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The Surprising Signs of Heart Trouble You Shouldn’t Ignore

Posted: 2/10/2020 8:00 AM by Interim HealthCare
While you should always prioritize heart health, let's take a moment to pay extra attention. After all, it's essential for both you and your loved ones. Here are four signs of heart trouble you shouldn't ignore in a senior loved one – some of which you may not initially see as a cause for concern.
 
First, the main signs of imminent trouble...
More than 1.5 million heart attacks and strokes occur each year here in the U.S. So let's initially discuss some of the most common signs of heart trouble: 
 - chest pain
 - nausea
 - heartburn
 - back pain
 - a tightness, "squeezing," or "fullness" in your chest 

If your loved one is experiencing any of these signs, you should get them to a medical professional as soon as possible. These are considered heart attack warnings.
 
Cardiovascular disease is the number 1 killer in the U.S. 
Cardiovascular disease can result in more trouble than a heart attack. Stroke, high blood pressure, and diseases of the arteries also contribute to the number of cardiovascular-related deaths. Together, deaths by these conditions make cardiovascular disease the leading cause of death in the U.S. 
 
1) Heart trouble signs can be sneaky
Did you know that heart attack symptoms in women are different than those in men? It's true: while the most common sign of an imminent attack in women is chest pain/discomfort, women may present different symptoms such as shortness of breath, vomiting/nausea, back or jaw pain.

In addition, while women experience fewer heart attacks than men, more women than men die from a heart attack, often because women may not recognize the "not expected" symptoms. Therefore, they don't get the care they need until it's too late.
 
2) Constant – but new – fatigue could be a sign of heart trouble
Different types of medicines and illnesses can cause a feeling of abject tiredness (fatigue). But if the fatigue crops up suddenly, it could be a sign of heart failure because the fatigue indicates that the heart is not pumping as well as it should. New and constant fatigue is a less common sign of heart disease. Still, if someone you love suddenly reports constantly feeling fatigued, it may be wise to have it checked out, especially if your senior has been told he or she has clogged arteries, high blood pressure, etc.
 
3) Watch out for pain in the shoulders, arms, jaw, abdomen, or back
A heart blockage often causes someone to cry out in pain (the "typical" sign of a heart attack). But sometimes, your loved one may feel pain in his or her shoulders, back, arms, jaw, or stomach. This pain could be a sign of trouble if the pain occurs with exercise but disappears after rest.

4) Swollen ankles or feet can also signal issues
If you notice swelling in your loved one's feet or ankles – the type that makes an indention if you press a finger into it – you may want to get your loved one to a medical professional. While this may not indicate heart failure, it well could be a sign of kidney disease, liver failure, venous insufficiency (inefficient blood flow to the legs), or side effects from some drugs, such as calcium-channel blockers. Regardless, make sure the condition is looked at by a physician.
 
Getting the heart-healthy care your senior loved one needs
Interim HealthCare provides in-home healthcare of varying degrees and hours per week for the people you love who may need a bit more watching over. We can take your senior to doctor's appointments and even help him or her with day-to-day living tasks. And, if your loved one needs more care due to heart health issues, we provide home nursing and even at-home therapies after a heart attack or other cardiovascular incident.  

Please reach out to the Interim HealthCare location nearest you to learn more.
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