You know the big ones, like chest pain, but what about the sneakier signs that your heart is in trouble?
Most of us think we know how to spot a heart that’s in trouble — pain in the left arm and chest, difficulty breathing and fainting are all classic signs of a heart attack. But your body can give off other, subtler hints that heart disease is lurking. Here are four signs you shouldn’t ignore.
1. Nausea, indigestion or stomach pain
While chances are that an upset stomach has more to do with what you ate last night than the health of your heart, it’s not all that uncommon for people to be nauseous during a heart attack. If you know you’re at risk for heart disease and notice digestive issues cropping up, talk to your doctor about whether it could be heartburn or something more serious.
A little log-sawing is perfectly normal, but if your partner reports that you’re making gasping or choking sounds while you snooze, you could have sleep apnea — a condition that causes you to stop breathing for brief moments during sleep. These lapses in oxygen intake can put extra stress on your heart, upping your risk for a heart attack.
Feeling overwhelmingly fatigued after performing normal, everyday tasks? Talk to your doctor right away. Extreme exhaustion or unexplained weakness is a common symptom of a heart attack, especially in women.
4. Swollen Feet and Ankles
If you’re looking like a pregnant lady from the knees down, your heart might be to blame. When your ticker can’t pump fast enough, blood backs up in the veins and causes bloating, typically in the legs, feet and ankles.
Ready to talk to a doctor about your risk of heart disease?
Schedule an appointment with an Ochsner cardiologist online.