It’s the number one killer in the U.S.
It claims more than 600,000 lives a year… most of them men.
I’m talking about heart disease.
Now you may think the big fear of heart disease is having a heart attack. And, yes, that’s a worry.
But the biggest heart disease killer is “sudden cardiac arrest.”
This is different than a heart attack. It comes on suddenly, sometimes with no symptoms at all. Within minutes, you’ll be unconscious. And without rapid medical treatment, you’ll die.
More than half of heart disease deaths happen this way.
Most people think they know what to watch for… that sharp pain in your left arm. The sudden shortness of breath. That feeling like there’s an elephant sitting on your chest.
All signs of a heart attack.
A sudden cardiac arrest isn’t going to give you these same warnings.
Which is why it’s so important to know the early warning signs that your heart may be in trouble.
These red flags are easy to overlook. Men, especially, are good at dismissing them as no big deal.
But if you pay close attention to the signals your body is sending, you can head off a sudden cardiac arrest before it ever happens.
In this case prevention is worth more than a pound of cure. It’s worth your life!
Oh, and there’s a bonus… paying attention to these warning signs can also prevent a heart attack. That’s a whole lot of unpleasantness you can avoid.
The First Red Flag: Your Legs Start Cramping When You Walk
Going for regular walks is a great way to stay fit. It’s low-impact. It gets you outside. If you go with your spouse, you can enjoy some good conversation while you’re at it.
Those regular walks can also serve as a heart monitor of sorts.
If you begin noticing your legs start to cramp up even though you’re not walking long or fast, that could be a red flag. If the cramping pain starts in your calves and then travels up your legs, take extra note.
These are signs of peripheral artery disease.
That’s when the arteries that bring blood to your legs start to narrow because of plaque build-up. If that’s happening, there’s a high chance the same thing is happening to the arteries around your heart… and that could lead to major heart problems down the road.
The Second Red Flag: You Feel Sick to Your Stomach
Now obviously, a bout of stomach flu or encounter with food poisoning isn’t tied to heart attack or sudden cardiac arrest.
But picture this. When you exercise, you feel unusually nauseous. And then when you rest, your stomach settles down… that’s something to pay attention to.
Sometimes, the distress signals your body sends get confused by the brain. The nerves from your heart and the nerves from your stomach travel the same route. So sometimes, when the heart is unhappy, you’ll feel it in your gut.
And if that’s the case, it will typically get worse the more active you are.
The Third Red Flag: You Feel Exhausted for No Reason
If you’re sleeping well, and you’re not dealing with any big stress factors at work or home, and you’re getting enough exercise… but you still feel tired all the time, it could be your ticker trying to tell you something’s wrong.
Your heart may not be pumping as efficiently as it needs to. You’re tired because your body isn’t getting enough oxygenated blood. A weak heart can eventually fail.
If you’re experiencing these symptoms, it’s time to suck it up, and talk to your doctor. I know… I know… you feel silly going in for something like leg cramps or feeling tired all the time.
But seriously, your body may be desperately sending you a message… and this is your chance to turn things around before they get ugly.
Your doctor will run some tests. And maybe you discover your fatigue or cramps are no big deal.
But you may head off disaster before you’re fighting for your life in an emergency room.
I’m not too big on doctors. But in this case, ignoring red flags can be a serious problem.
Editor, Patriot Health Alliance