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Signs your heart may be in trouble

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(KTVI) - This next discussion may make your heart skip a beat.  It deals with signs your heart is in trouble.  Saint Louis University Hospital Cardiologist Dr. Michael Lim discuses the causes and signs of heart stress.

Those who already suffer from health problems are at a greater risk of suffering from heart issues in the heat.  People who may be at risk for experiencing heart problems should be especially cautious when going outside in the summer months.  It is important to remain hydrated and limit your time outdoors.

One big sign of heart issues can occur in a place you wouldn’t think to look, the gums.  Sore or bleeding gums are not only a sign of periodontal disease – in which exposure to bacteria causes the gums to become inflamed and pull away from the teeth – but also a possible early sign of underlying cardiovascular disease.  To reduce your chances of getting inflamed gums, visit the dentist.  Taking care of your teeth is taking care of your heart.

Other signs of potential heart problems are puffy legs and swollen feet.  If you notice your feet swell enough to make your shoes tight, or there are deep pressure marks when you take off your socks, you may have a problem with fluid retention.  Also called edema, fluid retention can be a sign of coronary artery disease (CAD), heart failure, and other forms of cardiovascular disease.  Fluid retention occurs when the heart does not pump strongly enough.

If you are experiencing shortness of breath this may also be a warning sign that something could be wrong with your heart.  This is an early indication that there is an issue with a major bodily system.

Other indicators of heart trouble may include sexual problems, snoring, irregular heartbeat, and aching shoulder, arm or chest.