It goes without saying that your heart is the most important organs in your body. The fist-sized muscle never gets a break, pumping blood through your veins day in and day out to, well, keep you running and alive. Unfortunately, there are so many things that can go wrong with this vital organ. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about one in every four deaths. can be attributed to some form of heart disease.
Fortunately, if you pay attention to your body—and visit your doctor regularly—you’ll be able to get ahead of any issues. From toe pain to exhaustion, these are the warning signs your heart could be in trouble.
And for things to avoid so you can keep your ticker in top form, check out the 12 Habits That Increase Your Chances of a Heart Attack After 40.
10. Open the sores on your feet
Having open sores or sores on your feet can be incredibly painful, and your doctor should get them checked out as soon as possible – it could be a sign of a heart condition called iliac aortic occlusive disease, which is a blockage of the aorta, which is the main body of a blood vessel.
According to vascular specialists at NYU Langone Health, this condition can lead to ischemia, which is a decrease in the tissue’s supply of blood and oxygen.
9. Coughing up colored mucus
A cough that does not seem to go away and produces pink or white mucus may be caused by fluid buildup in your lungs – a common warning sign of heart disease, according to the American Heart Association (AHA). Even if it sounds like a bad cold, it’s a good idea to ask your doctor to make sure it’s not a symptom of a bigger problem.
8. Frequent urination at night
If you find that you have to wake up to go to the bathroom at night more than you usually do, this increased urge to urinate could be a symptom of heart failure, according to the Mayo Clinic. Consult your doctor to make sure you are in good health and that your heart is in its best condition.
7. Tightness in your throat
If you’re experiencing so much tightness in your throat that it’s giving you a persistent sensation that you are choking, it could be a sign of a heart attack, according to the British Heart Foundation.
6. Rapid weight gain
While there are many symptoms of heart failure, rapid weight gain is one that’s lesser-known. It’s a sign that your body is retaining fluid due to your heart not pumping properly. According to Kaiser Permanente, this rapid weight gain could look like two to three pounds in 24 hours or +2 KG in a week.
5. Swollen feet, ankles, or legs
Swelling usually indicates an injury to an area – such as in a sprained ankle – but a buildup of excess fluid in your tissues may also be a sign of heart failure. According to the AHA, this occurs when blood gets backed up while trying to return to the heart, causing your tissues to swell.
4. Suddenly breaking into a cold sweat
If you ever suddenly cold, clammy skin and experience break into a sweat, you may be having a heart attack. The Mayo Clinic says it’s one of the typical symptoms and may or may not be accompanied by chest pain or discomfort. If you’re not sure why you’re sweating, don’t wait to figure it out—get help immediately. It could be your body trying to tell you something isn’t right.
3. Erectile dysfunction
Many different things can cause erectile dysfunction, but the lesser-known one is heart disease. Extra blood is required during an erection, according to Harvard Medical School, but if you have arterial blockages, that blood flow stops. So if you are facing any dorm problems, talk to your doctor to make sure it is not something more serious.
2. Feeling tired easily when exercising
If you always feel fatigued during exercise or physical activity – regardless of your appearance – it may be due to a congenital heart defect that was just not diagnosed. While severe cases are discovered at birth, less serious issues are sometimes not discovered until adulthood, according to the Mayo Clinic.
1. Chest discomfort
People often ignore the feeling of chest discomfort, thinking that it might be just punishment for a fatty meal. However, if this feeling of discomfort, fullness, pressure, or even mild pain in the centre of your chest lasts for more than a few minutes – or disappears and returns again – it could be a warning sign that a heart attack is imminent, according to the AHA.