Heart disease is an umbrella term used to describe the range of conditions that can affect the heart. Some of the most common types include coronary heart disease or coronary artery disease, congenital heart defects, and arrhythmias.

Although the signs and symptoms of heart disease depend on the type of heart disease you have, there are some common symptoms of heart disease that are worth knowing, these include:

  • Chest pain or tightness in the chest
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain or numbness in the legs or arms
  • Pain in the neck, jaw, throat, back, or upper abdomen

See also: What is Heart Disease: Causes, Risk Factors, and Prevention


What are the symptoms of heart disease?


There are a number of types of heart disease, each of which is associated with their own unique symptoms and indicators.


Coronary heart disease or Coronary artery disease


Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease with around 18.2 million adults in the United States (U.S) living with the disease [1].

Symptoms of coronary heart disease include:

  • Chest pain (angina)
  • Breathlessness
  • Heart attacks
  • Heart failure

See also: Coronary Heart Disease: Signs, Symptoms and Causes


Congenital heart defects


Congenital heart defects are a form of heart disease that’s present at birth - it can have an effect on the overall structure of the heart as its function.

Symptoms of congenital heart defects include:

  • Rapid breathing
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Extreme tiredness or fatigue

See also: What is Congenital Heart Disease? Symptoms and Causes


Arrhythmia


Arrhythmia refers to problems with the heart's rhythm - the heart either beats too quickly or too slowly in an irregular way.

Symptoms of arrhythmia include:

  • Fatigue and/or weakness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Rapid heartbeat

Cardiomyopathy


Cardiomyopathy is a disease of the heart muscle, this disease makes it difficult for the heart to pump blood around the body.

Symptoms of cardiomyopathy include:

  • Swelling in the ankles, feet, legs, abdomen and/or neck
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness

Heart infection


Sometimes referred to as endocarditis, heart infection is an infection in the lining of the heart, often caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites.

Symptoms of heart infection include:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Dry or persistent cough

Valvular heart disease


Valvular heart disease, or heart valve disease, is damage to any of the four valves in the heart.

Symptoms of valvular heart disease include:

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weakness
  • Swollen ankles, feet, or abdomen

What are the signs of a heart attack?


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart attacks occur when the blood supply to the heart is suddenly interrupted - coronary artery disease, a common type of heart disease, is one of the leading causes [2].

While some heart attacks can occur quite suddenly and bring with them intense symptoms, the American Heart Association reports that the majority begin slowly and show certain warning signs [3].

These warning signs include:

  • Chest discomfort
  • Discomfort in the arms, back, neck, jaw or abdomen
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Lightheadedness

It’s important to note that symptoms may vary based on gender - for example, women are more likely to experience unexplained tiredness, nausea, or vomiting [4].

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, it’s important to get in touch with your doctor.

See also: How do you Reduce Inflammation in the Body?


What are the signs your heart is quietly failing?


Coronary heart disease, congenital heart defects, and heart arrhythmias are all forms of heart disease that are associated with heart failure.

Heart failure occurs when your heart muscle isn’t pumping blood as well as it should. While heart failure is known to progress, and possibly worsen, over time, certain lifestyle changes such as physical activity can relieve any pain or discomfort associated with this disease.

Signs and symptoms of heart failure include:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Persistent cough or wheezing
  • Difficulty with physical activity

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms of heart disease, heart attack, or heart failure, it’s important to get in touch with a doctor and/or emergency services.


If you require a risk assessment for cardiovascular diseases or heart conditions, a CRP Test may be recommended. This can be done with a trip to your doctor or from the comfort of your own home with an at-home lab test. It’s important to note that while the test is non-specific, it can indicate the risk of cardiovascular problems.

LetsGetChecked’s at-home CRP Test can help in indicating the risk of degenerative disorders or damage that you may not be aware of. Online results will be available within 2-5 days and our dedicated medical team will be available to help every step of the way.

You should consider taking a CRP test if:

  • You are at risk for chronic inflammatory diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or vasculitis
  • You are at risk for Crohn's disease
  • You are at risk for bowel disorders
  • You are overweight
  • You require a risk assessment for cardiovascular diseases
  • You require a risk assessment for cancers

See also: What Does High CRP Mean?



References

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Heart Disease Facts. Online: Cdc.gov, 2020
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Heart Attack Symptoms, Risk, and Recovery. Online: Cdc.gov, 2020
  3. American Heart Association. Heart Attack. Online: Heart.org, 2020
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Heart Attack Symptoms, Risk, and Recovery. Online: Cdc.gov, 2020