In the UK alone, over 7.6 million people live with a heart or circulatory disease. As we get older and suffer various symptoms, we may worry about our heart’s health and become concerned about different issues that crop up.
If you are in any way concerned about your health and are suffering symptoms related to heart disease, don’t let a Google search or a blog article alone answer your questions. Instead, seek immediate medical advice or book an appointment with a cardiologist to put your mind at ease, diagnose any potential condition, and develop a treatment plan for the future.
This article will discuss some common symptoms of heart disease and how doctors can determine your condition.
Signs of an unhealthy heart
Heart conditions may express themselves with a range of symptoms. If you experience one or more of these symptoms, it might be time to see a cardiologist for further tests.
Early signs of heart disease are often minor and aren’t immediately obvious. Because of this, many people don’t notice until their condition has progressed. Unfortunately for some, the first symptom could be heart attack. Therefore, regular and early screenings are essential to prevent a worsening disease.
Common symptoms of heart disease include:
- Shortness of breath
- Sleep apnea, or constant fatigue
- Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
- Irregular heartbeat
- Chest discomfort
- Swollen feet
- The inability to exercise as much as you used to
- Pain in your left shoulder
- Heartburn or stomach pain (this is especially common in women with heart disease)
What are the tests for heart disease?
Cardiologists can run several tests for heart disease to determine if you are suffering from a heart condition. Here are the most common procedures that can provide answers:
Electrocardiogram (ECG): An ECG measures your heart’s rhythm and electrical activity. It can reveal an irregular heartbeat or heart palpitations.
Blood tests: Blood tests help assess your general state of health. They can be used to screen for high cholesterol and other hormones in your blood that are commonly related to heart disease.
Coronary angiography: This process involves taking X-rays of the heart’s arteries, occasionally after injecting a contrast liquid. The resulting high-resolution image provides a lot of detail. For example, it can show if arteries are blocked or narrowed, hindering blood flow etc.
Echocardiogram: An echocardiogram is a scan that looks at the heart and nearby blood vessels. This image is obtained via an ultrasound scan.
Screening for heart disease is a good idea even before developing any symptoms. Make an appointment with one of our cardiologists at Venturi Cardiology today to undergo a few simple tests and check your heart health. We can advise you about the risk of potential conditions and how to move forward after a diagnosis.