Debunking 3 Heart Disease Myths

Even though it is one of the most important parts of the body, most people do not place enough time and energy into understanding and maintaining their heart. Heart disease, for example, is one condition that can be incredibly dangerous, but you may not even realize you are at risk of currently have an early form of this disease. This guide will help you learn the truth about a few common heart disease myths, so you can better understand the disorder.

Heart Disease Is Rare

Many people do not even consider the possibility of developing heart disease because they feel it is so rare. In reality, heart disease is very common.

On average, 610,000 people in the United States die from heart disease each year. While surprising to learn, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women.

Because it is more common than most people think, talking to your doctor about heart disease is imperative for prevention, early diagnosis, and effective treatment.

You'll Know If You Have Heart Disease

Another myth people believe is that you will know if you have heart disease. Again, this is just a myth, since many people with heart disease do not even experience symptoms until the disease is more severe.

The symptoms depend on what type of heart disease you have.

For example, heart disease in the blood vessels may cause chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea, fatigue, pain in the legs and arms, and even discomfort of the jaw, neck, and back.

If your heart disease stems from a congenital defect of the heart, you may have pale skin that looks blue or grey in color. In addition, you may struggle breathing when exercising or completing other physical activity.

Heart Attacks Only Way to Know You Have Heart Disease

Unfortunately, most people do not even realize they have heart disease until they have a heart attack, which can be life-threatening. Thankfully, there are many tests that help determine if you are at risk for developing heart disease or in the early stages of the disease.

An EKG, for example, detects any irregularities with your heart's rhythm. An echocardiogram, which is a type of ultrasound, can be used, as well, to measure the size and overall structure of the heart.

A stress test is also used to determine if you are at risk for developing cardiovascular disease or if you have heart disease currently. This involves raising the heart rate, using medication or exercise, and measuring the heart's response to the higher heart rate.