightened Anxiety 

Over the years, researchers who have studied individuals with high levels of anxiety throughout their life have been found to develop heart disease more readily than individuals who make a conscious effort to live a relatively stress-free life. For people who suffer from anxiety disorders, this can lead to elevated blood pressure, chest pains, and even a reduction in heart rate leading to tunneled or blurred vision. All of these are related to the onset of heart disease. 

6. Blackouts/Fainting Spells 

One of the most common reasons for damage to the heart and its surrounding vessels is the additional work that a heart must do to try to pump blood through a blocked artery or a valve that has become constricted and narrowed. The result is less oxygen is circulating throughout the body causing lightheadedness, shortened breaths, and sometimes fainting or blacking out. This is cause to see a doctor immediately. 

7. Change in Skin Color 

This is also related to a reduction is proper blood flowing through the body leading to a deficiency in red blood cell production. Your body can go into a form of shock because of this and will eventually lead to some form of anemia. This is when you elicit a pale or translucent appearance either in certain areas or on your entire body. It will also lead to extreme fatigue and should be diagnosed by your doctor. 

8. Rashes/Spots 

According to Science Daily, 1 out of 3 people in the U.S. will develop shingles in their lifetime. This is an important statistic since research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology names shingles as one of the leading factors related to heart problems with nearly 60% of sufferers experiencing heart attacks. Another skin problem that is also related to heart disease is eczema which causes high blood pressure and increased “bad” cholesterol in people who suffer from it. 

If you keep these warning signs in mind and know that alleviating the factors that cause heart disease is the best prevention, then you will have more assurance of leading a healthier and longer life. 

Even though these are some of the most common warning signs, let us know what you have experienced or someone that you know has experienced that may be helpful for others. 

Our content is created to the best of our knowledge, yet it is of general nature and cannot in any way substitute an individual consultation with your doctor. Your health is important to us!