Heart Disease Signs & Symptoms
These are some of the most common symptoms of heart disease:
- Chest pain (angina)
- Shortness of breath
- Irregular heartbeat
- Swelling in ankles
- Pain in shoulders, jaw, and left arm
For more on the signs and symptoms of heart disease and heart attack, click here. But please note that diabetic heart disease may not display any signs or symptoms. Diabetes-related nerve damage may numb pain and allow serious symptoms to go unnoticed. That’s why it’s important to see your doctor regularly and discuss your risk and prevention plan.
Heart disease can be diagnosed based on symptoms, family history, and health exams and tests. Tests might include blood pressure measurement, blood tests, chest x-rays, electrocardiogram (EKG), stress tests, and/or urinalysis.
Prevention and Treatment
Treatment for heart disease will usually include lifestyle changes and may include medication. Lifestyle changes include eating a healthy diet, being physically active, quitting smoking, and managing stress.
Medication may be prescribed to control blood sugar or lower blood pressure, and, in severe cases, heart surgery may be necessary to improve blood flow and prevent heart attack.
The truth is that it’s hard work to be healthy. It’s tough to change unhealthy habits and make healthy ones stick. For those with diabetes, staying healthy is even harder, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
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Maintaining healthy habits, and a happy attitude, becomes easier when you want to stay healthy for yourself, for your loved ones, and for your own quality of life rather than just to avoid health complications. Think about the type of lifestyle you’d like to have and talk to your doctor about what steps to take to get there.
Even the healthiest person may have health complications, so remember to be kind to yourself and manage your health one day at a time. Stay healthy, friends!