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The Surprising Signs of Heart Trouble You Shouldn’t Ignore

Posted: 2/10/2020 8:00 AM by Interim HealthCare
February is American Heart month. While you should always prioritize heart health (for yourself and your senior loved ones), now is a good time to pay especially close attention. Here are some signs of heart trouble you shouldn’t ignore in a senior loved one – and which you may not understand to be signs of 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 it’s important to initially discuss some of the most common signs of heart trouble: someone you love experiences chest pain, nausea, heartburn, back pain, even a tightness, “squeezing” or “fullness” in your chest, you should get him or her to a medical professional as soon as possible, because 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. 

Heart trouble signs can be sneaky

Did you know that heart attack symptoms in women are different than those for 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 and they therefore don’t get the care they need until it’s too late.

Constant – but new – fatigue could be a sign of heart trouble

A feeling of abject tiredness (fatigue) can be caused by different types of medicines and illnesses. 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, but if someone you love suddenly reports feeling constantly 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.

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 the pain in his or her shoulders, back, arms, jaw or stomach. This could particularly be a sign of trouble if the pain occurs with exercise but disappears after rest.

Swollen ankles or feet can also signal issues

If you notice swelling in your loved one’s feet or ankles – the type of swelling 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 be an indication of 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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