When it comes to heart disease symptoms, there is no one set of signs or specific feelings that you will experience. Rather, it all depends on what type of cardiovascular issue is present. It also depends on the severity of the condition, whether you are male or female, and other tangible and intangible components.
That’s why it’s important to realize that you can’t self diagnose using a list of symptoms that you find online. It can certainly be a starting point, but ultimately if you are feeling any sort of discomfort, any feeling that is out of the ordinary, you should seek medical attention to have it properly diagnosed. Especially if you have been feeling off for more than a day or two.
That said, it is helpful to know what the various heart disease symptoms and signs might be, just to educated yourself and help you make a better decision for yourself or a loved one as to when to go see a doctor.
The Most Common Heart Disease Symptoms
Problem With Your Blood Vessels (Atherosclerosis)
The most common cardiovascular disease occurs with your blood vessels themselves…there can be blockage, they can become stiff over time, or they can become narrow. All of these things will restrict blood flow to and from the heart, causing the following symptoms: pain in the chest (called angina), shortness of breath, some pain/weakness in your arms/legs, or pain above the midsection: upper abdominal area, neck, jaw, back and throat.
According to the Mayo Clinic, it is very common to not be diagnosed until you have a heart attack or stroke, so being aware of these heart attack symptoms is very important.
Problem With Your Heart Muscle (Cardiomyopathy)
Cardiomyopathy is when the heart muscle itself thickens or stiffens. Much less common than atherosclerosis, some of the signs include shortness of breath either at rest or while moving/exerting, swelling in the lower body, including feet, legs and ankles, tiredness, irregular heartbeat and dizzy sensation.
Problem With Your Heart Beating (Arrhythmias)
A very common issue, an arrhythmia is any irregular pattern of your heart beat…it might be too fast, too slow, or just not in a regular pattern. Depending on which one you might have, your heart disease symptoms can include a fast/slow heartbeat, fluttering, chest pain or a dizziness/fainting.
Problem With Your Heart From Birth
The least common of all, these are congenital issues (those you are born with) known as heart defects. Typically, in the most serious cases, the symptoms of heart disease here are noticeable right away, unlike the others which might build up over time. Here you might see blue or gray skin, swelling in abdominal, ocular or leg region, breathlessness during feeding and sub optimal weight gain. Note that in less serious issues, you might not experience symptoms until later on.
Other Possible Issues
These are the most common problems when it comes to heart disease, but there are other issues including infections and valve issues, which can also cause symptoms similar to those we mention above.
The Bottom Line on Heart Disease Symptoms
The main takeaway here is that heart disease signs take many shapes and forms, and no one specific list will apply to you. You can see that symptoms overlap as well; for example pain in your chest can be a sign of a problem with your blood vessels, arrhythmia or valvular heart disease, among other issues.
So be aware of all of the possible signs, and again, if you feel anything out of the ordinary and it doesn’t resolve itself within a short period of time, schedule an appointment with your doctor to make sure everything is OK. Even if it turns out to be nothing, it is worth the visit to be sure.