Symptoms of Heart Disease

Heart disease or cardiovascular disease is the leading health problem in the Western world today, claiming more than one million lives annually. Heart disease is when the heart and blood vessels fail to maintain the minimal amount of blood circulation throughout the body due to the narrowing of blood vessels. Cardiovascular Disease is a major concern in almost every family today, as nearly everyone has been touched by the traumatic events following a Heart Attack of a family member.

Heart health contributes to health longevity because it affects not only the body but also the mind, and therefore has a long-term role in anti-aging.

Different Types of Heart Disease:

Coronary Heart Disease

Myocardial Infarction (heart attack)

Congestive Heart Failure

Heart Valve Disease

Angina

Coronary heart disease, or coronary artery disease is the accumulation of fatty deposits along the coronary arteries. The fatty deposits may have developed in your childhood, and continue to thicken and enlarge throughout your adult lifespan. That thickening narrows your arteries and can decrease or block the flow of blood to your heart.

Symptoms may include heaviness, tightness, pressure, and/or pain in your chest..

A heart attack, or myocardial infarction, occurs when your heart muscle experiences a severe or prolonged lack of oxygen caused by blocked blood flow to the heart muscle.

The blockage is often a result of a build up of cholesterol and other fatty substances, which obstruct the flow of blood and oxygen to your heart, thus reducing the flow to the rest of your body.

If the blood and oxygen supply is cut off severely or for a long period, the muscle cells of your heart may suffer damage and even die, the result of which is dysfunction of the muscles of your heart in the area affected by the lack of oxygen supply.

Symptoms may include

Severe pressure, fullness, squeezing, pain and/or discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes

Pain or discomfort that spreads to the shoulders, neck, arms, or jaw

Chest pain that increases in intensity, not relieved by rest. and/or sweating, paleness, shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting, dizziness or fainting, weakness or fatigue.

Indigestion, bloating, burping and irregular pulse.

Congestive Heart failure is another type of heart disease. It is when the heart is not supplying the other organs of the body with enough oxygenated blood, and can be the result of high blood pressure, high sodium intake, heart valve disease, previous heart attacks ,to name a few.

Symptoms include:

weight gain,

swelling of legs and ankles,

shortness of breath,

fatigue,

loss of appetite

nausea,

persistent cough.

Yet another type of cardiovascular disease can be the result of malfunctioning heart valve.

When the heart valves malfunction, it prevents the flow of blood in and out of the heart. This is called Heart Valve Disease. This can be due to damage from a previous heart attack.

Symptoms include:

chest pain,

palpitations,

shortness of breath,

fatigue,

migraines and dizziness.

Angina is when a part of the heart is not receiving enough blood. It is identified by recurring chest pain. It is a symptom of coronary heart disease.

Symptoms include:

squeezing or crushing pain in the chest,

pain in the arms, shoulders, jaw, neck and back.

Heart health contributes to health longevity because it affects not only the body but also the mind, and therefore has a long-term role in anti-aging.

Doctors must diagnose correctly if one is to receive proper and beneficial treatment for heart disease. Some common methods for diagnosing heart disease are, electrocardiogram(EKG), where a set of sensory pads are placed on strategic areas of your chest and a record of the heart’s beating patterns are recorded.

Another method is the Stress Electrocardiogram(Stress EKG), where one is put under physical stress , like running on a treadmill, where abnormalities in the beat of the heart are recorded.

Angiocardiography is another method which is used to diagnose the condition of the arteries. A catheter is inserted into the artery and dye is released into the blood stream. Blockages and other abnormalities are discovered on a monitor, by observing the dye flowing through the arteries.

It is always best to have a heart check up every year as part of the normal annual check up regardless of age, as heart disease can strike at any time.