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Unhealthy heart may give warning signs before heart attack

According to the CDC, “715,000 Americans have a heart attack each year, and about 600,000 people die from heart disease in the United States each year—that’s 1 out of every 4 deaths. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women.” But if you’re like me, you don’t want to wait until you have a heart attack to find out that you have an unhealthy heart. So are there signs which can alert you ahead of time that your heart may be in trouble?

Experts say yes. In fact, because your heart is a muscle, there are generally signs that can tell you that it may be in trouble and it’s time to go to the doctor weeks, months or years before a heart attack.


Early Signs you may have an unhealthy heart


One of the most common problems for men, which may signal an unhealthy heart, is erectile dysfunction. In fact, many doctors who exam men who complain about erectile dysfunction consider them first and foremost a cardiovascular patient until proven otherwise.

What’s the first step if you are suffering from ED? Go to your doctor and have them investigate the underlying cause. According to Caring.com, “Because narrowing and hardening of the arteries restricts blood flow to the penis, and those arteries are smaller than the ones leading to the heart, erectile dysfunction can occur before any other sign of artery stiffness.”

Breathing problems and an unhealthy heart


The second sign you may have an unhealthy heart is breathing problems at night, including sleep apnea and snoring. In fact, if you have sleep apnea, which is a condition which temporarily stops your breathing at night when you sleep, you have a higher chance of having a heart attack or suffering from cardiovascular disease. Experts believe that sleep apnea may damage the right side of the heart, requiring it to work harder to support the lungs.



Periodontal Disease, swollen feet and chest pain and an unhealthy heart


Another indicator that you might have an unhealthy heart is periodontal disease. You may think gum disease is only a symptom of poor dental hygiene, but doctors argue that heart disease could be an underlying cause of periodontal disease due to the body's response to prolonged inflammation.

Next, if you have swollen feet it may not just be an indication that you have walked too long or your shoes are too tight. Experts note that this condition, called edema, can be a sign that you are in the early stages of heart failure or coronary artery disease. Fluid retention may be a result of a weak heart which does not have the strength to pump efficiently enough to move blood through your lower extremities such as your feet, ankles, and legs.

Finally, if you are experiencing any type of chest pain or angina, it’s time to see a doctor. The pain feels differently to different people but has been described as “a deep ache, a constriction, a weight on the chest, a heaviness, a fullness, a tightness, or a pain in the shoulder, neck, jaw, arm, or upper back, where it may be mistaken for a pulled muscle.”
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