Heart disease may be behind it: Which symptoms you should never ignorePlease mark the appropriate words in the text. With just two clicks you can report the error to the editorial office.
Getty Images/iStockphoto/Rasi Bhadramani There are many different symptoms of heart attack and heart failure.
When the heart stumbles or races, it can be quite harmless. Getting out of breath quickly, on the other hand, is a clear sign of a sick heart. What other signals of the most common heart problems you should watch out for.
For links on this page FOCUS Online receives if necessary. a commission from the dealer, z.B. for those marked with. 100.000 times our heart beats every day -. In the best case we do not notice the steady throbbing at all. 000 times our heart beats every day -. In the best case we do not notice the steady throbbing at all. Only when we make a great effort and our hearts are beating up to our necks do we sometimes realize what a huge effort our pump is making around the clock. Sometimes, however, the engine sputters, and those who do not then pay attention to the first signals can suffer serious and, in the worst case, irreparable damage. Like the 50.000 people who die of a heart attack every year in Germany.
The most important warning signals of the heart and what the cardiology specialists of the German Heart Foundation advise patients to do:
Heart palpitations – when the heart does somersaults
If the heart briefly gets out of sync for a few extra beats (extrasystoles), there is no need to worry. However, those affected can clearly feel when the heart is beating irregularly.
However, if the extrasystoles occur more frequently during the day, repeatedly after exertion or last longer than 30 seconds, a doctor should clarify whether a disease of the cardiovascular system or metabolism is behind it.
Exciting, but no time right now?
You should be alert and go to the doctor quickly if the heartbeat is accompanied by dizziness, impaired consciousness, chest pain or shortness of breath.
An ECG and/or an ultrasound examination can often narrow down the causes of irregular heartbeat. The obligatory blood prere measurement is also important, as high blood prere can promote extrasystoles.
Since even harmless heart stumbles are unpleasant and somewhat frightening, patients can resort to the mineral potassium. Whether one or two bananas a day are sufficient or whether a potassium preparation is better should be clarified with the doctor. Too high doses of potassium can lead to arrhythmias instead of normalizing the heartbeat.
Accelerated pulse – when the heart starts to race
A rapid pulse is a completely normal reaction to physical exertion, excitement or anxiety. If, on the other hand, heart palpitations occur for no apparent reason, it is essential to seek medical advice.
In the case of unexplained palpitations, an ECG can determine whether atrial fibrillation is present, but not retrospectively, only while the heart is racing. It is therefore advisable to consult a doctor or an emergency room as soon as possible.
All important news on the coronavirus in the FOCUS online newsletter. Subscribe now.
If, in addition to the racing heart, there is pain, prere or a burning sensation in the chest, the emergency number 112 should be dialed immediately. Such symptoms can indicate a dangerous undersupply of oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle and lead to a heart attack.
The same applies to heart palpitations, which are accompanied by sudden shortness of breath or significant dizziness or dizziness. disturbances of consciousness occur, which can indicate a dangerous decrease in the pumping function of the heart muscle.
Arrhythmias – too slow, too fast and always dangerous
When our heart beats too fast, doctors call it tachycardia or palpitations, and when it beats too slowly, bradycardia. In pre-damaged hearts, arrhythmias are a dangerous warning signal.
If, out of nowhere, the heart rate skyrockets, it can not only feel very scary, but also Atrial fibrillation behind it. Atrial fibrillation can massively disrupt blood flow in the heart, causing blood clots to form and travel with the bloodstream to the brain. If blood vessels become blocked, a stroke is imminent.
If the heart repeatedly gets out of rhythm, too low a potassium level may be to blame. However, it is important to know that, conversely, excessive potassium levels in the blood can also cause dangerous arrhythmias. Normalization of potassium levels is therefore an important part of therapy for atrial fibrillation as well as for other cardiac arrhythmias. In the long term, avoiding potassium-rich fruit such as bananas or apricots will help. If a rapid reduction is necessary, an infusion of glucose and insulin must be administered.
From ventricular fibrillation one speaks, if the entire heart muscle suddenly only twitches. The heart no longer fills up, and no longer pumps blood into the circulation. The patient collapses unconscious and dies in a few minutes if resuscitation with cardiac massage is not performed immediately.
Our guide shows you new strategies for a healthy heart as well as the latest treatment methods and how to protect your heart. Plus: List of doctors with 270 top specialists.
Painful legs – window shopper's disease as a risk of heart attack
Certain types of leg pain can indicate an increased risk of heart attack. You should be especially alert if the pain occurs in your calves when you walk and quickly subsides when you stand still (shop window disease), or if your toes hurt when you're lying down and standing up provides relief. Because these two forms of pain are a sign of arteriosclerosis in the legs.
If arteriosclerosis is found there, there is usually also already significant calcification of the coronary arteries. Pain in the legs is therefore a signal to have the heart examined. This can then prevent many a heart attack, which 75 percent of those with arteriosclerosis in the leg have suffered to date.
Read more about heart-healthy living here:
– These 12 foods you need to eat to cut your risk of heart attack in half – A cardiologist reveals what he himself does to protect the heart
Quickly out of breath – through everyday life with a weak heart
If you find yourself panting after only a few steps when climbing stairs, you should not play this down under any circumstances. Increased breathing with every small physical effort can be a warning signal of a serious disease.
More often than a lung disease such as asthma or COPD, heart failure is the typical cause of shortness of breath. In about two million Germans, the weakened muscle no longer manages to pump oxygen-rich blood through the body.
The causes of impaired pumping function of the heart are primarily coronary heart disease, heart valve defects and cardiac arrhythmias. Long-standing high blood prere or inflammation of the heart muscle can also reduce the performance of the heart.
Many people who get out of breath quickly mistakenly believe it is a sign of aging and therefore do not see a doctor. This is dangerous: severe cardiac insufficiency can end in pumping failure of the heart muscle.
Always tired after the flu – perhaps the heart muscle is damaged
If a person does not regain his or her usual level of performance after an influenza infection, he or she should be examined to determine whether an inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis) is possibly responsible for the weakness.
The involvement of the heart is obvious if other symptoms are added to the persistent fatigue after an influenza infection: Water retention in the legs (= edema), a feeling of prere in the chest, an irregular pulse or shortness of breath at low levels of exertion.
The risk of myocarditis is especially high if a viral infection is not properly cured.
Learn more about heart attack symptoms and risk factors:
Chest pain – a sign of narrowed coronary arteries
A feeling of tightness, pressing or burning pain in the upper body has a name: Angina pectoris. This common complaint is due to an insufficient supply of oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle, which in turn is caused by calcified coronary arteries.
There is stable angina pectoris: physical exertion, mental stress, cold or even sumptuous meals trigger the chest pain, which passes after minutes of rest or with a drug (for example, nitro spray).
Unstable angina pectoris is when the symptoms have increased in intensity or duration during an attack of pain, or when the pain already occurs at rest.
The acute pain can be managed with a nitrate medication. In the long term, the blocked coronary arteries must be dilated and kept open with balloon catheters and stents or bypassed with bypasses.