When your heart is in trouble, your body will try to alert you of the problem through symptoms. An irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, and chest pain can all be signs of poor heart health that should be addressed immediately.

Here are five signs of poor heart health you should never ignore:

1. Abnormal Heartbeat

Abnormal heartbeat or arrhythmia can feel like a skipped beat, an extra beat or some kind of fluttering. It could be harmless, or it could be indicative of a serious health issue. If you notice an abnormal heartbeat, visit a health care professional. Symptoms to watch out for in addition to an abnormal heartbeat include:

  • Palpitations
  • Pounding in the chest
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain or tightening
  • Weakness or fatigue

2. Chest Pain

Chest pain can result from a variety of causes, but it’s always best to get checked out if you are experiencing chest pain that does not subside. The pain could be caused by the heart, the muscles in the lungs, nerves, or ribs. Chest pain can feel sharp, dull, burning, aching, stabbing, or similar to a tight crushing sensation. Symptoms to watch out for in addition to chest pain include:

  • Dizziness and nausea
  • Pain spreading to the jaw, left arm or back
  • Sudden feeling of pressure or crushing under the breast bone
  • Extremely low blood pressure or heart rate
  • Shortness of breath

3. Deep Vein Thrombosis

Deep vein thrombosis or DVT is caused by a blood clot that forms in one or more deep veins. DVT can occur if you are inactive for a long period of time, such as after surgery or following an accident, and your heart health can suffer. DVT can also cause a pulmonary embolism. Symptoms of DVT include:

  • Pain, swelling and tenderness in one of your legs
  • A heavy ache in the affected area
  • Warm skin in the area of the clot
  • Red skin, particularly at the back of your leg below the knee

4. Heart Attack

A heart attack occurs when blood stops flowing to a part of the heart, which causes damage to the heart muscle. The most common symptom of a heart attack is chest pain that can travel to the shoulder, arm, back, neck, or jaw. It most commonly occurs in the center or on the left side of the chest and lasts for longer than a few minutes. If you believe you may be suffering from a heart attack, call for help immediately. Other signs to look for include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Feeling faint
  • A cold sweat

5. Coronary Heart Disease

Coronary heart disease or CHD occurs when the heart’s blood supply becomes blocked or interrupted by a build-up of fatty substances in the arteries. Over time, the artery walls fill up with fatty deposits, which is known as atherosclerosis. When thinking about heart health, keep this condition in mind. Atherosclerosis can be caused by:

  • Smoking
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes

Heart disease may include signs from all of the above, so please always monitor your heart health.

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