Medical Tourism

Global Medical Tourism Services

Saturday, June 24, 2017
  • Medical Treatments
  • Countries
  • Hospitals
  • Doctors
Request a quote

Similar Articles

Warning Signs for Heart Disease

Warning Signs for Heart Disease

Heart disease is an umbrella term describing a variety of conditions that impact heart health and compromise its proper function. People with heart disease may suffer from narrow or blocked blood vessels, also called cardiovascular disease, thickening of the heart muscle, arrhythmias, infections of the heart, or congenital heart defects. There are a number of warning signs that can point to heart disease in a patient, but symptoms may differ vehemently, depending on which particular condition affects the patient's heart.

Cardiovascular disease is one of the most dangerous but also most preventable conditions that affect the heart. If this condition is allowed to persist undetected or untreated for excessive amounts of time, it may lead to angina, heart attacks, stroke, and death due to heart failure. Patients suffering from cardiovascular disease may experience chest pain, shortness of breath, or numbness and pain in the limbs due to narrow or blocked blood vessels. Each year, over 800,000 people in the United States alone lose their lives to complications arising from cardiovascular disease.

The heart may also be negatively affected by conditions that impact the muscles and valves. Patients suffering from this form of heart disease have a thickened or stiffened heart muscle, a condition termed cardiomyopathy, and may experience excessive fatigue, dizziness or lightheadedness, swelling in the lower limbs, shortness of breath during physical activity or at rest, bloating, and arrhythmia.

Heart arrhythmias, or abnormal heart rhythms, may lead to heart disease as well. Heart rhythms that are irregular, too slow, or too rapid, may lead to lightheadedness and dizziness, shortness of breath, chest pain, fluttering or heart palpitations, and possibly fainting. When the heart becomes arrhythmic it cannot pump blood sufficiently throughout the body and possibly prevent organs from receiving adequate blood supply. Organ damage or failure may result.

Infections of the heart also pose a serious threat to heart health. Patients are typically afflicted by one of three major types of heart infections. Pericarditis, an infection of the pericardium, or tissue lining the heart, may be present if the patient experiences shortness of breath, fatigue, weakness, piercing chest pain, swelling of the lower limbs and abdomen, or fever. Myocarditis, an inflammation of the myocardium, or the heart walls’ muscular middle layer may be diagnosed in patients with chest pain, arrhythmia, or heart failure. Severe myocarditis could weaken the heart muscle and also lead to a stroke or heart attack if clots form in the heart. Endocarditis, an infection of the endocardium, the heart’s inner lining, becomes apparent in patients manifesting paleness of skin, chills, fever, fatigue, shortness of breath, tenderness in spleen, joint and muscle pains, heart murmurs, unexplained weight loss, or blood in the urine. Endocarditis patients oftentimes also exhibit unique symptoms, such as petechiae, which causes small red or purple spots to appear on the skin, inside the mouth, and even inside the eyes, and Osler’s nodes, which causes tender red spots to appear beneath the skin of the fingers.

Congenital heart defects include all conditions of the heart that a patient was born with. Initial symptoms of congenital heart defects, which include shortness of breath, fluid build-up in heart and lungs, swelling in hands, ankles, feet, legs, or abdomen, bluish grey skin color, and growing tired rapidly during physical activity. These symptoms typically arise shortly after birth and may persist for the remainder of the person’s life.

Fortunately, some forms of heart disease are easily prevented by making healthy and safe lifestyle choices. Heart disease has the best prognosis when detected and treated as early as possible, which underlines the importance of seeking medical help as soon as any alarming signs or symptoms are noted.