Telltale sound when you fall asleep that can be a sign of killer heart disease | The Sun

CORONARY heart disease – also called ischaemic heart disease – is a major cause of death in the UK.

It occur's when your heart's blood supply is blocked by a build-up of fatty substances in your coronary arteries.

Many of us believe that heart problems will present as obvious symptoms, prompting us to immediately see a doctor.

And indeed, the most common symptoms of coronary heart disease are:

  • chest pain
  • shortness of breath
  • pain throughout the body
  • feeling faint
  • feeling sick

But according to Michael Miller, professor of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, the disease might make itself in a much more subtle way before you go to sleep.

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When you're drifting off, you might hear your own breaths or the odd rumble of your belly.

But Dr Miller said you should keep your eyes cocked for a telltale sign that could indicate you have coronary heart disease: the sound of your own heart pounding.

Though you might think it's normal, going to sleep is a time when your body unwinds and relaxes. Your heart shouldn't be beating so loud you can hear it.

"Some patients with a loud faulty valve can hear the sound of their valve at night when they are trying to fall asleep," Dr Miller told Health.

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Rather than adjust your sleep position to stop hearing the "thu,p-thump" sound, it's a good idea to speak to your GP about it.

A pounding heartbeat can also be a sign of low blood pressure, low blood sugar, anaemia, dehydration, or it could even be a consequence of the medication you're taking.

According to the British Heart Foundation, the feeling of your heart racing, pounding or fluttering is called palpitations.

It said palpitations could be caused by heart conditions that include:

  • arrhythmia – abnormal heart rhythm
  • cardiomyopathy – a disease of the heart muscle that affects its size
  • congenital heart conditions – when a defect to the valves or chambers develops in the womb
  • heart attack
  • heart failure
  • heart valve disease

It advised you speak to your GP about them if they last a long time, don't improve or get worse.

This is also the case if you have a history of heart problems.

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