By: Kat Eftink

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. It’s a broad term that refers to several conditions that affect your heart and blood vessels. 

Chest pain is a well-known symptom, but heart disease can also manifest in less obvious ways like swollen ankles or jaw pain. So, here are 8 common signs of heart disease: 

1. Chest pain, tightness, or discomfort (angina) is a very common symptom of heart disease, and it can feel like pressure, squeezing, or burning. It can occur in the center of your chest and radiate to your arms, shoulders, back, neck, or jaw. The pain may be constant, or it may come and go. 

2. Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, shoulder, back, neck, jaw, or upper part of the belly. This can occur without chest pain, and it’s often described as a squeezing or an aching sensation. 

3. Sweating for no apparent reason. If you start to feel hot and clammy with chest pains, you should call for an ambulance immediately. 

4. Swelling in your ankles, feet, and legs can indicate that your heart isn’t pumping enough blood throughout your body causing fluids to collect in your lower limbs. 

5. Extreme fatigue can be a symptom of a lot of conditions, but heart disease is one of them. If you are feeling unusually tired without any lifestyle changes, schedule a doctor’s appointment. 

6. Fast or irregular heartbeats (palpitations) can feel like your heart is racing, fluttering, or skipping beats. These are usually harmless, but if your heart is beating very fast and erratically, you should see your doctor. 

7. A swollen belly is another heart health red flag. This can be caused by a buildup of fluid in your abdomen. 

8. Blue or gray skin color (cyanosis) can occur on your lips, fingers, or toes. Cyanosis occurs because of a lack of oxygen reaching the tissues in your body.

Early diagnosis and treatment of heart disease can help prevent serious complications, such as heart attack, stroke, and heart failure.

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