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Keep an eye on your heart health

Keep an eye on your heart health

There is constantly new advice about what you need to be eating to stay healthy, and while some of it can be confusing, most of us understand that a nutritious diet and some exercise are the key to keeping our hearts in good shape. Heart disease remains one of the biggest causes of death in the world though, with many not realising they are in trouble until some damage is done. Your body does tend to give signals that something is amiss, so here we look at what certain ailments could be telling you. But remember: if you have any of these it does not mean there is definitely something wrong with your heart. They are all signs you should have a check up with your doctor though.


It's normal to feel worn out after a hard day at work or if you're struggling to sleep, but what we're talking about here is that kind of bone-crushing weariness that stops you living a normal life - i.e. lasting and extreme fatigue. If the heart isn't working properly it might mean oxygen isn't being pumped around your body as it should be, which leads to this kind of exhaustion.

Swollen feet

Just like with tiredness, there can be lots of reasons for expanding feet - pregnancy and travel being two of them. But they can also mean that blood isn't getting around your body very well because of issues with your heart. “Heart-related foot swelling is usually accompanied by other symptoms that include shortness of breath and/or fatigue,” Michael Miller, MD, professor of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, reminded


As is becoming a catchphrase, this symptom could have many underlying causes like dehydration or moving too fast. But if you feel light-headed a lot, in rare cases, it could be a sign that there is an issue with your blood pressure, caused by blocked arteries.


Obviously many people get these extreme headaches and the causes are myriad - lack of sleep or certain foods like chocolate and cheese are thought to contribute to them. But it's been found there are higher amounts of sufferers among those with cardiovascular disease, while migraine with aura has been linked to the heart too.

Hearing your heartbeat at night

Dr Miller explains this can be due to a faulty valve, which makes the heartbeat sound loud. Many people just shuffle around in bed until it dulls or get used to it, but because it could be due to things like low blood pressure too, it's worth checking out.

A final note

If you have some of these symptoms and are worried, talk to your doctor. There's nothing wrong with getting checked out to ease your concerns, but equally remember that many can have several causes.

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