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14 Unusual Signs of Heart Disease That Can Be Seen With the Naked Eye

By GARGI CHAKRAVORTY, 19 June 2018

It’s a morbid cardiologist joke that the first symptoms of a heart attack are the actual deal itself. That is the actual heart attack itself. It may be funny for them in some twisted manner, but it is scary for a victim and their families. But the good news is it’s just a joke and not really true because our body keeps giving us subtle hints of an impending attack and if we are careful enough to notice them, we can start the medical intervention immediately before it’s too late. In this article, we highlight seemingly harmless, even innocuous signs about health problems which we unfortunately ignore. But, these are glaring red flags hinting something is seriously wrong with us. A small crease on the ear or white spots all across the body which is barely visible, even excessive yawning can be signs of an impending stroke. Here are 12 unusual signs of heart disease that can easily be observed with the naked eye.

1Xanthomas

Xanthomas are small fatty specks that appear out of nowhere on our eyelids, buttocks, elbows, or knees and are usually harmless. These are fat deposits which are a sign of excess cholesterol and which our blood vessels can’t contain. They are then dropped under the skin and start protruding externally under the skin. This means your blood vessels need immediate help as they are most likely affected by atherosclerosis, which is a harbinger to a dangerous cardiac problem.

Xanthomas

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2Yawning during intense exercise

Not many people know that our body has several ways to cool off apart from sweating, like yawning! It actually helps saturate the body with oxygen and reduces our internal body temperatures. However, if this natural thermoregulation process fails to work even after a hard exercise or physical activity, it’s time to get a bit worried. If we are constantly yawning after workouts it can signal potential heart problems.

Yawning during intense exercise

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3Bad breath

Usually, gum inflammation or periodontitis leads to really bad breath and is linked with bad dental hygiene. Maybe 80% of the cases are just that, but the remaining 20% are red flags for something far more sinister. Studies have shown the relation between gum and heart problems. The bacteria which inflict our gums can spread to our cardiovascular system and start poisoning there as well. These days heart diseases linked to periodontitis has increased by nearly 20%. So banish all your fears from a dentist visit, it’s for your own good, no much how much how much you hate it.

Bad breath

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4No acne during adolescence

Well, this study involves only men and they should be worried. Boys who went through a lot of pimples and acne during their school or college life have something to rejoice about and forget about all the embarrassment they faced during their academic years. These men have 33% less chance of developing any sort of coronary heart disease because their hyperactive hormones made them resilient towards future perils.

No acne during adolescence

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5Ring finger length shorter

If your ring finger is visibly shorter than your index finger, you have a high risk of stroke. According to a British research, the lengths of fingers are determined by the amount of testosterone during their development in the embryo itself. And unfortunately, the hormonal systems affect the cardiovascular system of the child even before they are born.

Ring finger length shorter

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6When you have blue lips

In normal circumstances, our lips turn blue when we are in extremely cold environments and hypothermia sets in. but this is a temporary condition as they turn normal when we return to warmer environments immediately. Extreme cold conditions triggers low blood oxygen levels and retard blood circulation, but it happens with everyone in a similar situation. However, if your lips keep turning blue even in normal environmental conditions, it reflects poor blood circulation and one must not waste time in visiting a cardiologist for a thorough heart and vessels checkups.

When you have blue lips

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7Physical changes in your nails

If recently you have started noticing changes in your otherwise normal nails into something unpleasant such as discoloring, increased thickness and roundness, it’s about time you start worrying about it. The reason behind such changes are usually linked with vascular issues and it means your fingertips are not getting a proper blood supply, leading to an unnatural increase in the nail plates. This symptom is not a recent discovery and has been known for thousands of years and is called Hippocratic fingers. Regardless of its history, you better get an appointment with your doctor fast.

Physical changes in your nails

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8Earlobe crease

The medical term for diagonal earlobe crease which is known as Frank’s sign. It indicates an increased threat of atherosclerosis. More than 40 studies confirm that this is associated with atherosclerosis which is a disease in which plaques develop within the arteries, thus restricting normal blood flow. What’s worse is that new research has revealed the link between these creases and cerebral vessels which can never be a good thing. So you should go for a thorough examination if you notice this red flag.

Earlobe crease

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9Ear hair

According to prominent Indian researchers, your ears can tell a lot about your inner health. We must not ignore this organ at all. There has been a study to establish a link between an increase of ear hair in the ear canal and coronary syndrome. If this symptom is in conjunction with the previously discussed Frank’s sign and a large amount of ear hair, then waste no time and make a run for the nearest cardiologist.

Ear hair

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10Infectious tooth diseases

A study from Helsinki has revealed that a simple root canal infection can be linked to coronary symptoms. Medically it is known as the link between the apical periodontitis and coronary syndrome. People with tooth disease are 2.7 times more likely to have the threat of coronary circulation problems. An Australian study has further revealed that any tooth loss can be a harbinger to cardiac issues. So consult a dentist if you experience any of these symptoms.

Infectious tooth diseases

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11Hair loss

Even in the medical world, this is perhaps the most unusual symptom of heart problems. Early or rapid hair loss, especially in men, is something to be worried about. It could be caused by a vascular disease. Increased sensitivity to testosterone or incipient diabetes can also cause baldness. All of these can culminate into a heart problem as it’s medically proven that premature hair loss increases the chances of diabetes by nearly 70%.

Hair loss

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12Premature gray

Hair is another way of showing we are in trouble when it starts turning grey…prematurely! The European society of cardiology have proven in their research that grey hair can be linked to coronary syndrome, ischemic disease and atherosclerosis. We must realize that heart problems and grey hair is caused by similar reasons such as oxidative stress, the aging of functional cells in the body, hormonal changes etc. as usual the risk group is mostly men.

Premature gray

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13Halo around the iris

Fat deposits may also be seen around the eye and appear like a grey ring around the iris of your eye. The condition called arcus senilis may be seen at the top and bottom of the iris which then forms a complete ring. However, this doesn’t interfere with vision. This usually affects people over 60 and has been associated with risk factors of coronary heart disease.

Halo around the iris

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14 Feeling light headed on waking up

It is known as orthostatic hypotension which usually last for not more than two minutes. But if that lasts longer especially if you are below 55, it could indicate an underlying issue. Research at North Carolina University found that those suffering this ailment were at a 54% more risk of acquiring heart failure.

Feeling light headed on waking up

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