heart disease warning signs

6 Surprising Heart Disease Warning Signs (and What to Do about Them)

Protect your heart: Check out these uncommon warning signs that might put you at risk.

By Dana Blinder


RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—High blood pressure, stress, and diabetes are all familiar warning signs that someone’s at risk for cardiovascular disease. But there are other red flags that most of us are not aware of, such as hair loss, or problems in the bedroom. By paying attention to risk factors, and using them as cues to make healthy changes in your life, there’s a lot that can be done to prevent cardiovascular damage early on, says Rene Alvarez, MD, associate professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Cardiovascular Institute. Here are six unusual signs of heart disease—and what you can do to protect yourself.

1. Sexual dysfunction
Heart disease may be the last thing on your mind when you’re cuddling close to your significant other, but trouble performing may be a concern for heart health as well as sexual health. Dr. Alvarez says that although sexual dysfunction in men and women is different, the issue linking it to heart disease is the same: When blood vessels don’t work well, sexual problems can occur. “If you have dysfunction in one circulatory area you have it in others,” he says.

Do this. Treat both issues. With good medical therapy and healthy lifestyle changes, both sexual dysfunction and heart disease can be avoided. Dr. Alvarez recommends regular exercise, and talking with your physician about daily aspirin use and your vascular health, to resolve both problems.

Published on: June 29, 2009
Updated on: May 10, 2011

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To maximize the benefits of

To maximize the benefits of medications and behavioral techniques in the management of sexual dysfunction it is important to have a comprehensive approach to the problem,[1] A thorough sexual history and assessment of general health and other sexual problems (if any) are very important. -Nancy Alcorn

Heart disease

Don't be so angry with the doctor. Most people who die young from heart disease have inheirited a genetic propensity for heart disease. If the doctor found nothing then there was nothing to find. Conversely most men experience erectile problems as they get older. Coincidently most heart attacks happen to older people. This coincidence does not equate to absolute proof that the two issues are related. Sadly we do not know enough about health and heart disease and there are many special interest groups out there who fill that void with their propaganda. A great example of this is the issue of diet. We all know people who eat all kinds of "unhealthy" foods and live long lives. We also know many who eat everything right and die young. If you ever needed proof that the experts on diet are wrong it is right there for everyone to see.

A great book on the subject

For a fantastic book on healthy lifestyle changes check out "The Culprit and The Cure" by Dr Steve Aldana. The hospital my wife works for gave every employee a copy. It's great advice by a doctor who isn't selling anything and has given not only hope but a roadmap for a longer healthier life.

Heart Disease and Sexual Dysfunction

My husband went into sudden cardiac arrest after having seen a doctor two months before. At that time, he was given a clean bill of health. The one clue that the doctor missed was that my husband asked for medication to help him with erectile dysfunction. The doctor should have recognized this as a possible sign of cardic problems and investigated further, particularly since heart disease runs in my husband's family. I am angry that doctors dismiss sexual difficulties as unrelated to cardiac problems. If I had not been present when my husband 'died' and summoned paramedics to the scene in three minutes, my husband would be dead.

I am also appalled by the cardiologists who do not even discuss with their patients the role of diet in their well-being. I guess the doctors are looking forward to remuneration for that patient's coronary bypass operation, or angioplasty. Shame on the cardiac profession!!!! It's time for them to educate their patients and inform them that, through diet, it is possible to arrest or even reverse their coronary artery disease, and, by the way, at the same time, improve their patients' SEXUAL FUNCTION !!!


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