Symptoms of Heart Disease

By Warren Selkow, Patient

Heart Disease Symptoms

The chances are that if you are reading this feature you have already been diagnosed with heart disease. Let us take a moment to review what sent you to the doctor and what symptoms you exhibited to lead the heart disease diagnosis. This feature will cover different areas of interest than the feature about causes of heart disease. However, some of the causes will be exhibited by a symptom. Of equal importance is the fact that women now suffer heart disease at the same rate as men. Heart disease is not just for the boys anymore.

Following is a list of symptoms for cardiac disease.

Fatigue and Heart Disease

The most notable and easily recognizable symptom of heart disease is never ending fatigue. The feeling of always being tired is very subtle and not quickly identified by a person just developing heart disease. In fact, if no other obvious symptoms are exhibited, the affected person will dismiss this heart disease symptom by thinking, "I am working too hard. I need some time off." This is just bad thinking. If you are tired all the time it is because you have become de-conditioned and your heart cannot stand the strain. The antidote for fatigue is the following:

  • Lose weight
  • Start a regular exercise program

Stress and Hypertension and Heart Disease

Stress and hypertension, which usually go hand in hand, is another major symptom of heart disease. The causes of stress today seem to be never ending. More importantly, there is no such thing as good stress, although there are some that state unequivocally that some stress is good. In the book, The Simplified Handbook for Living With Heart Disease and Other Chronic Diseases, we reported on a study that proved all stress is bad. Stress causes hypertension that is exhibited by high blood pressure. It is well known that high blood pressure is a killer. The antidote for stress and hypertension is:

  • Recognize and identify where the stress is coming from
  • Reduce the amount of salt you eat
  • Exercise

Shortness of Breath and Heart Disease

Shortness of breath is another of those easily dismissed symptoms quickly fobbed off to some other problem. This particular symptom sends many people to the doctor thinking they have some respiratory problem. No such luck. The respiratory problem is being caused by the hearts and lungs inability to cope with lack of exercise and too much fatty food to eat. It is another symptom of deconditioning.

Shortness of breath may also be symptomatic of a most serious heart condition, heart failure. The only good news about this symptom is the other symptoms that will accompany the shortness of breath. More than two of the symptoms listed here should make you get to a cardiologist immediately.

Well, lets be slightly more blunt about this. If you are dragging around an extra thirty or more pounds you are going to be short of breath, especially doing things like going up stairs. If you are over fifty pounds extra well endowed, well, you probably look for the escalator or escalator. And if you are over 100 pounds extra, extra well endowed, you probably drive yourself around on a motorized cart and I feel so sorry for you. Even short distances make you huff and puff and wheeze. The antidote for Shortness of breath is:

  • Lose weight
  • Exercise

Pain and Heart Disease

A pain in the chest is usually the one symptom that will get your butt into an emergency room. However, chest pain does not have to be severe to be serious. People with diabetes suffer "silent" heart attacks. With this heart attack the pain is not very bad and the patient will more often than not dismiss it. Moreover, chest pain can be caused by many symptoms not related to heart disease, not the least of which is stress. It is the type of pain that is most important. If the pain is a crushing pain or if the pain feels like you are in a vice grip, that is the true symptom.

The only antidotes for angina (this is the term used to describe true heart pain) are pain reliever drugs like morphine and nitroglycerine dissolved under the tongue. Nitro is a prescribed drug and many heart patients keep this drug on hand. The morphine, on the other hand, can usually only be administered in an emergency room. The ER staff will give you both these drugs while they are running the blood tests that are the true determinates of heart disease attack.

Light Headedness and Heart Disease

Being continually light headed is another of those easily dismissed symptoms. The problem with light-headedness and its usual partner, dizziness, is it can be caused by low blood pressure. Low blood pressure is every bit as dangerous as high blood pressure. This symptom might rear its ugly head during periods of exercise (you might need an immediate intake of fluids) or when straightening up after bending over. Whatever the cause, a visit to the doctor is immediately in order. There is no antidote to this symptom.

Edema and Heart Disease

Puffiness of the feet (edema) is a symptom of Cardiac Heart Disease or Chronic Heart Disease or Coronary Heart Disease or Chronic Heart Failure (CHF). The disease may have all those names. This is a very serious disease (it is terminal) and life threatening if not properly treated. This is another of those symptoms that you must present to a doctor ASAP. Although serious, CHF is easily treatable.

Heart Burn and Cardiac Disease

Heart burn that never ends is another of those symptoms that is easily passed off and credited to other problems like Gastro Intestinal Reflux Disease (GIRD). This is just another of those symptoms that is ignored and treated with antacids, with little reward or improvement.

Heart Disease Symptom Problem

The real problem with all of the above symptoms is they may be moderately uncomfortable and the sufferer will pretty much ignore them, especially men, being the jerks we are. If you have more than one of the above symptoms, get yourself in front of a doctor. Do it now.

The Simplified Handbook for
Living with Heart Disease
and Other Chronic Diseases

This comprehensive, doctor reviewed and approved book explains heart disease from a patientís perspective. Without complicated medical mumbo-jumbo, this blunt and hilarious book is a total lifesaver.