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Is your heart healthy? 5 warning signs to predict and prevent cardiovascular disease risk

Know the 5 key warning signs of cardiovascular disease to help you predict and prevent heart health risks. Stay informed and take proactive steps for a healthier heart.

Written By: Muskan Gupta @guptamuskan_ New Delhi Updated on: June 05, 2024 14:28 IST
cardiovascular disease risk
Image Source : SOCIAL 5 warning signs to prevent cardiovascular disease risk

Cardiovascular disease remains a leading cause of death worldwide, but many of these conditions are preventable with early detection and lifestyle changes. By being aware of these warning signs and making required attributions, you can significantly reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and maintain a healthy heart for years to come. Always consult with healthcare professionals if you experience any concerning symptoms or need guidance on heart health. Here are five warning signs that can help you predict and prevent cardiovascular disease, ensuring your heart remains healthy and strong.

1. Chest Pain or Discomfort

One of the most common warning signs of heart problems is chest pain or discomfort. This pain can feel like pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain in the center of the chest. It might occur during physical activity or stress and often eases with rest. If you experience chest pain that is severe or does not go away, seek medical attention immediately, as it could be a sign of a heart attack.

2. Shortness of Breath

Feeling short of breath during routine activities, or even while at rest, can be a significant indicator of heart trouble. This symptom occurs when the heart is not pumping efficiently, leading to fluid buildup in the lungs. If you notice persistent shortness of breath, consult a healthcare provider for a thorough evaluation.

3. Irregular Heartbeat

An irregular heartbeat, also known as arrhythmia, can be a sign that your heart is struggling. This can feel like your heart is racing, fluttering, or skipping beats. While some irregularities are harmless, others can lead to serious complications like stroke or heart failure. Monitoring your heartbeat and seeking medical advice if you notice irregularities is crucial.

4. Swelling in Legs, Ankles, or Feet

Swelling, or oedema, in the lower extremities, can signal that your heart is not working properly. When the heart's pumping efficiency decreases, blood flow slows and backs up in the veins of your legs, causing fluid buildup. Persistent swelling should not be ignored and warrants a medical examination to determine the cause.

5. Unusual Fatigue

Experiencing extreme or unusual fatigue, especially if it’s sudden and without a clear cause, can be a warning sign of cardiovascular disease. Fatigue related to heart problems often occurs because your heart is working harder than normal to pump blood throughout your body. If you find yourself unusually tired despite adequate rest, it’s important to discuss this with your doctor.

Prevention Tips

Preventing cardiovascular disease often involves adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle. Here are some tips to keep your heart in good condition:

  • Maintain a Healthy Diet: Focus on eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Reduce your intake of saturated fats, trans fats, and sugars.
  • Stay Active: Regular physical activity helps strengthen the heart muscle, maintain a healthy weight, and lower blood pressure. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week.
  • Quit Smoking: Smoking significantly increases the risk of heart disease. Quitting smoking can improve heart health dramatically.
  • Monitor Your Health: Keep track of your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood sugar. Regular cheque-ups with your healthcare provider can help catch potential problems early.
  • Manage Stress: Chronic stress can negatively impact your heart. Practice stress-reducing techniques like mindfulness, yoga, or deep breathing exercises.

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