Although chest ache is the symptom mostly related to cardiovascular points, there are a selection of atypical signs which will point out one thing is improper with the center.
Hypertension, blood clots, arrhythmias and valve points can set off lightheadedness, dizziness, shortness of breath and jaw ache. As a result of these signs aren’t so clearly linked to the center — and are related to different well being situations — they usually go dismissed, inflicting folks to delay pressing, life-saving care.
“The common thing we are concerned about is chest discomfort, but the truth is that cardiovascular issues can actually be signaled by other symptoms,” Dr. Rigved Tadwalkar, a board-certified heart specialist at Windfall Saint John’s Well being Middle in Santa Monica, California, instructed HuffPost.
Listed below are a number of signs which will sign a coronary heart downside:
Tingling Or Pain In The Legs
Pain within the calves or decrease legs — particularly when it’s accompanied by swelling — might be as a consequence of a blood clot within the deep veins of the physique, in keeping with Tadwalkar. Leg swelling can even happen if the center has points pumping blood all through the physique, inflicting decreased blood move to the legs.
“Pain in the legs, even though it seems like it’s so far from the heart, could, in fact, signal that there’s something happening with the cardiovascular system,” Tadwalkar stated.
Dizziness Or Lightheadedness
Dr. Joyce Oen-Hsiao, a heart specialist and affiliate professor of medical drugs at Yale Faculty of Drugs in Connecticut, has handled many sufferers who current with dizziness and lightheadedness. However it usually takes a little bit of detective work to find out what, precisely, is inflicting these signs.
Abnormalities in blood stress — together with blood stress that’s both too excessive or too low — could cause dizziness. Some folks will expertise coronary heart palpitations, or additional heartbeats, that may set off lightheadedness, Oen-Hsiao stated.
Although many arrhythmias are benign and triggered by elements like caffeine or menopause, some irregular heartbeats — together with people who happen on the backside of the center chamber — could be a signal of coronary heart illness or a blockage within the coronary heart arteries, in keeping with Oen-Hsiao.
A Unhealthy Headache
A extreme headache could also be a marker that one thing’s amiss with the center. A frontal headache with ache that shoots throughout the brow and behind the eyes can point out that an individual has hypertension, in keeping with Oen-Hsiao.
“Some people don’t feel their blood pressure, but at one point, it gets a little too much blood pressure for their brain to handle and then they’ll get that frontal headache and pain behind the eyes,” Oen-Hsiao stated.
Hypertension leading to a headache will be pressing situation, Tadwalkar stated. If the stress is excessive sufficient and sustained for lengthy sufficient, it will possibly result in bursting of the blood vessels.
“It’s helpful to be plugged in with a physician, because you’d want to know if your blood pressure is trending high so that way it can be addressed before something like this could happen,” Tadwalkar stated.
Shortness Of Breath
Shortness of breath is a symptom related to many coronary heart situations.
“There are so many conditions that we evaluate and treat that have shortness of breath as a primary characteristic, that from our perspective — as cardiologists — it is a pretty non-specific symptom, but it is an important one,” Tadwalkar stated.
Shortness of breath, particularly with exertion, could be a signal that an individual has hypertension. Oen-Hsiao stated she sees many older girls who expertise shortness of breath after they train.
“As soon as they start exercising, their blood pressure jumps from normal baseline to really high” they usually develop breathlessness, Oen-Hsiao stated.
Sudden shortness of breath that worsens with exertion may be an indication of a clot within the lungs. There could also be a problem with one of many coronary heart valves, coronary heart rhythm disturbances and even coronary heart failure. If the shortness of breath is sudden and extreme or if it’s progressively getting worse, you’ll wish to get checked out by a coronary heart physician, Tadwalkar stated.
Nausea Or Decreased Urge for food
Nausea and a lack of urge for food will be indicators of coronary heart failure. When the center begins to fail, fluid can accumulate within the legs and stomach. When the intestine fills with fluid, it doesn’t take up vitamins as nicely, inflicting folks to lose their urge for food and really feel full the entire time, Oen-Hsiao stated.
Sometimes, nausea and upset abdomen are the one signs that sufferers with a blockage within the again artery of the center will really feel.
“A lot of patients who have a heart attack with the artery in the back part of the heart, they actually won’t have chest pain or shortness of breath, they’ll just get really nauseous and feel sick to their stomach,” Oen-Hsiao stated.
Jaw Pain And Tightness
Some folks with cardiovascular points will expertise jaw ache and heaviness that radiates up the neck, into the jaw and down into the left arm. That is extra widespread when sufferers are exerting themselves.
Oen-Hsiao stated these signs could be a signal of a coronary heart assault, however they could even be an indication of angina (important blockages). Individuals experiencing neck and jaw ache ought to instantly be evaluated by a physician.
“The constellation of jaw discomfort and nausea — especially with ill-defined chest discomfort — even though it may not seem initially cardiac in nature, would be something that should bring somebody to an emergency department more urgently,” Tadwalkar stated.