3 Symptoms of Heart Disease that You May Be Ignoring

3 Symptoms of Heart Disease that You May Be Ignoring

When you think of heart disease or heart attacks you probably have a pretty clear picture of the symptoms: pain in the left arm, sweating and turning red, feeling like an elephant is sitting on your chest. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes you may be experiencing heart disease or even a heart attack without even realizing it. In fact, a study by the American Medical Association looked at almost 2,000 people ages 45 to 84 who were free of cardiovascular disease and found that after 10 years, 8% had myocardial scars (evidence of a heart attack) and 80% of these people were completely unaware of their condition.

In this brief article, our top cardiologist in Tampa, Jesal V. Popat, M.D., FACC, shares a few symptoms you should never ignore that may be indicative of heart disease or even a heart attack.

1) Shortness of Breath

In the time of COVID, shortness of breath has become somewhat of a buzzword. Certainly you should get checked for COVID if you are experiencing shortness of breath, but it can also be indicative of heart disease or even heart attack as well.

The problem is that many people attribute their shortness of breath to being out of shape, especially when this occurs without the hallmark chest discomfort usually associated with heart disease. The key is watching for shortness of breath in times when you used to be able to do the activity without it. For example, if you were always able to walk upstairs without shortness of breath but you now find it difficult, that is a red flag.

2) Nausea and/or Lightheadedness

Again, COVID symptoms share a few similarities with heart disease, but in this instance nausea or feeling lightheaded might be incorrectly attributed to exhaustion — especially if you’ve recently been sick. New or worsening nausea or feeling lightheaded, however, can be a big indicator of weakened arteries and you should see a doctor as soon as possible.

It’s important to note here, you might attribute feeling nauseated to feeling dizzy or lightheaded. The two often go hand-in-hand. But these two symptoms do not have to be paired together to indicate problems with your heart.

3) Feeling of Impending Doom

Especially in women, people with heart disease often report a feeling of impending doom. Again, this can be hard to decipher in the age of the pandemic because there are so many “doom triggers” around. However, the feeling of impending doom is not just general anxiety, it is a more intense fear or knowledge that something is wrong even when everything else seems normal. If you ever experience this feeling or sense of impending doom or intense anxiety without any trigger or other reason, you should get checked out. Your mind and body work together to keep you safe, and sometimes this feeling is the only symptom of heart disease or a heart attack.

If you are concerned that you need help with your heart health and need Tampa heart care, contact Dr. Popat to schedule an appointment today. Remember, if you are having a medical emergency or think you may be having a heart attack, call 911 or seek emergency care immediately.

To consult with Jesal V. Popat, M.D., FACC, a cardiologist in Tampa, FL, please call (813) 344-0934 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. 


Disclaimer: The contents of this website are for general educational purposes only. All content and media on the Jesal V. Popat, M.D., FACC website does not constitute professional medical advice nor is the information intended to replace the services of Jesal V. Popat, M.D., FACC or other qualified medical professionals. If you believe you are having a medical emergency, call 911 immediately. 

The content, views, and opinions communicated on this website do not represent the views of Jesal V. Popat, M.D., FACC. Reliance on any information provided by this website is solely at your own risk. Although this website contains links to other medical websites, this is strictly for informational purposes. Jesal V. Popat, M.D., FACC is not responsible nor does the medical practice approve of the content featured on any third party linked websites referenced on this website.

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