Often those outside of the medical profession don’t realize that heart disease could be any one of a number of different diseases that affect the heart. The most common type of heart disease is Coronary Artery Disease, which can lead to heart attack. Other cardiovascular diseases include heart failure, heart valve disease, vascular disease, pericardial disease, abnormal heart rhythms, congenital heart disease, heart muscle disease, or aorta disease.
Naturally, since these are all different diseases or conditions, each one has its own set of symptoms or warning signs that you need to be aware of. Many of the symptoms for each disease are similar to the symptoms of other diseases, however, so it is vitally important that if you have any warning symptom at all, you visit your doctor.
Again, coronary artery disease is the most common heart disease. The symptoms for this disease include a heavy or pressurized feeling, or pain, in the chest – which is often mistaken for heartburn. These feelings may also be experienced in the arms or shoulders, as well as the throat, jaw, back, or neck. Shortness of breath is also a symptom, as are palpitations, weakness, dizziness, sweating, nausea, and an irregular heart beat. The symptoms of a heart attack are exactly the same as well.
Abnormal heart rhythms, also known as arrhythmias, have symptoms that include palpitations, dizziness, fainting, a pounding heart, discomfort in the area of the chest, shortness of breath, and fatigue. These symptoms are also present if you have arterial fibrillation and heart valve disease.
Symptoms of heart failure include a cough that produces white mucus, shortness of breath when lying flat, or during simple activity, fast weight gain, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, palpitations, chest pain, irregular heart beat, and swelling in the abdomen, legs, or ankles. It is important to realize that these same symptoms can be applied to congenital heart diseases as well. Symptoms of Pericarditis include sharp chest pain, faster heart rate, and a low fever.
Again, as you can see, the symptoms of the various heart diseases are so similar from one condition to another, that it is impossible to determine what the situation is without further medical testing. It is also important to realize that these are not the only diseases of the heart, but they are the most common diseases.
If you have any symptoms that you have not experienced before, it is important that you seek medical treatment as quickly as possible. While heart disease is very serious, it isn’t the end of the world – or at the very least, it doesn’t have to be. The sooner you start getting treatment, the less your heart will be damaged.