Have You Ever Experienced These 5 Subtle Symptoms Of Heart Disease?
8 months ago, 17 Jan 21:31
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That means that one in every four female deaths can be attributed to heart disease. (That’s about the same number as men, by the way—which means you can’t write heart disease off as a guys’ issue.) The scariest part about it, though? Only 54 percent of women actually recognize that fact, according to the CDC. But what actually is heart disease? It's pretty much an umbrella term for anything in your heart going amok. (So, no, it's not just heart attacks.) "Heart disease is most commonly due to blockages in the arteries, which is known as atherosclerosis,” says Suzanne Steinbaum, D.O., director of women's heart health at the Heart and Vascular Institute at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York and a co-founder of the Global Nutrition and Health Alliance (GNHA). “But there are four parts to the heart, and heart disease could be a problem with any of them,” she says. Apart from the arteries, there are the heart's valves, which could be tight or leaky. Then there’s the electric system, which could cause your heart to beat too fast, too slow, or have extra beats. And, finally, there’s the myocardium (heart muscle) and pericardium (lining of the heart), which could become inflamed, too thick, or too thin, she says. Basically, there's a lot that could go wrong with the heart. And real-life heart conditions aren’t always as dramatic and sudden as what you see on TV or in the movies. Some women might never notice their heart disease symptoms until they’re felled by a heart attack or stroke, Steinbaum says. Many don't even know what to look for. Here, five symptoms of heart disease that you shouldn't shrug off. Sometimes, getting short of breath at the top of the stairs is a sign that you need to up your workouts or take your allergy meds. Other times, it's a sign of heart disease, says Steinbaum. “It’s all about oxygen delivery," she says, explaining that, in people with heart disease, the heart struggles to get oxygen where it needs to go throughout the body. The result: you feel like you can't ever quite catch your breath. As heart disease progresses, breathing problems can worsen to the point that lying flat in bed isn't even an option; it too severely limits what air flow they do have, she says. If you struggle with shortness or breath that isn't treated with allergy medications or other doctor-recommended measures, it's time for a second opinion. Watch a hot doc explain what can aggravate asthma: Along with shortness of breath, chest pain or discomfort, also known as angina, is one of the most common heart disease symptoms, says Steinbaum. This is the ache of your heart not getting enough oxygen. It may feel like a squeezing sensation or pressure on top of your chest; in some women, it can feel like indigestion. If you experience any of these ...
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