7 Early Signs of Heart Disease

Heart diseases are very fatal. According to the World Health Organization, 7 million people died from coronary heart disease in 2011, making it the world’s leading cause of death. Also known as ischemic heart disease or atherosclerotic heart disease, coronary heart disease is a condition wherein the supply of blood to the tissues is restricted due to complications in the blood vessels, causing a shortage of oxygen and glucose needed for cellular metabolism and the eventual damage or dysfunction of the tissue.

Coronary heart disease is the most common type of of heart disease and can lead to heart attacks. Even if you are confident that you have adequate medical insurance coverage, it is still important to know the symptoms of this condition. The following are some of the early signs of heart disease:

1. Chest Discomfort

One of the common signs of heart disease is a feeling of pain or discomfort in the chest area, usually lasting a few minutes. According to Jean McSweeney, PhD, RN, associate dean for research at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Nursing in Little Rock, chest pain is the first symptom doctors typically look for when diagnosing heart conditions. Not all heart attacks, however, cause chest pain.

Chest pains usually come and go, and may be caused by several factors such as angina, stomach problems, fatigue, and other medical conditions. Heart-related chest pain is often felt in the left centre area under the breastbone. It brings an uncomfortable sensation which is often described as pressure, squeezing, or bloatedness.

2. Aches in Upper Body

Upper body aches might indicate a blockage in the arteries. If you feel pain in the back, neck, teeth or jaw, one or both arms, throat, or upper abdomen, these are possible symptoms for heart disease. Pain associated with heart disease can sometimes extend to the shoulder blades, and often works its way down the left arm.

3. Shortness of Breath

Shortness of breath, or dyspnea, can be experienced with or without chest discomfort, and could begin months before a heart attack. Usually accompanied with fatigue, running out of breath is often a clear sign of heart disease. Doctors say dyspnea can occur at rest or when in motion.

4. Palpitation

Palpitation is commonly a symptom for heartburn caused by acid reflux in the stomach. However, it could also be an early sign of heart disease. You may also notice a fluttering feeling in your chest, neck, or throat when palpitation occurs.

5. Nausea

Nausea, along with vomiting and gastrointestinal problems, is one of the most overlooked signs of a heart attack as they are often mistaken for food-related complications.

6. Weakness and Fatigue

Feeling weak or sudden fatigue is another early symptom of heart disease. There are also instances wherein people feel very sleepy that they just want lay in bed all day.

7. Excessive Sweating

If you find yourself sweating more than usual, you might be in danger of having a heart attack. Extreme sweating might come with light-headedness and fatigue. There are cases reported when patients experienced the very symptom and dismissed it as the flu—but as it turned out, were really on the verge of a heart attack.

Experts say that excessive sweating that comes with persistent wheezing or chronic coughing can be a positive sign of heart disease.

What if you have these symptoms?

If you have experienced any of these early signs, or know someone who has, consult the doctor immediately. If you aren’t yet covered with medical insurance, it is never too early to get one.

Health insurance comes in handy for checkups, as well as in cases when you might need financial assistance for emergencies and treatments. Most medical insurance plans in Malaysia covers consultation fees, medical check-ups, and hospital bills. You can get insurance for you and for your whole family.

Remember that not every case of hear attack is the same. Factors that cause heart diseases may vary according to age, diet, heredity, and levels of blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and even stress.

Aside from living a healthier life, what’s important is to watch out for the early signs of heart diseases and get medical insurance that will suit your needs.

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