Heart disease is often described as a silent killer, a potentially life threatening condition that can sneak up slowly over time. And like the mugger sneaking up on their victim in a dark alley or the cat burglar breaking into an unoccupied home, heart disease can be just as deadly. If you want to stop this silent killer and drag it out into the open, you need to know the warning signs before it is too late. Even if you feel fine, your arteries could be slowly clogging up with fat, cholesterol and other debris, and knowing what to look for, and when to see your doctor, just might save your life.
The warning signs of clogged arteries are not always apparent, but even subtle changes in how you feel should be noted and heeded. Chest pain is an obvious sign that something is wrong, but you should also watch out for these subtler warning signs of clogged arteries and looming heart disease.
- A noticeable drop in your perceived fitness – If you get winded climbing a flight of stairs or struggle to walk up a steep grade, it could be a sign of clogged articles. Any perceived drop in fitness should be discussed with your doctor, especially if there is no obvious cause.
- Cramping in the thighs, buttocks and calves – When your arteries are clogged, your heart cannot pump blood as efficiently, and that restricted blood flow can manifest as cramping in your buttocks, thighs and calves.
- Swelling in your legs, feet or ankles – Swelling can be another indication of clogged arteries, and it is a sign you should never ignore. If you notice swelling your feet, legs or ankles, you should talk to your doctor right away.
- Pain in your toes – If your toes hurt for no discernible reason, clogged arteries could be to blame. The reduced circulation could be the result of clogged arteries, and that could manifest as pain in your toes.
- Numbness in your legs – When your arteries are clogged, your heart is not as efficient at pumping blood, and that could mean reduced sensations in your extremities. Any numbness should be cause for concern, but a localized lack of feeling in the legs should send you to the doctor right away.
Heart disease has reached epidemic proportion in many parts of the country, and many people do not seek help until the condition has become quite advanced. That is bad news, especially since ignoring the warning signs of clogged arteries could literally be deadly. Now that you know what those signals are, you can monitor your own health more effectively, so you can keep your heart beating strong for the rest of your life.