Covert Killer: 3 Common Ailments Of Aging That Could Be Signs Of Serious Cardiovascular Disease
As you get older, you may tend to adapt to new and peculiar health irregularities, attributing them to age, rather than suspecting something more serious. Unfortunately, with cardiovascular disease, if it's allowed to sneak up on you, the consequences could be life-threatening. Understand the gravity of a possible heart condition and don't take anything for granted, no matter how old or young you are.
Fatigue is a symptom experienced by many people, for many reasons; however, for those with diagnosed heart problems that may not be very obvious yet, such as dilated cardiomyopathy (weakened heart muscles), or Endocarditis (an infection in the heart), fatigue is an urgent warning that should not go unheeded.
If you're often afflicted with fatigue, feeling tired, weak and physically unmotivated, with no apparent cause, give your doctor a call. The fatigue you're experiencing could be an early sign of cardiovascular disease and the sooner you know about it, the better. If your doctor diagnoses you with heart disease, intervention is crucial to preventing emergencies like strokes, aneurysms and heart attacks. Your doctor may insist you make immediate changes to your lifestyle or recommend a certain medication, but something will be done to protect you from the often silent threat of cardiovascular disease.
2. Dizziness And Vertigo
Dizziness can accompany a lot of other conditions, like inner-ear infections or even the common flu, but when it's persistent or a stand-alone symptom, you should have it checked out. Vertigo isn't well understood, nor is it curable, so if your dizziness is severe, it could threaten your safety, even if it's totally unrelated to heart disease.
As an indicator of heart trouble, dizziness, and a light-headed feeling may mean blood isn't traveling through your body at the right speed, leading to a drop in blood pressure (hypotension). If you have hidden valve issues in your heart, you may also be feeling fatigued, along with your dizziness. Either way, bring your dizziness, vertigo and/or lightheadedness to the attention of your physician right away. It's not something to simply tolerate, just because you're getting older.
3. Shortness Of Breath
If you don't partake of regular exercise and/or have a problem with being overweight, you likely feel short of breath when you exert yourself. While this can be normal, under those circumstances, it could also be a warning sign that something is amiss with your heart. Defects, weaknesses and diseases (of the heart) can all leave you feeling breathless and this shouldn't automatically be attributed to age, condition or weight. Take the symptom seriously and don't be afraid to talk about it with your doctor. They may suggest improvements to your exercise and eating habits, along with other lifestyle changes, such as reducing stress and cutting back on alcohol. Prescriptions and even surgery are sometimes needed for heart problems, too, if alternative treatments aren't effective.
Along with other possible clues, such as swelling of the legs, irregular heartbeat and vague numbness in different areas of your body, fatigue, dizziness and/or vertigo and shortness of breath should all be taken very seriously, especially as you age. Cardiovascular disease may be subtle and easily mistaken for common ailments of aging, but that doesn't make the potential consequences of it any less dire.