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Heart Disease Symptoms | Health of Narayana

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The heart is one of the most important organs for our survival. It works as the engine of our body. The heart pumps blood through a ninety-seven thousand kilometer network of blood vessels. It beats more than 100,000 times a day and blocks more than three billion heartbeats over the course of an average lifetime. It supplies oxygenated blood to all tissues and eliminates harmful waste.

Hence, it becomes imperative for us to keep our hearts in good shape. The two most powerful ways to do this are

  1. Maintain a healthy lifestyle
  2. Understand the symptoms that may indicate an underlying heart condition

Heart conditions include several conditions that can affect your heart. Some of them are

  • Coronary artery disease – diseases of the blood vessels of the heart
  • Arrhythmias – irregular heartbeat (arrhythmias)
  • Congenital heart defects or defects that are present from birth
  • Heart valve diseases such as atrial stenosis, mitral valve stenosis
  • Heart muscle disease or cardiomyopathy
  • Heart infection such as infectious endocarditis

Heart disease symptoms

The symptoms of heart disease depend on the type and severity of the disease. Let’s try to discover some of the symptoms of heart disease:

Symptoms of disease in the blood vessels of the heart:

Atherosclerosis, or the accumulation of fatty deposits in the arteries, can damage the heart and blood vessels. Atherosclerosis causes blood vessels to narrow, which can lead to chest pain or a heart attack or stroke.

Coronary artery disease (or a disease of the blood vessels in the heart) can have different symptoms in men and women. Men with coronary artery disease are more likely to develop chest pain as the main symptom. On the other hand, women with coronary artery disease are more likely to have other symptoms such as nausea, shortness of breath, and extreme fatigue, along with chest discomfort.

The signs and symptoms of coronary artery disease can include:

  • Chest pain and discomfort
  • Chest tightness and pressure.
  • shortness of breath
  • Pain, numbness, and coldness in your legs or arms (due to the narrowing of the blood vessels in these parts)
  • Pain in the jaw, neck, throat, back, or upper abdomen
  • In many cases, coronary artery disease goes undetected until one has a heart attack, heart failure, or stroke. Awareness of the symptoms of coronary artery disease can only help us combat it in the early stages.

Symptoms of heart disease with abnormal heartbeats or arrhythmias

Arrhythmia can make your heart beat too fast, or too slow, or irregular. The signs and symptoms of an arrhythmia can include:

  • Tachycardia, or faster heartbeat
  • Bradycardia, or slower heartbeat
  • Fluttering in the chest
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • shortness of breath
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness or fainting

Symptoms of heart disease with congenital heart defects

As a rule, the doctor can notice the severe forms of congenital heart defects shortly after the birth.

  • Bluish or grayish discolouration of the skin (cyanosis)
  • Swelling around the eyes
  • Swelling in the legs or abdomen
  • shortness of breath
  • Bad weight gain

Mild forms of congenital heart defects cannot be diagnosed until late childhood or early adulthood.

Signs and symptoms of milder forms of congenital heart defects that are not life threatening include:

  • Shortness of breath during exercise or activity
  • Fatigue and malaise
  • Swelling of the hands, ankles, or feet

Symptoms of heart muscle disease (cardiomyopathy)

Cardiomyopathy may have mild to no signs and symptoms in its early stages. But as the disease progresses, the symptoms become more severe.

Some of the symptoms of cardiomyopathy are:

  • breathlessness
  • Swelling of the ankles and feet
  • fatigue
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Fast, pounding, or fluttering heartbeat
  • Dizziness,
  • Drowsiness
  • Fainting

Signs and symptoms of a heart infection or endocarditis

Endocarditis (infection of the endocardium) affects the inner lining of the heart chambers and valves.

The signs and symptoms of a heart infection can include:

  • fever
  • shortness of breath
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Swelling in the legs or abdomen
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Dry or persistent cough
  • Unusual spots or rashes on the skin

Signs and symptoms of valvular heart disease (valvular heart disease)

The four heart valves – the aortic, mitral, pulmonary, and tricuspid valves – direct blood flow through the heart. Some of the most common conditions with heart valves are

  • Narrowing of the heart valves (stenosis)
  • Heart valve leakage (belching or insufficiency)
  • Improper closing of the valves (prolapse).

Some of the most common signs and symptoms of heart valve disease include:

  • Fatigue and malaise
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Chest pain
  • shortness of breath
  • Swelling of the feet or ankles
  • Faint

Always remember that early detection leads to a better prognosis. Always speak to a cardiologist if you have any concerns about your heart. If you have heart disease in the family, start making heart-healthy habits now.

If the symptoms make you feel like you have heart disease, make an appointment with your cardiologist right away.

Dr. Dhananjay RS | Specialist – Cardiology – Adults, Cardiology – Pediatrics | SS Narayana Heart Center, Davangere

Thank You For Reading!


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