As a chap, the thought of suffering from heart problems always seems like a distant fear, even if you’ve seen it happen to your family before you. It doesn’t feel like the kind of thing that should affect a young man, yet head-in-the-sand thinking can make things worse in the long run. In the US, heart disease kills one in four men – and with up to 89% of sudden cardiac events occurring in the male of the species, it pays to be aware of the warning signs.
The symptoms aren’t always obvious. Swelling feet, for example, could be your body’s way of telling you your pump isn’t working as it should: fluid begins to build up in your feet because your heart is propelling blood around your system too slowly. Likewise, memory loss or dizziness may seem to signal fatigue or a brain issue – but it could be that your grey matter isn’t getting the service it requires from your circulatory system. And while erectile dysfunction may be blamed on psychogenic causes, and will certainly have your mind in a spin, the truth is any number of issues may be the root cause, many of them linked to the cardiovascular system. It feels embarrassing to face the doctor, but it might just save your life.
With 4-10% of all heart attacks hitting those below the age of 45 (and predominantly men), staying engaged with your natural warning systems is essential if you want to keep that machine on the road. Dr. Gigi Taguri has put together this quick guide to seven of the most surprising hidden clues that all is not well with your ticker. As she says, those random sweats or jaw pains may be nothing – but you need to see a doctor to be sure.