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5 odd signs that you may have a problem with your heart

Your body may be showing some subtle signs that you may have an underlying heart problem.
/ Source: TODAY

You could have a problem with your heart and may not even know it.

The body is a complicated machine, but your heart often offers subtle clues that something might be amiss. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in every four deaths in the United States — about 610,000 people — is related to heart disease.

These five warning signs aren't what we typically expect with heart disease, but they do warrant an extra look.

Yellow bumps on the skin

Xanthoma is a skin condition where fat builds up under the skin.

Common among older adults, these fatty deposits are common, vary in size and can appear all over the body, including hands, feet, and joints. A certain type of xanthoma — referred to as “xanthelasmata” or “xanthelasma palpebrarum” — shows up on upper or lower eyelids towards the inner eye (closest to the nose). These yellow plaques mean there are higher than average levels of fat in the blood and the eye condition may be a sign of more serious heart illness.

Related: 5 heart attack warning signs to never ignore

Stiffening spine

Mayo Clinic states that ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a progressive type of arthritis that, over time, can cause some of the vertebrae in your spine to fuse. People with the inflammatory disease may appear hunched over.

In the beginning, spinal arthritis may cause you to feel stiff in the lower back in the mornings. It doesn't get better with rest so being inactive can make it worse; which is why people feel better with light exercise. Back pain from AS starts gradually and gets worse over weeks and months.

Studies have found that spinal arthritis has been linked to many types of heart disease. These include, but are not limited to, heart failure and attacks, strokes, chest pain and other elevated heart risks.

Bleeding gums

Heart disease from poor dental hygiene? Plenty of evidence shows that dental disorders may threaten your heart health.

Ours gums should be pink and firm, but bleeding gums could mean poor circulation in the body. Most heart conditions are still associated with the traditional risk factors, but practicing good oral hygiene may go a long way toward protecting your heart.

Heart attack symptomsTODAY


Sometimes a headache is just a headache, but cardiovascular conditions like high blood pressure and coronary artery disease have been linked to migraines.

Migraines are headaches marked by severe throbbing and can be accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Studies have shown that regular migraines may suggest that something may be going on with your heart. Suffering from migraines should be considered a marker for increased cardiovascular risk especially in women.

Related: Heart disease is different in women and may be deadlier

Sore feet

Are your shoes feeling tighter than normal?

Increased swelling of feet and ankles can be a symptom of heart disease. Weak heart muscles or heart defects can manifest themselves into worsening symptoms and fluid accumulation. The buildup happens because the heart pumps blood inefficiently. This reduces blood flow from the heart causing a backup in the veins.