Heart Disease & Stroke: While the exact relation between stress and heart disease is difficult to determine (considering one cannot measure stress), scientific evidence is mounting that there is indeed one. The stress hormone, cortisol, brings about the constriction of blood vessels, which can damage the heart and increase blood pressure. This increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.

You may be harboring plaques for over a decade in your system without being aware of it. While this may sound unimaginable, it’s true. Plaque formation can start as early as 25 years of age and build up in your system before the symptoms start showing up. Besides, not all heart issues come with clear signs or indications. So, if you imagine that your heart-related issues will crop up with a heart clutch and an agonizing thud to the floor, you may be wrong.

Simple symptoms such as breathlessness, chest pain, and fatigue can all be sure shot signs of an existing heart issue, although we conveniently ignore these to be manifestations of our overly exhausted life. However, if you are above 60 years of age and have diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol or are obese, you need to be mindful of even the smallest woes related to your heart.

This #worldhealthday2015 (September 29), we tell you about five uncommon and relatively ignored symptoms that could point to a heart condition.

1. Nausea, Indigestion Or Heartburn
Extreme nausea and heartburn are typical signs of an incoming heart attack, along with chest pain and arm pain. Women face a greater degree of these symptoms than men. While a digestive churn does not necessarily have to do anything with your heart, it is best to get yourself checked if you fall in the risk group.

2. Dizziness Or Lightheadedness
While you may want to argue that you got up too fast or lost your balance because you didn’t eat or drink enough, this might not be the case. If you feel faint or unsteady for a moment and have an accompanying chest discomfort, you may want to call your doctor immediately. A sudden and abrupt drop in blood pressure due to the inability of the heart to pump enough blood can make you lightheaded.

3. Throat Or Jaw Pain
Sounds weird, doesn’t it? Who could imagine throat or jaw pain to be associated with a heart attack? But if you feel like someone has put an elephant on your chest and the resulting pain is spreading quickly to your jaw or throat, it could signal an incoming cardiac attack.

4. Snoring Or Sleep Apnea
Okay so everyone snores a little while  they sleep. But brief episodes of unusually loud snoring that sounds like gasping or choking may be indicative of sleep apnea. A study carried out at Emory University in Atlanta reported that obstructed airways in people who have sleep apnea or those who snore were linked to higher risk of cardiovascular disease. The extended moments when you stop breathing puts extra pressure on your heart and may impact its functioning.

5. A Long, Ongoing Cough
While a prolonged cough that refuses to go away doesn’t necessarily point to heart trouble, if you fall in the high-risk group or already have a history of heart issues then be cautious. A long lasting cough which produces pinkish mucus could be a sign of heart failure. This happens when the heart leaks blood back into the lungs.

For more interesting stories, visit our Health page. Read more about Diseases & Conditions here.

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