A lot has changed in the past 15 years. But one sad fact that hasn’t?
Heart disease and stroke are still the world’s biggest killers.
That’s why blood pressure tests are so widespread. High blood pressure is a leading indicator of hypertension, which is a known gauge of heart disease and stroke risk.
Blood pressure above 140/90 mmHg is considered a telltale sign that risk is increased. And if blood pressure is measured above 180/120, that means things are getting very serious.
But even though blood pressure checks are standard procedure at any doctor’s office… even though you can find blood pressure machines at pharmacies and even grocery stores, millions of people are still dying from heart disease and stroke.
The truth is blood pressure tests only go so far.
There are three other important signs of heart disease that your doctor may miss…
Below the Belt
One of the leading signs of a troubled heart is erectile dysfunction.
When arteries in the heart are clogged, they can prevent blood from flowing properly below the belt.
The world’s most popular treatment for this is a pill that only offers a temporary fix. Take your little blue pill with a glass of water, and like magic you’ll be “good to go” in 30 minutes.
But these bedroom boosters ignore the root of the problem. Because if things aren’t working right below the waist, they probably aren’t working right above it either.
So when we have trouble in the bedroom, it means our bodies are telling us loud and clear that something is wrong. And that something might very well not show up on a standard blood pressure check.
A Hairy Situation
And even if blood pressure tests look good and you aren’t facing any hurdles in the bedroom, there are other signs your heart isn’t performing at peak levels.
One of them is hairless or patchy legs.
If you notice leg hair has recently started falling out, or there are areas on your legs that are bald where hair used to be, this could be a warning sign.
Hair follicles need a steady flow of nutrient-rich blood in order to grow and stay healthy.
But if arteries are narrowed and oxygen and blood can’t feed the hair follicles, it can be a sign of peripheral artery disease… which indicates an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
So if your legs are shedding, it’s a good idea to make an appointment with your doctor and see if a heart screening is in order.
Lastly, there’s the fat foot test.
If you’ve recently noticed that your shoes are a little tighter than they used to be, it could be a sign of heart troubles.
When the heart isn’t pumping blood as efficiently as it should, the veins can get backed up. And this pushes excess fluid into body tissue.
This will cause parts of the body like the feet, legs or even abdomen to swell.
You can tell if the swelling is related to fluid buildup by pressing the area of the skin that feels distended.
If a dimple is left where you press, that means tissue is probably holding on to excess fluid. And once again, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about this.
Keeping your blood pressure in check is a valuable step to take in order to know if you are at risk of heart disease and stroke.
But these three additional symptoms could provide clues too… and that’s something that can put your heart at ease.
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