How To Recognize Heart Disease

How To Recognize Heart Disease

Patients may experience symptoms that are indicators of cardiovascular disease. If they have a family history of the disease, patients need to change their diets. They will need to exercise more to increase circulation and heart rhythm. Many doctors recommend getting a workup to see if the patients are at risk. 

Patients with existing cardiovascular disease also make lifestyle changes. They quit smoking and follow steps to decrease cholesterol levels. The patients may develop hypertension, too.  

An annual checkup and a visit to a heart specialist help at-risk patients get the care they need. The treatments could also decrease their risk of a heart attack or stroke. They can also improve their quality of life.  

Chest Pain or Tightness  

Many patients with heart-related problems experience chest pain. They also experience tightness in their chest. At the onset of a heart attack, patients experience weight on their chest. Some may describe it as having an elephant on their chest. The symptom increases until it is difficult for the heart to pump blood through the body.  

Shortness of Breath  

Shortness of breath often feels the same as if the patient was running. They feel out of breath and cannot get enough air into their lungs. It is the next symptoms they experience once chest pain and tightness emerge.  

During a heart attack, patients state that they can’t breathe. This is due to the restriction in their chest. The lungs cannot inflate to get enough air through the airways. Some patients lose consciousness at this stage. Doctors who perform general cardiology recommend calling 911 if you have these symptoms.  

Numbness, Weakness, or Pain in Extremities  

Numbness, weakness, or pain in the extremities are signs of a heart attack or stroke. Yet, patients with existing cardiovascular disease experience these symptoms. The symptoms could mean that the patient’s circulation in their extremities is poor. They could also have a blood clot in the area.  

Men experience pain in their left arms when they are having a heart attack. The pain may start in their left arm and move to their chest. These are serious signs that need fast medical attention. Men who experience left arm pain need to contact an ambulance right now.  

Localized Pain  

Cardiovascular disease causes localized pain. The patient may experience pain in their neck, throat, upper abdomen, back, or jaw. Many women experience gastrointestinal symptoms when having a heart attack. They may have localized pain in the upper abdomen that moves through their back.  

Pain in the neck or jaw that restricts movements could be a sign of a stroke. If the patient cannot move their neck, mouths, or one side of their face, it is a stroke. With a stroke, patients experience paralysis of one side of their bodies. Many say they smell toast as the stroke is happening.  

Tachycardia or Racing Heartbeat  

With heart failure treatment, doctors also determine if the patient is tachycardic. This means that their heart feels like it is racing. Many patients with heart failure also have high blood pressure.   The symptoms cause severe headaches. Patients experience headaches as their heart races and blood pressure increases. Doctors prescribe medication to control the blood pressure and thin the blood. Blood-thinners allow the blood to travel through the heart without clogging the arteries.  

Bradycardia or Slow Heartbeat  

Bradycardia causes a slower heartbeat, and blood pressure drops fast. This could also mean a heart-related episode is happening. If the heart slows down too much, it cannot deliver blood to the body as expected.  

Doctors often look for a culprit that is causing slower heartbeats. In heart failure, the heart could slow down too fast. Some patients will need a pacemaker to keep their heartbeats at a regular rate.  

Doctors install pacemakers through a surgical procedure. It works by shocking the heart if it has irregular beats. This ensures that the heart continues to beat as expected and deliver blood. Irregular heart rates could lead to heart attacks or other organ failures. All organs need a steady flow of blood to function.  

Syncope or Fainting Spells  

Syncope or fainting is another sign of cardiovascular disease. Fainting happens when the body isn’t oxygenated. It needs proper blood flow and oxygen to function. A sudden decrease in heart rate or blood pressure leads to fainting.  

Edema of the Legs  

Edema in the legs is a common symptom that all heart patients experience. This is why heart surgeons make patients wear compression hoses after heart surgery. It restores circulation and prevents blood from pooling in the legs.  

Doctors may also prescribe diuretics to control fluid flowing back to the heart. The balance improves circulation and lowers mobility issues for patients. Edema can become painful and make it difficult for them to walk. It also increases the risk of blood clots.  

Cyanosis or Pale or Bluish Skin Color  

Heart patients with more severe cases have cyanosis. This is a pale bluish hue that shows up on the skin. It is an indicator of improper blood circulation and decreased oxygenation. Patients develop cyanosis at later stages of cardiovascular disease. They may need surgery to unclog the arteries and improve blood flow through the heart.  

Where to Get Cardiovascular Care 

Carolina Cardiology Associates provides high-quality healthcare for heart patients. They complete testing, diagnostic care, and provide adequate treatment. The doctors offer comprehensive care for cardiovascular care and offer preventative care. Patients who suspect they have heart disease schedule an appointment now.  

Patients with cardiovascular disease experience a variety of symptoms. Some symptoms are signs that they may develop the disease. If they have a family history of cardiovascular disease, patients should follow precautions.  

Cardiologists can present care plans for patients to reduce their risks. The treatments may decrease the risk of a heart attack or stroke.  

Existing cardiovascular disease requires daily medication to thin the blood. Some patients undergo bypasses, stent installations, and catheterization. The disease is dangerous and requires careful monitoring. Patients need to learn the signs of a heart attack or stroke. By knowing the symptoms, they know when to seek emergency care. It could save their lives.

The experienced physicians at Carolina Cardiology Associates are committed to the health of every patient who walks through our doors. We understand the challenges of cardiovascular disease and will work with you to provide treatment, education, and a plan for the future to help you live your healthiest life.