Surprising Symptoms of Heart Disease
NEW ORLEANS - You know the big ones, like chest pain, but what about the sneakier signs that your heart is in trouble?
Most of us think we know how to spot a heart that’s in trouble — pain in the left arm and chest, difficulty breathing and fainting are all classic signs of a heart attack. But your body can give off other, subtler hints that heart disease is lurking. Here are four signs you shouldn’t ignore.
1. Nausea, indigestion or stomach pain
While chances are that an upset stomach has more to do with what you ate last night than the health of your heart, it’s not all that uncommon for people to be nauseous during a heart attack. If you know you’re at risk for heart disease and notice digestive issues cropping up, talk to your doctor about whether it could be heartburn or something more serious.
A little log-sawing is perfectly normal, but if your partner reports that you’re making gasping or choking sounds while you snooze, you could have sleep apnea — a condition that causes you to stop breathing for brief moments during sleep. These lapses in oxygen intake can put extra stress on your heart, upping your risk for a heart attack.
Feeling overwhelmingly fatigued after performing normal, everyday tasks? Talk to your doctor right away. Extreme exhaustion or unexplained weakness is a common symptom of a heart attack, especially in women.
4. Swollen Feet and Ankles
If you’re looking like a pregnant lady from the knees down, your heart might be to blame. When your ticker can’t pump fast enough, blood backs up in the veins and causes bloating, typically in the legs, feet and ankles.
Ready to talk to a doctor about your risk of heart disease? Schedule an appointment by calling 504-273-4027 or visit www.digital.ochsner.org/heart_hra/ with an Ochsner cardiologist online.
Ochsner Health System is Louisiana’s largest non-profit, academic, healthcare system. Driven by a mission to Serve, Heal, Lead, Educate and Innovate, coordinated clinical and hospital patient care is provided across the region by Ochsner's 30 owned, managed and affiliated hospitals and more than 60 health centers. Ochsner is the only Louisiana hospital recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a “Best Hospital” across three specialty categories caring for patients from all 50 states and more than 80 countries worldwide each year. Ochsner employs more than 17,000 employees and over 1,000 physicians in over 90 medical specialties and subspecialties, and conducts more than 600 clinical research studies. Ochsner Health System is proud to be a tobacco-free environment. For more information, please visit ochsner.org and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.