Knowing the Red Flags for Heart Health

Doctor holding heart

When it comes to your heart health, there is a lot to know about what’s normal and what deserves medical attention. There are a number of conditions that may affect your heart, and these can present themselves with a wide range of symptoms. You may be aware of the obvious signs like chest pain and high blood pressure, but you should also remain alert to some other warning signs that aren’t so clearly associated with heart health. Here’s a look at a few of the red flags that you may not be familiar with so that you know how to respond.

Chronic cough

Coughing and wheezing is not always caused by respiratory trouble. A persistent cough can be traced back to heart failure, which can lead to the accumulation of fluid in the lungs. Bloody phlegm can appear while coughing, and it should be met with emergency medical treatment.

Irregular pulse

The occasional pulse irregularity is nothing to worry about, but frequent skipped beats or rapid pulse while resting could point to serious problems such as heart attack or arrhythmia. Your doctor will likely pick up on pulse irregularities during a regular checkup, but you shouldn’t hesitate to mention any abnormalities you notice on your own.

Difficulty exercising

Feeling lightheaded or extremely winded at the gym may be more than simply being out of shape. If exercise brings shortness of breath or a sensation that you are going to collapse at any moment, your heart may not be able to handle the level of activity you are trying to perform. Always make sure to monitor your heart rate while exercising and know what is normal when it comes to exhaustion following physical activity.

Unexplained fatigue

For women especially, sudden fatigue is a characteristic marker of a heart attack. There may be other causes for sudden fatigue, but it is worth heading to the ER when you feel nausea or dizziness accompanying this sensation.

When was the last time you had heart health screenings to ensure that your ticker is in good shape? Good Samaritan Hospital can offer the cardiac screening and diagnostic tools you need to prevent major cardiac episodes and keep your health on track. To find a physician at our San Jose hospital, visit our website or call us at (408) 559-2011.

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