Heart health: six early signs of heart trouble

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According the Australian Heart Foundation (ACF), cardiovascular disease (CVD) is one of Australia’s largest health problems. To put that into perspective, CVD kills one Australian every six minutes and affects one in six Australians. That’s 3.72 million people each year.

Although CVD is one of our nation’s biggest killers, it can be difficult to spot before it’s too late. For many people, the first symptom of CVD is heart attack or sudden death.

Still, there are some early signs of heart trouble which include a handful of strange symptoms that could potentially indicate heart disease in later life. Here are six of them.

Feeling light-headed
Feeling dizzy when you stand up is not uncommon. Known as orthostatic tension, many people may experience slight dizziness for a few seconds after they stand and that’s nothing to worry about. But if your light-headedness lasts for a few minutes, according to research from the University of North Carolina, you may have something wrong with your circulatory system or an underlying blood flow problem. The study shows that people who experience prolonged dizziness are 54 per cent more likely to suffer heart failure in later life.

Bad breath
Believe it or not, bad breath could be an indication that your heart is experiencing some issues. Foul breath is typically caused by gum disease which, in turn, promotes inflammation that can lead to heart disease.

By treating your bad breath, you may even be reducing your risk of CVD. Some ways that you can treat gum disease (periodontal disease), is through regular brushing and flossing, using mouthwash, eating healthily and quitting smoking. If you’re doing all these things and still have bad breath, it may pay to visit your dentist.

Clear skin during your teen years
If you had problems with acne as a teen it may well end up being a blessing in disguise, because kids who had acne are one-third less likely to develop coronary disease in their later years. According to the Glasgow Alumni Cohort Study, it’s got something to do with hormones and higher levels of testosterone during adolescence protecting you from heart disease. So it may have been embarrassing during your teens, but a saviour in later life.

Yawning
A study from State University of New York, Albany shows that yawning is good for oxygenating your blood and cooling your brain. So how can that be a bad thing? It’s not yawning, per se, that’s the culprit here, it’s continuous yawning. Yawning constantly usually means that your body’s internal cooling mechanism is not working as it should. This could translate as issues with your circulatory system or your heart.

Wrinkled earlobes
A wrinkled earlobe could indicate heart trouble and, although this may sound strange, there are a few studies that back up this correlation. It’s known as ‘Frank’s sign’ after the scientist who discovered it. A diagonal crease in your earlobe may indicate arterial blockage and is believed to be a symptom of heart trouble.

A short ring finger
If your ring finger is shorter than, or the same length as, your index finger, your risk of heart disease may be higher, according to studies by the University of Liverpool. So, if your ring finger is a lot shorter than your index finger, it may be wise to be a little more heart smart.

Read more at www.menshealth.com

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?

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17 Comments

Total Comments: 17
  1. 0
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    loss of appetite

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    After my Triple Bypass in Feb 2002 (62 years of age) I did a bit of Googeling, (N0, a lot) and the general opinion was that a bypass is good for 10 years on average. Mine will be 15 years next Feb, and not a single little twitch in my chest ever.
    That’s why I am a HAPPY CHAPPY, Yeeee Haaaaaaa.

  3. 0
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    I had a triple bypass in 1988 after a heart attack 10 km into a Marathon, which slowed me down to a walk for about 10 km then felt better so ran the rest. I didn’t know what was wrong except that I felt a bit crook. Now at 83 I still ride my bike for a short ride every morning at 6 to set me up for the day, and I hope to keep on for a few more years. My Cardiologist seems quite happy with me. I don’t drink or smoke, and try to be careful with my diet.

  4. 0
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    This is ridiculous. They aren’t early warning signs. But my second toe being bigger than the first so it is supposed to make me a better runner. Also if testosterone was the saviour from heart attacks then why do men die younger than women? – and why not give us all testosterone supplements?

  5. 0
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    Don’t Open the Electricity Bill ! And you wont get Heart Trouble 🙂

  6. 0
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    Showed this article to my family, it was very useful for all of us!

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    Talking about strokes, back in 2010, ( I was 66 then) while at work, I had my first stroke. I was sitting there preparing for my weekly site visit, when I asked my co-worker something and he replied “what did you say?”.

    I was unaware I was uttering babbling sounds instead of voice talk.

    Fortunately, that happened to be the day we had our yearly visit from a good district nurse to give us our yearly flu injection. The personnel officer came to my desk and asked me a couple of questions, and she immediately new something was wrong, and rushed me to see the nurse before anyone else. I babbled something nonsensical to her and she immediately took my pulse with a look of despair on her face.

    I had no idea anything was wrong or felt any pain anywhere except I think I bit my tongue slightly. Slowly my words started to make sense so I asked the nurse why I was pushed to the front of the queue for my injection. She said you’re not getting an injection, you’re going straight to the Alfred Hospital.

    Why? I asked. You’re having a stroke she said. What? I said, I don’t feel anything. Anyway, the drama started right then. They (My employer), ordered a taxi, which arrived in 25 seconds, much quicker than an ambulance. I was at the Alfred 10 minutes later from Lt. Bourke Street in the CBD and rushed into emergency outpatients.

    Now take note of a Public Hospital reaction. The triage nurse saw me about 20 minutes after admission later, and because I wasn’t showing too many symptoms, she didn’t think I needed urgency, in fact I sat there with thirty other people coming and going for 5 Hours before a young doctor saw me. How wrong was she, the idiot. He ordered I be admitted without delay to inpatients to emergency care.

    They started a brain scan in a few minutes, so the urgency suddenly came back on. I was kept under observation for four days, because the young specialist said if I was going to have a major stroke it would hit in the next 24-48 hours, and I would be in the best place for treatment.

    Time went by, and the specialist came several times to keep an eye on me and did more tests to see if I was improving. He showed me the brain scan and I could clearly see a couple of white patches. He also said these indicate I had mild strokes before, which I wasn’t aware of. He was really concerned about me.

    I couldn’t help myself on the day of discharge because he was so nice (in fact a Professor I think), so I played a little trick on him. He was testing all my limbs, neck, feet, arms etc and asked me to push against his hand, to see if my brain had still transmitted commands to my muscles, and he was reasonably satisfied, the stroke was leaving few side effects.

    Then he asked me (what I thought was a funny question anyway) if I felt any pain anywhere else on my body. I said as a matter of fact yes, I can hardly move my right thumb. He looked puzzled and said he didn’t expect this, and asked did I do anything to hurt my thumb. I said over the previous weekend I split about 2 tons of logs all day Sunday.

    He examined my thumb, and said but how, it’s not cut or bleeding? I said well, I no longer can use an axe, so I have an electric log splitter, that has two buttons. One to set it and the other to run the motor. This is to prevent you from starting the machine in case your hand is in the way. So for each split you press a strong switch twice with your thumb and this keeps your hand well away from the log. After doing this all day, I was now feeling the pain.

    The look he gave me said it all. Because I laughed he said something under his breath and he said ” I hope that’s all you do all day, since if it’s you’re thumb we can easily fix”.
    I said “touche” and we both shook hands and had a good laugh.

    That young man, because he cared, left a lifetime impression on me. I am still ok 10 years later, so God bless him. Thumbs down to the triage nurse leaving me sitting there for over 5 hours waiting to see someone. You never see that in the movies or on TV. Thank God I didn’t have a major stroke like my mum did a few years before.

  8. 0
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