Signs of a Heart Problem

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Signs of a Heart Problem

The seriousness of heart diseases means it is immensely important that an individual has knowledge of the early signs of a heart problem. An early warning can mean the difference between non-invasive treatment and surgery and this is crucial, especially for older people which may find surgery to be a very taxing procedure. By learning to recognize the early signs of heart problems, patients have a chance to get preventive treatment as opposed to possibly suffering a heart attack.

The signs of a heart problem can be broken down into any combination of the following symptoms:

•Shortness of breath. This is often an overlooked sign because many people think it’s just a respiratory problem and not a cardiovascular one. However, shortness of breath may mean that the heart is not able to work hard enough to deliver the oxygen to all the body organs. Regularly experiencing shortness of breath should raise the warning flags as to the likelihood that a heart problem may be present.

•Irregular heartbeat. The heart operates at a very regular interval. A skip here and there, also known as an arrhythmia, can be indicative of abnormalities in the way the heart functions. An electrocardiogram should be part of one’s annual medical exam in order to detect irregular heartbeats and palpitations.

•Weakness or dizziness. These symptoms do not automatically fall into the class of being signs of a heart problem as there are many illnesses that exhibit these signs. However, when in combination with the other symptoms, weakness and dizziness should be taken in the context of a potential heart problem. Like shortness of breath, this may also indicate that the heart is not able to deliver enough oxygen to the body’s organs resulting in the experienced dizziness or general weakness.

•Nausea. This falls into the same category as shortness of breath or weakness. Nausea may imply that the brain is the organ that isn’t getting enough oxygen because the heart is not able to pump enough. However, sufficient caution should also be taken as nausea can also be a symptom of some other illness and not just a heart problem.

•Chest pains. As far as signs of a heart problem go, chest pains are some of the most definitive and obvious indications that heart disease may already be present. Even if the chest pains are mild, it is prudent to immediately see your doctor for a more definitive diagnosis.

A number of tests are ultimately required to confirm the signs of heart disease. These include blood tests to check for cholesterol and triglyceride levels, x-rays to determine if the heart is enlarged, electrocardiogram for confirming the regularity of the heartbeat, sophisticated imaging techniques like MRI to see if there are visible defects in the heart structure, and even a heart biopsy if an inflammation is suspected and other tests are not able to confirm the condition.

The important thing to remember is that early diagnosis is a very important tool for managing heart problems. See your doctor as soon as you suspect that you are having signs of a heart problem so the right tests can be scheduled to confirm or rule out the existence of this life-threatening illness.