ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Over 28 million people in the U.S. has been diagnosed with heart disease. Chronic bronchitis and emphysema combined cause over seven million ER visits each year. So how can you be proactive in protecting your heart and lungs? Here are some not so well-known symptoms and signs that could indicate bigger problems are on the way.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 610,000 Americans die every year in the United States.
Jeff Schussler, MD, an interventional cardiologist and medical director of the Cardiovascular ICU at Baylor Scott & White Health told Ivanhoe, “Fully half of the people that are going to die in America are going to die of cardiovascular disease. And that includes heart attacks, it includes strokes.”
One surprising sign of plaque buildup in your arteries is creased earlobes. Over 40 studies have shown an association between the two. Another indicator of heart issues is yellow, fatty bumps appearing on the elbows, knees, buttocks, or eyelids. This can be a sign of extremely high cholesterol that has led to internal and external fatty deposits. Also loose teeth or rotten gums can lead to that bad bacteria entering the bloodstream via the mouth, causing inflammation of your blood vessels.
Annabelle Volgman, MD, the medical director and professor of medicine at Rush Heart Center for Woman, said, “I had a patient that had a tooth ache that turned out to be her symptom for having a heart attack. She kept going to the dentist and the dentist couldn’t find anything wrong and finally said, ‘I wonder if you’re having heart disease.’”
What about lung issues? If you feel pain or swelling in your leg, it could mean a blood clot. This becomes a risk because a piece could break off and make its way into your lung, causing serious damage or death. Lung cancer is one of the top most common cancers found in both men and women.
So if you’re wheezing, or feel like you can’t take a deep breath, avoiding the stairs or other simple activities because they cause you shortness of breath, it’s time to see your doctor. Blue lips can also be a sign of a problem, indicating the cardiovascular system isn’t properly distributing enough oxygen via the bloodstream to the tissues.
Contributors to this news report include: Gabriella Battistiol, Producer; Angela Clooney, Videographer and Editor.
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