5 Reasons For A HEART Check-Up

Health & Wellness, Heart Health


  1. You have a family history of heart disease: Your heart should be evaluated if you have a family member (parent, sibling, grandparent) who had a heart attack or other serious heart condition before age 50.
  2. You experience fevers, chills and have dark lines that appear under your nailsAn infection that spreads to a heart valve can be life threatening. One clue that suggests spread of the infection to a heart valve are tiny clots or splinter hemorrhages that form under the fingernails (or toenails). While splinter hemorrhages can occur for different reasons, its appearance in this setting warrants immediate attention.
  3. You experience shortness of breath with activity: New or progressive shortness of breath that occurs with activity may be related to your heart and should be evaluated.   If for example you now become short of breath after walking up 1-2 flights of stairs when no such problem existed a month ago is a warning sign that your heart may be in trouble and should be checked out promptly.
  4. You experience chest discomfort after meals: Chest discomfort that occurs within an hour after a meal may be due to stomach related “heartburn” or gastric reflux.  However,  if the chest discomfort feels more like pressure or tightness, it may be postprandial angina, due to blockage in 1 or more heart arteries and should be evaluated expeditiously.
  5. Your feel your heart “skipping beats” and become dizzy or short of breath: Feeling “skipped” or premature heart beats can occur under normal conditions such as a poor nights sleep, too much caffeine or feeling stressed out.  However, if you feel your heart racing or skipping beats frequently throughout the day that is associated with dizziness or shortness of breath, a thorough heart examination is mandated.
  6. Dr Michael Miller is Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore.  His latest book is: “Heal Your Heart: The Positive Emotions Prescription to Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease“.  All book proceeds are donated to the American Heart Association.

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