Heart Disease

Heart disease defines a number of conditions that affect your heart. Diseases under the umbrella of heart disease include diseases of the blood vessels, such as coronary artery disease; heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias); and heart defects in which you are born (congenital heart defects), among others.

The word "heart disease" is often used interchangeably with the term "cardiovascular disease." Cardiovascular disease usually refers to conditions involving narrowed or blocked blood vessels that may lead to a heart attack, chest pain (angina) or stroke. Other cardiac disorders, such as those that affect the muscles, valves or rhythm of the cardiac, are often considered types of heart disease.

Many types of heart disease may be avoided or managed with a healthy lifestyle option.

Types of Heart Disease

Heart disease includes a wide variety of health complications. Several diseases and conditions are affected by heart disease. Types of heart disease include:

1. Arrhythmia

A heart rhythm abnormality.

2. Atherosclerosis

Hardening of the arteries.

3. Cardiomyopathy

Causes the heart’s muscles to harden or grow weak.

4. Congenital heart defects

Heart irregularities that are present at birth.

5. Coronary artery disease (CAD)

Caused by the buildup of plaque in the heart’s arteries. It’s sometimes called ischemic heart disease.

6. Heart infections.

May be caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites.

Symptoms of Heart Disease

The symptoms of heart disease depend on the type of heart problem you have.

Arrhythmia. The symptoms you encounter may be depends on the type of arrhythmia you have, too quick or too slow heartbeats. Arrhythmia symptoms include: Light-headedness, Fluttering heart or pulse racing, Slow Pulse, Fainting Spells, Dizziness, Pain in the chest

Atherosclerosis. Besides chest pain and shortness of breath, atherosclerosis symptoms include: coldness, numbness, unusual or unexplained pain, weakness in your legs and arms

Congenital heart defects. Doctors typically detect it at birth or in early childhood. Often people are not diagnosed until they reach adulthood, depending on the severity of the symptoms. This include the following: shortness of breath, blue-tinged skin, easily tired

swelling of the extremities

Cardiomyopathy. There are several possible symptoms that may be difficult to associate with heart disease immediately. These symptoms are as follows: breath shortness, swollen lower legs, ankles, or feet, bloating, fatigue, a pounding or fluttering pulse

Coronary artery disease (CAD). Symptoms include: chest pain, squeezing in the chest, breath shortness, nausea, indigestion

Heart infections. Symptoms of a heart infection include: chest pain, coughing, fever, chills, skin rash

When to Consult the Doctor

When you have these symptoms of heart disease, seek emergency medical care: chest pain, breath shortness and fainting.

When diagnosed early, heart disease is easier to handle, so speak with your doctor about your heart health issues. Talk to a doctor about steps you should take to reduce your risk of heart disease if you're concerned about developing heart disease. When you have a family history of heart disease, this is extremely important.

If you think you might have heart disease, make an appointment to see the doctor based on the latest signs or symptoms you have.

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