Despite what some people initially think, the term “heart disease” actually refers to several types of heart conditions. Sometimes leading to heart attacks in the most severe cases, it is a leading cause of death in many nations, including the UK.
Heart disease affects all types of people, across all demographics and ethnic backgrounds, and anyone believed to be suffering from heart disease must treat the matter seriously. While the specific symptoms you experience will depend on the type of heart disease you have, we take a brief look at some of the major symptoms in this post and symptoms preceding a heart failure or heart attack.
What are the different types of heart disease?
Heart disease encompasses a wide range of cardiovascular problems. One of the most common types of heart disease is coronary artery disease (CAD), but other conditions that fall into this relatively broad category include:
- Congenital heart defects
- Coronary artery disease (CAD)
- Heart infections.
These conditions cover a diverse range of things related to the heart, such as heart rhythm abnormality, hardening of arteries, weak heart muscles, and the buildup of plaque in the heart’s arteries. Heart infections caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites are also a common problem.
- Pain in the chest
If you have chest pain and you feel extremely unwell, it’s important that you don’t ignore it as it’s a common sign of heart attack and should always be examined by a doctor. To be more precise, this pain could feel like a tightness or pressure directly on the chest, or just a general heaviness that does not usually exist.
Even if the pain goes away when you relax, for example after a period of exercise, you should still see a doctor. This might still be caused by a serious heart condition such as angina, which occurs when the blood supply to the muscles of the heart is restricted.
Finally, if you have chest pain and this is accompanied by feeling very unwell, it is even more likely that you are suffering from a serious condition and should head to the emergency room as soon as possible.
2. Feeling sick combined with chest pain
Even if your symptoms of chest pain don’t feel severe enough to urgently see a doctor, make sure that you pay extra attention to any tightness, pressure or restriction in your chest when it’s accompanied by a feeling of sickness.
Similarly, feeling unusually clammy and sweaty combined with pain in the chest should always be treated seriously.
3. Indigestion or stomach pains
While not every bout of indigestion will be because of a heart attack or underlying heart disease, this is certainly something to keep an eye on, especially if you have never suffered from stomach pains before.
A burning or indigestion-type pain can be the sign that something is wrong and this should be examined by a medical professional.
4. Sudden cramping pain in your limbs
You might not associate arm or leg pain with your heart, but it can be a sign of a heart condition. A gripping, cramping feeling in your calves or arms (especially your left arm) might be related to heart disease.
If you already know you have heart disease, you should be doubly aware of this symptom as a potential sign of a heart attack.
5. A feeling of choking
The tightness or pain associated with heart conditions like angina can sometimes be felt in the throat. This can present itself as a kind of “restricting” sensation similar to that of being choked.
6. Extreme fatigue Feeling tired all the time can also be a symptom of a heart disease, as well as of other conditions. While you may have grown used to depleted energy levels, this should still be treated as a serious symptom and looked into by a doctor. This is especially important if you suspect you may be suffering from a heart condition.
Admittedly, it can be hard to tell between normal tiredness and fatigue related to a health condition, but if you suddenly start experiencing extreme tiredness out of the blue, it’s important that you tell your GP.
7. An irregular heartbeat
While slightly irregular patterns in your heart’s beating rhythm or a skipped beat might feel unusual, it is often not related to a heart disease. However, this doesn’t mean you should dismiss it.
In terms of heart diseases, the biggest sign to watch out for is a sudden increase in tempo and a heartbeat that becomes erratic. This is certainly something you need to talk to a doctor about.
The above symptoms are by no means an exhaustive list. Additional symptoms can include upper back or neck pain, indigestion, dizziness, and shortness of breath. Also, sometimes heart disease may not present itself through any symptoms at all.
If you would like to learn more about the symptoms of heart disease as well as ways to protect your heart’s health, please feel free to reach out to us at Venturi Cardiology. We offer consultations, both virtually and in person and several tests for heart disease.
We are currently offering 10% of all consultations, please register here and use the code 10%Off to benefit from the discount.