Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the U.S. However, most cases of heart disease can be prevented with better lifestyle choices, including a healthy diet and regular exercise. So, knowing the tell-tale signs of a weak heart is crucial to getting your health back on track. Here are five signals indicating your heart might be in trouble.
1. Shortness of Breath
If you get winded while doing basic everyday activities, your heart might be weakening. For example, having to sit down and catch your breath after walking from the kitchen to the living room almost certainly indicates something’s wrong. Shortness of breath could be an early sign that your heart isn’t pumping efficiently, leading to blood backing up into the lungs.
2. Chest Pain
Experiencing chest pain during regular daily activities can indicate you’re at an increased risk for a heart attack. Heart-related chest pain typically lasts more than a few minutes and goes away once you sit and relax.
People who pass out regularly might have a heart valve disorder. Typically, all four heart valves must open and shut properly to keep the blood flowing smoothly. However, aortic stenosis leads to the narrowing of the heart valves, thus preventing the body and brain from receiving enough oxygenated blood, which explains the fainting.
4. Excessive Swelling
When the heart isn’t working efficiently, it won’t be able to move blood from your lower extremities. As a result, the blood will back up in the veins, causing fluid to build up in your tissues. On the surface, this buildup manifests as swelling.
5. Heart Palpitations
If the heart can’t pump blood sufficiently, it might start beating faster in an effort to keep up. When this happens, you will feel your heart racing or throbbing.