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VERIFIED CONTENTAuthor: Klaudia Kierzkowska, graduate of chemistry at the University of Warsaw

Heart disease is one of the most common causes of death in highly developed countries, and thus has been recognized as one of the civilization diseases of our times. In our busy everyday life, we rarely pay attention to "minor" ailments. We ignore symptoms such as palpitations, chest pain or shortness of breath and attribute them to a too fast lifestyle, lack of sleep and fatigue. It turns out that they can mean heart problems.

Cardiovascular diseases are responsible for almost half of deaths in Poland. Coronary artery disease and heart failure are at the forefront. In order to detect the threat in time, we should perform detailed blood tests at least once a year - also for cholesterol and, if possible, measure blood pressure as often as possible. Symptoms of heart disease can come on suddenly and unexpectedly and sometimes slowly build up over the years. Unfortunately, we often underestimate the signals sent by the body, we do not treat them as a warning sign. What early symptoms of heart disease should we look for?

Chest pain

Pain that lasts more than a quarter of an hour, starting in the chest and radiating up to the arms, jaw, or neck, is one of the more common symptoms of heart disease. The pain is related to myocardial ischemia.

Patients experience a burning, crushing and squeezing sensation in the chest. Sometimes there is only a slight discomfort. The pain does not stop and does not change its intensity when you change position. If it is accompanied by other ailments, e.g. shortness of breath or profuse sweating, it indicates a heart attack.


Palpitations are one of the symptoms of heart disease and may be a sign of heart rhythm disturbance. Accelerated or irregular heartbeat should prompt you to see your doctor. Sometimes, however, palpitations occur as a result of severe stress, emotion, or intense physical exertion and are not the result of abnormalities.

Swelling of the lower limbs

Swelling of the lower limbs most often occurs when sitting or standing for a long time. However, those found on the legs and around the abdomen may be the result of poor blood circulation andheart failure.

They indicate weakness of the right side of the heart muscle. The swelling can also be the result of a clot that is blocking the return of blood from the lower extremities to the heart.


Although fainting and dizziness may be a symptom of exhaustion or lack of sleep, they are often associated with abnormalities in the circulatory system. They result from a poor heart condition that is not pumping enough oxygenated blood to the brain.

Sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that obese people are most likely to suffer from. People suffering from apnea show increased activity of the sympathetic nervous system and a high risk of developing arterial hypertension.

Sleep apnea also indicates an increased risk of arrhythmias, stroke, and heart failure.


Although the feeling of fatigue is most often associated with lack of sleep, a lot of work and too fast lifestyle, it can sometimes be the result of heart failure.

When the heart does not circulate enough blood, we can feel tired, sleepy and weak. In the event that fatigue occurs almost every day, a visit to the doctor is necessary.

Dark spots under the nails

Streaks of blood under the fingernails are one of the unusual symptoms of heart disease. If the blood spots do not move along with the growing fingernail but elongate, they most likely result from disorders of the circulatory system and indicate endocardial infection.

Bleeding gums

Few people connect bleeding gums with heart disease. However, this ailment cannot be taken lightly. In some cases, gum disease is associated with inflammation caused by heart disease.

In addition, inflammation allows bacteria to enter the bloodstream, which can trigger endocarditis.

Frank's mark on the ear

Another unusual symptom of heart disease is ear wrinkle. It often indicates heart failure.

Research by scientists has confirmed a link between the unusual appearance of the shape of the ear and an increased risk of atherosclerosis. In addition, it has been found that an ear wrinkle may indicate life-threatening cardiovascular disease.

Do not underestimate!

The above symptoms, although often do not indicate anything dangerous, should be consulted with a cardiologist. The doctor will measure the pressure, auscultate the heart, conduct an interview and refer you for additional tests - if deemed necessary.

The early symptoms of heart disease that the body sends out should not be underestimated. Let's take care of the heart - our andour loved ones!

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