You may have heard someone say that cardiovascular disease or heart problems are silent. But our bodies give signs, however subtle they may be, that our heart health is in danger.
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 to take regular exams.
Prevention and early diagnosis are the most important measures to avoid the consequences of heart problems, which in many cases can be fatal.
According to the Brazilian Society of Cardiology, cardiovascular disease affecting the heart and circulation is the leading cause of death in Brazil, more than all cancers combined, deaths from accidents and violence, from respiratory diseases and infections.
Many of these cases can be avoided with simple preventative measures and treated if detected 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 for a heart problem.
Some groups of people need extra care
Before you know the signs that indicate a heart problem, it is important to know which groups of people are most at risk of developing these problems so that attention and care are doubled:
Uncontrolled hypertension (high blood pressure)
overweight and obesity
Bad eating habits, with a diet high in fat and sugar.
Family history with heart disease
Signs of heart problems
The first thing to keep in mind is that the signs of heart problems will not always be sudden or sudden. This is important to mention 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 characters are not always so striking and sudden. Cardiovascular disease develops over time and can be confused with everyday situations, such as poor physical condition, snoring or fatigue.
So when you notice the next signs, be sure to look for a doctor and perform routine examinations as they can reverse serious situations.
Fatigue is defined as a feeling of extreme fatigue, tiredness and lack of energy.
It is natural for a person leading a sedentary life to feel short of breath when starting to exercise. But over time, she notices an improvement in her physical condition, and little by little she feels less tired with that level and the amount of exercise.
What is not normal is to feel extremely tired when doing light, daily activities, such as walking, bending or cleaning the house. Feeling extremely tired when performing light activities that do not require much energy indicates that the heart is weak and unable 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 sweats are a very common symptom, which can be present in moments of anxiety, stress or hypoglycemia, by those who use insulin to control hyperglycemia of diabetes.
However, 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 investigate the cause.
Chest pain and palpitations
These are the symptoms that usually make people more worried 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.
Palpitations are a cardiac arrhythmia, that is, when the rate of heartbeat is no longer regular, becomes very weak, strong (tachycardia), or irregular.
Neck and jaw pain
Pain in these areas does not appear to be related to the heart, but may indicate the presence of blockages in the arteries, which may develop into a heart attack.
Arterial blockage can occur due to accumulation of fat or blood clots due to rupture of these arteries. With this, the heart stops receiving oxygen and nutrients, resulting in its cells dying.
Depending on which artery was affected and the duration of the infarction, the heart may stop functioning completely.
dizziness and fainting
A sudden feeling of dizziness or fainting may indicate a cardiovascular problem, which has resulted in decreased blood flow to the brain. These signs can occur moments before a person has a heart attack.
Feeling constantly dizzy can be an indication of a heart problem
Bluish discoloration on fingertips or nails
The constant feeling of cold hands and feet, which leads to bluish fingertips and fingernails, can be a sign of heart failure.
In heart failure, the heart cannot pump enough blood to flush all parts of the body, prioritizing vital organs and leaving the extremities less flushed. Therefore, hands and feet get colder than the rest of the body.
Swelling and pain in the legs
Due to gravity, legs, ankles and feet tend to become more swollen and painful when a person suffers from heart failure.
Since this problem causes fluid retention, the legs are the parts that suffer the most from swelling. It is also common for this symptom to be accompanied by shortness of breath when the person goes to sleep or when engaging in physical activity.
Urinates several times during the night
The weakening of the myocardium, which is the heart muscle, is related to fluid retention. So if you find yourself having to get up more often than usual to urinate during the night, it may be a symptom of heart failure.
Night cough is also a sign of heart failure because when fluid accumulates in the lungs, coughing occurs as a natural reflex in the body. Frequent coughing and wheezing do not always mean lung disease or asthma.
So if, when you lie down, you cough a lot and feel short of breath, you should go to 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 that results in the contraction of blood vessels so that the blood circulates faster, so as not to leave the brain and heart without oxygen. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for cardiovascular problems.
Nausea, loss of appetite and abdominal pain
These are not only symptoms of digestive problems, they can also indicate heart problems.
Changes in the anatomy of the heart that impair the proper functioning of the right part of the organ can cause symptoms of nausea and loss of appetite. In addition, problems with the arteries that supply blood to the lungs can also cause these symptoms.
A defective heart can also cause fluid to accumulate. When this retention occurs around the stomach organs, it can result in digestive problems that manifest in abdominal pain or an enlarged liver.
Prevention of heart problems
It is important to keep in mind that preventing heart problems is not a complicated task, as it is basically about cultivating healthy habits and having regular checkups.
Knowing the signs that indicate a heart problem is very important for you to seek medical attention at the beginning of the problem, as this increases the chances of the treatment being effective and avoiding serious complications that can be fatal.
So remember daily that:
Eat healthy, avoid excess fat and sugar and increase your intake of healthy proteins, vegetables and fruits.
Exercise regularly with aerobics and resistance exercises (weight training).
Practice activities that help you relieve stress and anxiety.
Schedule an annual heart test.
Source: https://www.mundoboaforma.com.br/sinais-que-podem-indicar-um-problema-no-coracao/ – Specialist in the field: Dr. Lucio Pachecoa