Webdesk: Heart diseases have become one of the leading causes of death amongst men and women globally. According to the data collected by the World Health Organisation (WHO), nearly 17.9 million people lose their lives to cardiovascular diseases every year. This staggering statistic is enough to make anyone fearful for their cardiac health. While being cautious is a good thing, unnecessary fear and anxiety can also be contributing factors to various heart conditions. So, how do you know if it’s just baseless fear or if you need to see a cardiologist? Well, here are 12 signs that you should watch out for to know when it’s time to get your heart checked out. Dr. Birendra Pawar, Cardiologist, Apollo 24|7, highlights 8 critical signs that necessitate an immediate visit to a cardiologist.
1. Chest Pain
One of the most common signs of heart problems is chest pain. While there can be other causes of chest pain entirely unrelated to the heart, discomfort, tightness or pressure in the chest that worsens or occurs while performing any physical activity can be concerning. This can be a sign of inadequate blood supply to the heart. This kind of pain can sometimes even extend to other parts of your body like the shoulders, abdomen, and back.
2. Palpitations With Shortness Of Breath
Experiencing shortness of breath accompanied by palpitations or dizziness can also be a symptom of heart disease. While it’s normal to feel breathless and dizzy when you overexert your body, it can be a cause for concern if it interferes with simple daily activities.
3. High Cholesterol Levels
High cholesterol levels can lead to the buildup of plaque in your arteries, thereby increasing the risk of stroke, heart disease, and several other cardiovascular problems. You can reduce your risk of suffering a heart attack by consuming a healthy diet and taking cholesterol-lowering medications post-doctor consultation.
4. Consistently High Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is the force with which the blood pushes up against your artery walls. The narrower your arteries and the more blood pumped by your heart, the higher your blood pressure. Consistently high blood pressure makes your heart work harder to ensure proper blood circulation, increasing the risk of stroke and heart attack. You can suffer from high blood pressure for a long time without showing any symptoms. For this reason, it’s essential to monitor your blood pressure regularly.
5. High Blood Sugar
Cardiovascular diseases are strongly linked to diabetes. Uncontrolled blood sugar levels affect the function of your blood vessels and increase the risk of developing coronary artery disease. Consulting with a cardiologist can help diabetics determine if any preventive measures or treatments can help in lowering this risk.
6. Breathlessness Post-Smoking
Smoking tobacco has a massive adverse impact on your heart health. Those who smoke are two to four times more susceptible to developing heart diseases than those who don’t. Smoking cigarettes causes damage to the artery linings, resulting in plaque buildup and potentially life-threatening blockages. If you smoke or are used to doing it, it’s advisable to have regular consultations with a cardiologist.
7. Irregular Heart Beat
Another major sign of deteriorating heart health can be an irregular heartbeat, which can present itself as the fluttering of the heart, anxiety, dizziness and even fainting. In case you notice that your heart is beating irregularly, consult with a cardiologist right away.
8. Gum Disease
Gum diseases are also linked to heart problems. Research shows that bacteria found in diseased gums can travel to the heart and cause inflammation & infection in heart vessels and valves.
To ensure good cardiac health, stay vigilant and see a cardiologist right away if you notice even the faintest signs pointing towards a heart problem. Detecting and treating a cardiac issue early is the most effective way to increase the chances of complete recovery.