Not So Obvious Symptoms of Heart Disease

A couple of weeks ago, I had a woman come to me with lower back pain. As I was checking her points to find where the blockages were, I noticed her legs were swollen. Intuitively, I felt her heart was weak. So I pressed on her heart channels, and sure enough there was tremendous pain in all the spots there. Everyone knows the obvious symptoms of heart disease such as shortness of breath or chest pain. But did you also know that swollen feet can also be indicative of the heart becoming weak.

In the US, heart disease is a leading cause of death. Strangely, even within the Muslim population of the world, heart disease is getting more prominent. Malaysia which has been keeping good quality records on cardiovascular disease since early 1980s has recognized it as the leading cause of death in Malaysia.

Just as it is prevalent is the US, even in Muslim countries such as Malaysia, heart disease has become the number one cause of death. Knowing the signs of heart disease is important because you may have heart disease signs before you have any of the common heart disease symptoms such as chest pain and shortness of breath. Some of the not so obvious signs of heart weakness is swelling of the feet and lower legs, and male pattern baldness. 

Some of the not-so-obvious signs of heart disease is:

Swelling of Feet and Lower Legs. Retention of fluid in the feet and legs appearing as “sock marks” at the end of the day. You can check for this sign by pressing a finger against your ankle or shin bone to see if a depression is left behind.

This may be a warning of heart failure because, when your heart is not pumping well, fluid from inside your blood vessels tends to leak out into surrounding tissues. The legs and ankles are common areas for this kind of swelling.

Male Pattern Baldness. Several large studies have confirmed the link between baldness and heart disease. Compared to men with a full head of hair, men with crown loss have an increased risk of heart disease of about 23%. Men with complete loss of hair on the top of their head have an increased risk of 36%.

The combination of hair loss, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol pushes the risk even higher. This link may be due to too much of the male hormone testosterone, which interferes with hair growth on the head and causes hardening of the arteries.

This doesn’t mean that all males with baldness have heart weakness, but it does suggest he may have it and should get it checked out by an experience natural health practitioner.

Another not-so-obvious symptom of heart disease is male pattern baldness. This type of baldness and premature greying are more of a risk factor for heart disease than obesity in men under 40, new research suggests. A study of more than 2,000 young men in India showed more who had coronary artery disease were prematurely bald or grey than men with a full head of hair. 

Yellow Bumps on Your Skin. Deposits of fat can build up under the skin. They may appear as small yellow bumps or as flat, wide plaques on your elbows, knees, hands, feet, or buttocks. It can even appear on the eyelids. These yellow, fat deposits can potentially be signs of heart disease because they may indicate high levels of fats in the blood.

These yellow bumps show that there is a high level of triglycerides accumulated in the blood. This can also be a sign of increased cholesterol and they may disappear once cholesterol levels are under control.

Gum Disease. Swollen, sore, or bleeding gums are usually a sign of poor oral hygiene, but may also be an important heart disease sign. There is plenty of research now that back up the connection between gum disease and heart disease.

Gum disease and heart disease may be linked because they are both signs of poor circulation, or there could be common bacteria that are involved in both gum disease and plaque build-up inside coronary arteries. The link may also have something to do with the body’s response to prolonged inflammation. In any case, taking better care of your teeth and gums is a good way to cut down your risk for heart disease.

Signs of Heart Failure
Heart failure means the heart is not functioning as well as it should. It doesn’t mean the heart has failed. Heart failure gradually gets worse over time. Some early warning signs may include:

Cataract is a condition in which normally clear eye lens becomes cloudy, causing blurry vision. Research is pointing to the fact that cataracts may indicate heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Some medications that treat heart disease put you at higher risk for developing cataracts. Statin medications such as Zocor, Lipitor, Lescol, Pravochol and Crestor which lower cholesterol and prevent cardiovascular disease may place you at risk for cataracts. A study in the British Medical Journal found that statin medications increased the risk of developing cataracts in both men and women between 25-56%.

Weight gain. If your heart starts to fail and fluid starts to build up in your tissue, causing swelling, you might see a sudden weight gain.

Frequent Urination. Heart failure may cause decreased blood flow to the kidneys, which causes you to retain more fluid. One of the signs of this fluid may be frequent urination.

Cataracts. Although the exact connection is not known, studies show that people who have cataracts are at higher risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

Nighttime cough. One of the signs of heart failure may be the build-up of fluid in the chest and heart when lying flat at night. This pressure can cause a nighttime cough.

Remember that all these heart disease signs may have many different causes. They do not mean you have or will get heart disease. But combined with other heart disease signs and symptoms, your blood tests, and your family history, they give your doctor the best chance to find heart disease early and keep you in good health.

For more information or to schedule an HijamaHerbs appointment for healing physical, emotional or sihr/jinn ailments and also counseling for married couples, contact Amin Shah at 617-787-5151 or email –

HijamaHerbs sessions for ladies is performed by Nusrat Shah. For children, we normally do not perform hijama, however herbs, homeopathic remedies and emotional healing is performed.  

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