heart and stethoscopeIt’s the start of March, which means our New Year’s resolutions are either new habits or fond memories. We at AFC Urgent Care Springfield are hoping that one of your resolutions was to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and to help you stay on track, we have compiled a list of things to look out for when you’re evaluating your health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death among adults in the United States.

You get exhausted easily. If you notice that you become more tired than usual doing everyday things, you might want to get to your doctor’s office. We’re not talking the feeling you get after a long day of work. If you feel like you have the flu every day, and you haven’t changed your daily activities, that should be something you bring up with your doctor. This fatigue could be caused by circulation issues or a faulty heart valve, which could be lowering your blood pressure. If this is paired with shortness of breath or an inability to walk up a couple flights of stairs without becoming tired, this should be a serious cause for concern.

Your feet are swelling. If you notice that your feet are swelling, or if you feel pain in your legs when you walk, your heart could be having trouble moving the blood in your peripheral arteries, which are the arteries that are furthest from your heart. This could cause buildups of fatty deposits in your arteries and an increase in fluid in your feet, leading to swelling and pain. You should see your doctor or urgent care physician as soon as possible if you think you might have this condition, because while these are very treatable, they must be addressed to prevent them from getting worse.

You can hear your heartbeat. If you lie down to sleep and can hear your heart in your ears, that might spell trouble, because it could mean your heart valves are not closing and opening the way they should be. Faulty valves are symptoms of coronary artery disease and can lead to low blood pressure and exacerbate other symptoms of heart trouble.

Visiting your local AFC Urgent Care can give you detailed information on the state of your heart, without even needing an appointment. Your heart is the organ that keeps you going, so do your part to keep it healthy this March!