Your heart sits at the very center of your of emotional world. But some of the positive words we attach to loving feelings could also describe real symptoms of heart disease or other medical issues…As I said, loving feelings are wonderful-but it could be heart disease causing them.
Even the words we use are potential clues to some physical manifestations of heart disease:
➡ We talk about “heartfelt feelings”
➡ We describe some people as “big-hearted”
➡ We say that our hearts are “all aflutter” racing, throbbing, aching or broken…
See what I mean?
Here’re are a few things about the secret life of the heart and what certain odd sensations may be telling you about your cardiovascular and mental health.
“Bighearted” or an Enlarged Heart?
We love the people we call big-hearted, generous, thoughtful. But…
➡ High blood pressure can make it work too hard and grow bigger, or it may bulk up to compensate for an area of dead tissue after a heart attack.
➡ In some athletes an enlarged heart comes from overdoing strength and endurance training.
Ventricular Hypertrophy is one type of enlarged heart.
➡ It may be silent or cause symptoms like shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, and rapid heartbeat.
➡ As the walls of the heart muscle get thicker, the chambers of the heart get smaller and less able to keep up with the body’s demands.
Is your heart fluttering or is it Atrial Fibrillation?
If your heart skips a beat or flutters, it could be nervous excitement, but:
➡ Fluttering, racing or pounding sometimes point to a condition called Atrial Fibrillation. This is the most common abnormal heart rhythm, and it affects nearly 2.7 million people in the United States, according to the Heart Rhythm Society.
Other symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation to watch for:
- Shortness of breath
- Dizziness or Fainting
Sure sounds like being crazy in love, doesn’t it? But…
➡ People who have atrial fibrillation are at risk for stroke and heart failure, so if you have palpitations or a fluttering sensation that persists, it’s time for a visit to the doctor.
Heartache or Heart Attack?
Heartaches leading to anguish, sorrow, and loss sometimes come with very real heartache.
While we don’t completely understand this yet, the pain seems to center on our hearts. But how do you know when chest pain is more than an emotional response?
The main indicators of heart attack, according to the American Heart Association, include:
➡ Discomfort right in the middle of the chest
➡ Pain or pressure, or a feeling of squeezing or fullness.
➡ Shortness of breath
➡ Pain in the arm, back, neck, jaw, or even stomach.
However, in women, the chest pain isn’t noticed as often as in men.
Even if you have reason to feel emotional heartache, call 911 immediately if you or someone you know has any of these symptoms of heart attack.
➡ Every minute counts: Every year about 735,000 Americans has a heart attack.
➡ Of these, 525,000 are a first heart attack and 210,000 happen in people who have already had a heart attack, according to the Centers For Disease Control (CDC).
Are you heartbroken or is it a cardiac condition known as Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy, also called Broken Heart Syndrome or Stress-Induced cardiomyopathy.
➡ The intense chest pain of broken heart syndrome, which can happen suddenly after extreme physical or emotional stress, results from an influx of stress hormones, according to the American Heart Association.
➡ The odds of having broken heart syndrome are 10 times higher if you’re a woman, and people over 55 are at higher risk.
➡ Symptoms are similar to those for heart attack, but recovery is faster and the syndrome is rarely fatal.
Are You Coldhearted Or Are You “Flatlining”?
We all know cold-hearted people who lack sensitivity and sympathy, but when your body temperature actually falls, it’s dangerous for your heart.
A person whose body temperature drops below 95 degrees Fahrenheit has hypothermia.
➡ Hypothermia can eventually lead to complete heart failure, respiratory failure, and eventually to death.
➡ When body temperature falls below 90 degrees, blood pressure and heart and respiratory rates decrease. As the temperature falls below 86 F to about 82 F, the risk for life-threatening heart rhythm abnormalities, particularly Ventricular Fibrillation and Asystole [flat line with no heart activity], increases.
➡ When the heart is in ventricular fibrillation, the ventricles quiver instead of pumping, causing cardiac arrest and, in some cases, sudden death.
Are You Feeling A Heartthrob or having a Panic Attack?
You may call that special someone a heartthrob because they get your
pulse racing, and it’s true that your heart can pound due to the excitement of being around someone you love.
Related: Read About Cocaine-The Perfect Heart Attack Drug here
➡ You’re also likely to have a racing heart after exercise or when you have a fever — times when your heart is under stress.
Palpitations could be a warning sign of an arrhythmia or a panic attack.
➡ With a panic attack, the heart races and you feel fearful; you may also feel intense anxiety or even terror, have trouble breathing, and start sweating.
According To John D. Day, MD, a Cardiologist at Intermountain Healthcare in Murray, Utah:
“It can be difficult to distinguish between a panic attack and a heart condition. It is amazing how many young women I have seen over the years with a long history of being diagnosed with ‘panic attacks’ who in reality had an arrhythmia (irregular heart rhythm). When the arrhythmia was treated, the panic attacks disappeared.”
➡ The moral of the story? Pay close attention to any symptom you don’t recognize or have experienced before but ignored.
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