Early signs of heart trouble

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

Related articles:
How to survive a heart attack
Cardiac arrest or heart attack?
How to look after your heart

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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