Every 36 seconds, a person dies from heart disease in the U.S. In fact, heart problems are the primary cause of death among Americans, and there are often few to no obvious signs leading to a heart attack or stroke. If you have a family history of cardiovascular disease, you should always keep an eye on the situation and proactively take care of your heart health. On the other hand, if you don’t have a genetic predisposition to developing heart disease, here are some signs that indicate you should see a cardiologist.
This one is the most obvious sign that you might have a heart condition. While many other things can cause chest pain, excessive discomfort, especially during exertion, could mean it’s time to visit a heart doctor. This type of pain could also be one of the first signs of a heart attack, so don’t ignore it.
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure can affect the coronary arteries. It can cause them to narrow down and develop a buildup of plaque (harmful substances). This way, the buildup obstructs the blood flow to the heart, depriving it of oxygen and nutrients. Having HBP over an extended period of time is a serious risk for heart disease.
Palpitations feel like your heart is “fluttering” or beating too fast. They can be a result of anxiety and stress but also an excessive intake of nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol. Palpitations can be harmless or indicate a heart condition. However, if you experience them in combination with shortness of breath, dizziness, and chest pain, you should see a cardiologist immediately.
High Cholesterol Level
Bad cholesterol (LDL) can gradually block the blood vessels and contribute to plaque buildup in the arteries when left untreated. High LDL levels can be a consequence of an unhealthy diet, so it’s best to talk to your cardiologist or primary care physician about introducing more heart-healthy foods in your meal plan.
Preeclampsia affects some pregnant women, and it can be dangerous for a woman’s heart health. The condition manifests in high blood pressure, swelling in extremities, and protein in their urine. It’s one of the less obvious risk factors for heart disease, and women who experience it should see a cardiologist before the condition causes further problems.
Strangely, people with periodontal or gum disease seem to be at a much higher risk of developing heart disease. Researchers are still exploring the connection, and it may also have to do with the shared risk factors, including unhealthy eating habits and smoking. So after going to the dentist, you might want to schedule a visit with your heart doctor as well.
Brookhaven Heart Can Keep Your Heart Healthy
Your heart is the strongest muscle in your body, and you need to take care of it so that it can take care of you. If you experience any of the above symptoms, you can contact us at Brookhaven Heart, and we’ll schedule a checkup to keep your heart in the best possible shape.