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5 Common Heart Disease Signs And Symptoms

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Author: Aimee Whitfill

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. The term is actually an umbrella term that refers to a number of various diseases affecting the heart. The most common forms include coronary artery disease, heart attack, arrhythmias, arterial fibrillation, and heart valve disease.

Here are 5 common heart disease signs and symptoms:

1. Shortness of breath

If you find yourself breathing heavily for no obvious reason, you may have cause for concern. Similarly, if you notice yourself having to catch your breath after going up or down a few steps, lifting light objects, or walking short distances, you may have a problem with shortness of breath.

2. Heart palpitations

Heart palpitations are defined as an awareness of the abnormal beating of the heart. This abnormality may involve the heart beating too slowly, too fast, irregularly, or even at its normal frequency. The beating of one's heart should largely be a completely unconscious act. Therefore, if you find yourself often focusing on the beating of your heart on a regular basis, you may be experiencing heart palpitations.

3. A faster heartbeat

If you experience a faster-than-normal heartbeat (also called tachyarrhythmia), this may be the sign of serious medical issues related to the heart. Fast heartbeats are caused by increased input from the sympathetic nervous system, and this can be an indication that the body is responding to stress somewhere else in the body - such as to a tightness in the arteries.

4. Weakness or dizziness

Frequently finding yourself feeling week or dizzy without any obvious cause could also be a symptom of disease of the heart. For example, these symptoms may occur when you are just sitting down, but they are more likely to occur when you are standing up and/or are in motion.

5. Nausea

Nausea can be caused by a large number of factors, one of which is heart problems. We have all experienced the feeling of nausea before. Usually, nausea is caused by easily-explainable factors such as having eaten the wrong food or having the flu. However, if nausea persists for extended periods of time without obvious causes, this could be the sign of real problems.

If you are exhibiting any of the symptoms described above or are otherwise concerned about the possibility that you may have issues with your heart or cardiovascular system, see your doctor right away.

Important note: it is a common misconception that only people exhibiting one or more of these common symptoms of heart disease should be concerned about actually having a issues. To the contrary, many of the types of diseases related to the heart mentioned above can be present in one's body without the existence of any noticeable signs, until it is often too late.

If you are lacking the common tell-tale symptoms - some of which are listed above - you may still be at elevated risk for having such a disease. In addition, recent advances in medical screening mean that adults can now receive ABI and ASI testing to detect for important heart-related conditions such as peripheral artery disease (PAD) and arterial stiffness.

I recommend ABI and ASI screening at least once per year. Make sure that your screening provider employs the latest in FDA approved medical screening devices, that all results are reviewed by board-certified MDs and that all the information and readouts are provided back to you in their results packet. Do accept from your screening provider just receiving results that say 'normal' or 'abnormal.' When you get your results, take them to your physician. You will be providing him/her with helpful information they typically do not have because of insurance restrictions.

Visit to schedule an inexpensive Arterial Stiffness Index test using a painless, non-invasive ultrasound procedure.


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