Know the warning signs that could spell heart trouble.
According to the CDC, approximately 1 in every 4 deaths is associated with heart disease each year in the US alone. This makes heart disease the leading cause of death in both men and women. Knowing the signs and symptoms that something might be wrong is important so that you know when to turn to our Brandon, FL, primary care physicians, Drs. Joel and Elizabeth Biggers, for a checkup.
This is probably the most obvious and common symptom that something is wrong, and yet, some people don’t even realize that their chest pain may actually be an emergency situation. If you don’t feel well and you are experiencing chest pain, you need to call 911 or have someone drive you to your nearest ER right away. If you are having a heart attack, you may experience chest tightness or heaviness that feels as if someone is sitting on your chest. You may also find it difficult to breathe.
Chest pain that appears during physical activity or movement may be associated with angina. Of course, chest pain isn’t always heart-related, but it’s best to rule out a heart attack or other heart problems first if you are experiencing chest pain.
Sudden Aches and Pains
When the heart doesn’t get enough blood it needs to work harder. This doesn’t always mean that the pain will develop in the chest. Sometimes you may experience pain in the shoulder, arms, back or stomach. If you notice any pain that comes on during activity but goes away with rest, this could be a sign of heart disease.
Swollen Feet and Ankles
While swelling can occur for a number of reasons such as standing/sitting for long periods of time or being overweight, the type of swelling associated with heart disease is more severe. If you have heart disease, swelling of the legs, ankles, or feet is surprisingly common. Severe swelling should be checked out right away by one of our doctors.
A palpitation refers to a rapid or irregular heartbeat. While palpitations can sometimes be harmless or be induced by stress, dehydration, or caffeine intake, some palpitations point to heart problems. When you experience a palpitation it’s important to write down everything you know about it including when it occurs, if something has triggered it, and how it feels. Giving this information to our doctors can be very helpful in providing an accurate diagnosis.
Concerned? Call Us
Protect your heart health by visiting your Brandon, FL, doctor at least once a year for a physical. Call Biggers Family Medicine today at (813) 655-4646 if you are experiencing any of the symptoms above or if it’s time for your annual checkup.