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5 Common Symptoms of a Heart Condition

Often used interchangeably with cardiovascular disease, the term “heart disease” is a general definition that includes several concerning medical conditions. These issues may affect the strength of your heart muscle, the electrical impulses that control your heartbeats, the health of your blood vessels, or the valves that regulate blood flow through your heart.

Ongoing advances in medical technology and innovative treatments give heart specialists more opportunities than ever before to successfully diagnose and treat these conditions that may, or may not, start in your heart.

Dr. Suri is one of the Bay Area’s leading cardiologists, and he greatly values the newest treatment innovations available for cardiovascular care.

He’s also highly skilled in the art of preventive medicine and wants you to take certain symptoms seriously because they’re often a warning sign that all is not right with your cardiovascular health. He’s happy to share five common symptoms that often require a cardiac checkup.

1. Shortness of breath

Feeling short of breath or breathless with only minimal exertion or no exertion at all is a common symptom of several heart conditions.

These conditions include:

2. Swelling in your legs, ankles, and feet

Temporary swelling (edema) in your legs is fairly common and may worsen with age. It’s often due to benign issues, such as standing for prolonged periods or sitting in a chair all day with your feet down, which leads to fluid buildup in your legs and feet. Edema caused by inactivity and other temporary conditions tends to resolve once you get off your feet and elevate your legs.

Persistent edema, however, is also related to several heart conditions that interfere with your heart’s ability to circulate blood effectively, including:

3. Fatigue

More severe than the tiredness you might expect to feel after vigorous activity or a poor night’s sleep, fatigue is a deep weariness that can make it hard to accomplish even simple activities like emptying the dishwasher.

Fatigue is often linked to:

4. Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting

These symptoms can occur when your heart isn’t functioning normally, which can cause a drop in the blood flow necessary for brain function.

Heart conditions that may bring on a bout of dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting include:

5. Chest pain

Chest pain is probably the most well-known symptom of a heart attack. But it’s sometimes temporary and doesn’t always end with a noticeable cardiac event. Thus, it’s often missed as a warning symptom of a progressive heart condition.

Heart conditions that may cause chest pain include:

It’s also important to note that heart conditions may cause pain in your throat, jaw, neck, upper abdomen, or upper back as well as your chest.

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms or would like to discuss your heart health, make an appointment at West Coast Medicine and Cardiology for an evaluation.

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