Heart diseases are the leading cause of death in the United States, but it can be prevented by switching to a healthy lifestyle. Many heart diseases start with an accumulation of plaque and graduate into life-threatening situations.
Here are five signs that your heart is filled with plaque, and you should see a doctor immediately.
Discomfort and Chest Pain
Even the slightest chest pain or discomfort shouldn’t be ignored. These symptoms indicate that your heart is accumulating plaque. Thus, the main arteries are narrowing down, making it difficult to carry around oxygenated blood.
Running Short of Breath
If you’re having shortness of breath, you should see a doctor immediately to avoid further complications. In most cases, it means the heart isn’t pumping blood efficiently. It might also mean that your lungs are getting inadequate oxygen-enriched blood from the heart because the latter is filled with plaque.
Unexplained fatigue indicates that your heart and arteries are covered with plaque. If this plaque hardens, it thickens the arteries. As a result, your heart will require more energy to maintain regular blood flow. Thus, explaining why you might feel tired more often.
Fatigue can also result from a condition called anemia. This is when your blood doesn’t have enough red blood cells to supply oxygen to different body tissues. With inadequate oxygen, it isn’t easy to convert food into energy.
Swelling of Legs and Feet
Swollen legs and feet might indicate that your heart is accumulating plaque. Plaque narrows or blocks arteries, thus reducing blood flow. The stagnant blood settles in the veins, leading to swelling.
It’s best to see a doctor so they determine the underlying problem. Lifestyle changes can also help ease the situation.
If the veins that send blood to the heart narrow down or get blocked by plaque, you will likely experience an irregular heartbeat. You should see a doctor immediately because this can aggravate serious issues, including a stroke or a heart attack.