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The symptoms of heart disease greatly depend on what kind of heart disease you have. The various symptoms of each type are outlined below;

Symptoms of Heart Disease Caused by Heart Defects

Severe congenital heart defects normally become evident soon after birth. Some symptoms of heart defects in children include;

  • Swelling in areas around the eyes, in the legs or abdomen
  • Pale blue or gray skin color (cyanosis)
  • Shortness of breath in infants leading to poor weight gain

Congenital heart defects that are less severe are often not diagnosed until later in life. Symptoms of congenital heart defects that aren’t immediately fatal include;

  • Swelling in the feet, ankles and hands
  • Quickly getting shortness of breath during activity or exercise
  • Quickly getting tired while performing activities or exercise

Symptoms of Heart Disease Resulting From Heart Arrhythmia

An abnormal heartbeat is referred to as heart arrhythmia. Your heart may beat irregularly, too slowly or too quickly. Symptoms of heart arrhythmia include:

  • Dizziness
  • Fainting (syncope)
  • Lightheadedness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Slow heartbeat (bradycardia)
  • Chest pain
  • Racing heartbeat (tachycardia)

Symptoms of Heart Disease Caused by Weak Heart Muscle

Cardiomyopathy refers to the stiffening and thickening of heart muscles. During the early stages of cardiomyopathy, you may not notice any symptoms, but as the condition worsens symptoms may include the following;

  • Fatigue
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, and fainting
  • Breathlessness at rest
  • Swelling of the feet, legs and ankles
  • Irregular heartbeats that feel pounding and rapid

Symptoms of Atherosclerotic Disease (Heart Disease in your Blood Vessels)

Cardiovascular disease is brought about by blocked or narrowed blood vessels preventing your heart and brain as well as your other body parts from receiving enough blood. Cardiovascular disease symptoms in men may differ from those in women. For example, men may experience chest pain while women are more likely to get nausea or extreme fatigue. Symptoms of Cardiovascular disease include;

  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain in the upper abdomen, neck, back, throat or jaw
  • Chest pain (angina)
  • Numbness, pain or cold in your arms and legs

You might not discover you have cardiovascular disease until you get a stroke, angina, heart failure or heart attack. However, regular exams can detect the disease early. It’s advisable to watch out for the symptoms and seek medical attention immediately.

Symptoms of Heart Disease Caused by Heart Infections

The three main types of heart infections include;

  • Endocarditis – affects the inner membrane separating the valves and chambers of the heart (endocardium)
  • Myocarditis – affects the middle layer of the heart’s walls that is usually masculine(myocardium)
  • Pericarditis – affects the tissues that surround the heart (pericardium)

The following are heart infection symptoms although they slightly vary with each type;

  • Persistent dry cough
  • Fever
  • Unusual skin rashes
  • Swollen abdomen or legs
  • Heart rhythm changes
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue or weakness

Symptoms of Heart Disease Caused by Valvular Heart Disease

The four valves of the heart (tricuspid, pulmonary, mitral and aortic valves) may be damaged by various conditions that lead to improper closing (prolapse), leaking (insufficiency or regurgitation) or narrowing (stenosis)

Valvular heart disease symptoms include the following depending on the affected valve:

  • Chest pain
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Fainting (syncope)
  • Fatigue
  • Swollen ankles or feet
  • Shortness of breath

When to Seek Medical Attention

If you have any of the following heart disease symptoms, seek emergency medical care;

  • Fainting
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath

It is possible to treat heart disease when detected early. Therefore, you’re advised to schedule a consultation with your doctor on matters concerning your heart health if you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above.

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