It is an unfortunate truth that many heart conditions don’t have clear and recognizable signs—even if you have had a heart attack – there is no guarantee that the same signs will recur. High blood pressure, putting you at risk for heart disease often has no symptoms or signs at all. In addition, there can be significant differences between the signs and symptoms of heart trouble in men and women. Everyone—no matter their diet, state of health or age—should be aware of signs of heart trouble. Even those with a very small risk, need to be aware.
What are the Risk Factors for Heart Problems
The most common factors that increase your risk for heart disease are:
- High LDL-cholesterol along with low HDL-cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Lack physical activity
- Being overweight or obese
- Poorly controlled diabetes
- High degree of stress, negative emotions such as anger, frustration or fear
- A family history of heart disease
You may notice how many of these factors can be controlled by diet and exercise. Even stress and negative emotions can be at least moderated with a quality diet, lifestyle and exercise. These are the “controllable” factors. The uncontrollable factors are gender, age and family history.
Signs of Heart Problems
Chest Pain or Discomfort
Chest pain or discomfort is the big sign most are aware of—but not everyone describes it in the same way. Most people describe the chest pain that signals heart problems as a tightening, pressure, ache or burning sensation. Some will describe it “like an elephant is sitting on my chest”. The sensation can occur while active—or at rest. It usually lasts for at least a few minutes. So—no matter how you would describe it, if there is this type of discomfort that lasts for more than a few minutes, get help. If the area or spot where you are feeling the discomfort feels worse when you apply pressure to it—it is more likely to be sore ribs or sore rib muscles or another temporary pain, but to be safe, you should have it checked.
Nausea, Vomiting, Reflux (Heartburn) or Stomach Discomfort
Women more commonly have these types of symptoms—and less commonly report chest pain during a heart attack. Again—this is NOT a hard and fast rule and everyone is different. Nausea, vomiting, heartburn and/or stomach discomfort can be due to lots of things, but a heart attack is one. Another symptom that appears more commonly in women is called water brash. This is a sudden increase in saliva produced. It may also be a symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or other intestinal ailment.
Chest Pain that Spreads to the Arm
The most classic symptom (in men) is chest pain that radiates or spreads to the left arm. In the arm, it may not be pain, but more of a numbness that spreads. In some, the sensation spreads to the right arm. It also doesn’t have to start in the chest—for some, the discomfort can begin and even stay in the arm—all while indicating heart problems.
Other less known or less common symptoms
Throat or jaw pain—especially when associated with chest pain, un explained fatigue (particularly in women), swelling at the legs, feet or ankles, irregular heart beat, palpitations or “flutters” around the heart, coughing with bloody mucus, sudden cold sweats. All of these symptoms are also symptoms of other ailments.
Heart Conditions with (Commonly) No Signs
High blood pressure is often silent (no symptoms) as can coronary heart disease (CAD), and heart beat irregularities (arrhythmias). Peripheral artery disease (PAD) can be silent—but can also be signalled by pain in the legs, especially when walking. Deep vein thromboses (DVT) symptoms can include pain, tenderness or a swollen area on one leg (often the calf) or a warmer area that is either painful or tender.
Other Signs of Trouble
Congestive heart failure is usually accompanied by difficulties in breathing (shortness of breath), fatigue, swollen ankles or legs and a rapid heart rate. Symptoms of a stroke can be remembered by remembering FAST: Face drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulty Time to call 911
Your best defence against heart problems is a HEALTHY LIFESTYLE: Drink plenty of water, consume lots of vegetables, also fruit, clean protein and whole grains if tolerated. Get some daily exercise, a goodnights sleep and meditate for a few minutes each day. Remember, YOU have the power to transform your health … ONE healthy choice at a time!
How to lower blood pressure in as little as 15 seconds is a video that covers a natural technique to lower blood pressure.
This is a very simple yes powerful massage technique that you can do on yourself to potentially lower blood pressure and/or rapid heart rate in as little as 15 seconds.
If you or someone you love suffers with high blood pressure, stress induced high blood pressure or anxiety this can be a great tool for you to learn.
Check out the above video to learn more.
Steps to perform the baroreceptor self-massage
Take your index and ring finger and find your throat (trachea) just below your jaw.
Mover your fingers just to the side of your throat (trachea) in that area and you should feel a little dip or whole.
Press gently in that area until you feel your pulse. When you feel it, you have found your carotid artery.
Gently start massaging the carotid artery in a circular motion for 3 to 5 seconds.
Continue this process moving up and down your carotid artery as Dr. Rob demonstrates in the video.
Do not use this information with out first consulting your licensed medical doctor.
This technique is not a treatment for disease and could be dangerous if someone suffers with lower blood pressure.
Never do both arteries at the same time as this can cause dizziness or unconsciousness.
The information in the video is for educational purposes only.
The heart stress test is a non-diagnostic tool designed to help us understand the degree of stress your heart and body may currently be under.
We will call you for a Free Consultation with our Naturopath or Certified Health Coach to review the results of your Heart Stress Test.
Disclaimer: this test is not a substitute for medical care by a cardiologist or medical doctor and is for educational purposes only.