Your heart is one of the most important vital organs around. After all, it’s the one that is responsible for supplying all of your cells, tissues and organs with oxygen and nutrients (and also removing toxins and waste products from them) by pumping blood around your body.

And this is exactly the reason why a lot of things can go wrong if your heart is not functioning optimally. Unfortunately, heart problems are a commonplace these days because of our unhealthy eating habits and lifestyles. Consumption of sugary and fatty foods, cigarette smoking, excessive alcohol intake, stress, lack of exercise — all of these things contribute to the gradual damage of the heart.

Here are some of the things that will happen to the body if the heart is not in a good shape.

Palpitations

Usually, we are not aware of the beating of our hearts. But if it’s beating faster or slower than usual or irregularly, there is definitely something wrong. While there are a bunch of issues that can cause palpitations, such as anxiety and problems with the thyroid gland, some cases of palpitations are due to heart problems.

Chest Pain

Doctors refer to it as angina, but everybody else calls it chest pain. There are so many different things that can be blamed for chest pain, but angina is something that is usually related to the heart. Simply put, angina happens when the heart muscles fail to get enough oxygen due to a blockage in the arteries that supply it with oxygenated blood.

Shortness of Breath

Before your heart pumps blood around your body, it first sends blood to the lungs for it to get oxygenated. A poorly functioning heart fails to send blood to the lungs in an efficient manner, and this can cause shortness of breath. Do take note that there are so many other health problems that can cause shortness of breath, too.

Fatigue

It’s not unlikely for someone who has a heart problem to feel fatigued all of the time. Doing everyday physical activities such as walking or climbing stairs can cause a lot of exhaustion, too. It’s for the fact that the heart is no longer capable of properly supplying your cells, tissues and organs with the oxygen they need.

Swollen Legs and Feet

Because the heart is no longer working optimally, it may have an extremely difficult time pumping blood from your lower extremities to the upper part of your body. This can result in the pooling of blood and fluids in the legs and feet. However, there are also a bunch of other issues that can cause swelling of the lower extremities.

Dizziness

Lots and lots of things can cause dizziness, such as those that involve the eyes and ears. However, at times dizziness can be due to an issue concerning the heart, most especially if it happens all the time. A heart problem can leave you feeling dizzy as your brain is not getting enough oxygenated blood.

There are so many other signs and symptoms that can be associated with a heart that is not functioning well. If you are experiencing the symptoms mentioned above and a few others, don’t risk it — pay your doctor a visit ASAP!

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