Today, heart disease is one of the most prolific killers in North America. To combat this disease, doctors recommend patients make considerable changes to their lifestyle, such as adapting their diet and level of physical activity, and often prescribe medications to help the heart overcome certain kinds of difficulties.
But, how do you know if you have a health problem related to heart disease? The answer involves being on the lookout for a number of critically important symptoms that, if addressed early enough, could help save your life. Identifying these signs is particularly important if you have a family history of heart disease.
This is easily the most common symptom of heart disease (clinically referred to as angina), and the sign that should lead to the fastest reaction. That’s because significant chest pain can be the body’s way of sounding an alarm that there is a serious health problem, including the nearly complete or complete blocking of an artery in the heart.
Chest pain can result from physical exertion or a sudden spike in stress levels. In any case, the feeling can be described as a pinching, squeezing, or burning sensation inside the chest to a crushing pain just beneath your breastbone. Many individuals describe a feeling of enormous pressure, almost like a large animal (such as an elephant) has sat right on top of them. In any case, significant pain and discomfort in the chest area should elicit an immediate response from an individual, particularly if they’ve already been diagnosed with heart disease or have a family history of heart disease.