Signs Of Heart Problems (For A Variety Of Heart Issues)

heart problem signs

In this article, we’ll discuss some common signs of heart problems for a variety of heart-related issues.

Overview

Heart problems refer to a variety of conditions that affect the heart. They are one of the most fatal health issues, where every 1 out of 4 deaths occur due to heart problems. These include blood vessel diseases, heart rhythm problems or arrhythmias, and heart defects that exist since birth or congenital heart defects, and many such issues.

The terms “heart disease” and “cardiovascular disease” are commonly used as synonyms. Cardiovascular diseases generally refer to conditions that include narrowed or blocked blood vessels that result in a heart attack, heart stroke, or chest pain.

Heart diseases, on the other hand, are those that affect the heart’s muscles, rhythm, valves, or anything else that comes under the umbrella of heart conditions. Many of them can be treated or prevented through healthy lifestyle choices, after recognizing the symptoms.

Common Signs Of Heart Problems

Many heart problems do not come with clear warning signs. Unlike popular media portrayal, the symptoms may not be limited to the chest area, or start from there. However, factors like being overweight, above 60 years of age, having high blood pressure or cholesterol, diabetes, and an unhealthy lifestyle can raise the risk of heart problems.

Here are some of the most common signs of heart and cardiovascular diseases:

1. Uneasiness In Or Around The Chest

One of the most popular symptoms of heart danger involves discomfort within the chest region. In the case of a blocked artery or an impending heart attack, there would be pain, tightness, or pressure in the chest.

It could be described as a heavy object placed on their upper body, or a pinching or burning sensation. Usually, the feeling extends for a few minutes. There might be no particular trigger for it; it could happen when the person is resting, or when they are carrying out any physical activity.

If the pain is very brief, or if the spot hurts more when touched or pushed, it is not an indicator of a heart problem, though it calls for a doctor’s consultation. If the pain stays and turns severe, immediate medical attention would be needed.

Heart problems may not start with chest pain, and this is commonly seen in women. Hence looking out for other common symptoms is recommended.

2. Upper Body Pain

Pain that radiates down the left side of the body is one of the strongest indicators of heart issues, especially heart attacks. Many patients complain of having severe pain in the arms, which have led to attacks or strokes.

Pressure or pain that starts at the center of the chest and spreads up into the throat or jaw could be a sign of a heart attack. Otherwise, jaw or throat pain could only be signs of a muscular issue, sinus, or a cold.

3. Digestive Problems

Digestive issues include nausea, indigestion, stomach pain, vomiting, and heartburn. These could occur shortly before or during a heart attack. Women are more likely to experience this type of symptom when compared to men.

Problems with the stomach are a symptom of countless other health conditions. They would be a concern only when the person falls into many of the susceptible categories, such as being overweight or having a history of heart issues.

4. Dizziness And Irregular Heartbeat

Feeling unsteady or losing balance while experiencing slight discomfort in the chest, along with shortness of breath could be a sign of a heart problem. Light-headedness could mean that the blood pressure has dropped because the heart is not able to pump blood regularly.

A heart beating out of time for more than just a few seconds might not be alarming. But if it occurs repeatedly, it could signal a condition called atrial fibrillation. If untreated, it could lead to blockage in the arteries.

5. Exhaustion And Sweating

Extreme exhaustion or unreasonable weakness that may stretch out for days could be a symptom of heart disease, especially in women. This includes suddenly feeling fatigued or winded after doing a task that the person has no problem carrying out, in the past.

Breaking out in cold sweat for no reason could indicate an oncoming heart attack. If the person does not suffer from any mental or physical disorder that could result in a cold sweat, and when it is coupled with exhaustion, medical help should be sought right away.

Signs Of Heart Problems For Multiple Diseases

Symptoms can be further narrowed down as per the type of heart disease. Some of them are:

1. Cardiovascular Diseases (Blood vessels or atherosclerotic disease)

Symptoms of cardiovascular diseases differ between men and women. Men are more likely to develop chest pain, whereas women might experience some sort of chest discomfort along with nausea, breathlessness, and extreme fatigue.

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain, tightness, pressure, discomfort
  • Pain, weakness, numbness, or coldness in limbs
  • Pain in the jaw, throat, neck upper abdomen, or back

2. Heart Arrhythmias or Abnormal Heartbeats

A heart arrhythmia refers to an abnormal heartbeat, that may have existed as an underlying health condition.

  • Racing heartbeat
  • Fluttering in the chest
  • Slow heartbeat
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Dizziness
  • Breathing problems

3. Symptoms Caused By Existing Heart Defects

People born with heart defects are prone to several diseases that become evident in later years.

  • Swelling in legs, abdomen, or around the eyes
  • Pale blue or gray skin color, called Cyanosis
  • Shortness of breath while being fed in infants, leading to poor weight gain

Congenital heart defects diagnosed in late childhood or during adulthood are less serious. The symptoms, which are not as life-threatening, are:

  • Easily getting short of breath during any physical activity
  • Swelling in hands, feet, and ankles
  • Getting extremely tired during exercise and physical activities

4. Weak Heart Muscles

Also known as cardiomyopathy, there are no signs shown until the disease eventually worsens.

  • Fatigue
  • Swollen legs, feet, and ankles
  • Breathlessness due to exertion or at rest
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Dizziness or the sensation of fainting

5. Heart Infections

This refers to an infection that affects the inner membranes that separate the heart’s chambers and valves.

  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Abdominal or leg swelling
  • Alterations in the heart’s rhythm
  • Skin rashes in unusual parts
  • Persistent or dry cough

6. Valvular Heart Disease

Valves could get damaged due to various reasons, resulting in narrowing, leaking, or improper closing. According to which of the four valves not functioning properly, the signs could be:

  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Fatigue
  • Chest pain
  • Fainting
  • Suffocation
  • Swollen ankles or feet

Signs Of Heart Problems: Conclusion

A health check-up would be crucial in determining whether someone is more susceptible to developing symptoms of heart problems. Mental issues, such as anxiety, panic, or depression, should all be counted as potential triggers. Carrying out certain lifestyle changes should suffice for deflecting most of these symptoms, unless they are caused hereditarily or due to an undiagnosed condition.

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