Six Surprising Heart Disease Causes
Heart disease is a huge concern for doctors in the United States, as it’s the number one cause of death among American citizens. It’s important for doctors to educate their patients about heart disease, identify if patients are at risk for heart disease, and prevent heart disease from developing in the future.
Most doctors have systemized approaches to diagnosing heart disease and communicating heart disease causes with their patients. Lifestyle habits are the biggest focus among doctors. If a patient eats a highly-processed diet, doesn’t exercise frequently, or consumes alcohol or cigarettes, he or she may be at a higher risk of developing heart disease. Genetic factors also play a role in heart disease risk.
However, other symptoms may also indicate heart disease in a patient. It’s important for doctors not to overlook these symptoms. They should also encourage their patients to pay attention to these symptoms and report any problems. Some health concerns may appear unrelated when in reality, they’re a glaring indication of heart disease.
Why Heart Health Matters
It’s important for doctors to encourage heart health. But these positive lifestyle changes and medical interventions affect more than the heart.
Rather than viewing the body as a grouping of isolated parts, we must see the body as one interconnected system. When blood vessels are constricted and hardened, the body is unable to transport nutrients or flush out toxins in the body. This leads to inflammation and weakened tissues. These areas of weakness then contribute to serious health conditions, such as heart attack or stroke.
Poor heart health creates a vicious cycle: heart disease weakens the body, which causes more heart disease symptoms.
Surprising Heart Disease Symptoms
Most people are aware of the correlation between heart disease and negative lifestyle choices. Processed foods, little exercise, smoking, and alcohol are considered heart disease causes because they put individuals at higher risk for developing heart disease.
According to John Hopkins, other symptoms may indicate heart disease. There isn’t a direct correlation between these symptoms and heart disease, so they aren’t considered “official” heart disease causes. But they should be considered when evaluating patients because they occur when there is inadequate blood flow through the arteries to the heart.
#1. Jaw and Neck Pain. These symptoms are common among patients diagnosed with TMD, which creates chronic facial pain caused by too much pressure on the jaw joints or face muscles. TMD and heart disease aren’t directly correlated, but heart disease can cause jaw and neck pain spreading from the chest.
#2. Nausea and Bloating. This potentially concerning heart disease cause is specific to women. Bloating, gas, and nausea are common symptoms of a variety of conditions, from eating too much to premenstrual symptoms. However, nausea and bloating followed by chest pain may indicate heart disease symptoms among women.
#3. Overall Fatigue. Most people are in a chronic state of fatigue, relying on coffee and energy drinks to make it through the day. However, specific fatigue symptoms may be heart disease symptoms. When the heart is unable to pump effectively, the lungs and muscles receive less oxygen and get fatigued more quickly. Shortness of breath, fatigue during everyday activities, and frequent naps are indicators of overall fatigue that may point to heart disease.
#4. Sleep Apnea. This sleep condition is annoying for partners or family members, but it’s also linked to high blood pressure and increased heart attack risk. Lack of oxygen weakens the entire body and increases the risk of heart failure and coronary heart disease.
#5. Constipation. If a patient is struggling with infrequent bowel movements, heart disease, and limited blood flow should be considered as potential factors. Constipation due to limited blood flow may be an early sign of arterial damage.
#6. Calf Pain or Numbness. A patient experiencing cramping, aching, or numbness in the calves when walking, moving, or exercising may suffer from a circulatory problem such as peripheral vascular disease (PVD). This condition occurs when the blood vessels become restricted, and plaque builds up against artery walls. PVD is a clear heart disease concern.
How to Monitor Your Heart Health
At Vasolabs, we are dedicated to partnering with medical practices to provide convenient and life-saving tests. Our services are designed to catch heart disease in your patients long before it develops into a health concern.
We offer the following on-site diagnostic testing for cash-based medical practices:
- Carotid IMT Testing
- Ankle Brachial Index (ABI)
- Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA)
- Student-Athlete Heart Scan
When you partner with us to provide on-site testing, we come to your office with our sophisticated ultrasound technology. Our extensive diagnostics, such as Carotid IMT testing, identify and target cardiovascular disease. These test results, combined with standardized disease management tools, allow the creation of a comprehensive baseline of patient risk. Once you have this baseline developed, you’re able to provide your patient with effective guidance for preventing heart disease.
Connect with our team and schedule a time for us to host heart testing at your practice.