Heart Disease Explained: Signs, Symptoms, and how to reduce your risk | Artemis Heart Centre Heart Disease Explained: Signs, Symptoms, and how to reduce your risk | Artemis Heart Centre

Heart Disease Explained: Signs, Symptoms, and how to reduce your risk | Artemis Heart Centre

Artemis Hospital

January 20, 2024 |
Heart Disease Explained: Signs, Symptoms, and how to reduce your risk | Artemis Heart Centre 9 Min Read | 411

According to data and research, heart diseases are the primary cause of death all across the globe. As per experts at leading Cardiac Care Centers, there are many leading causes of heart disease, such as poor lifestyle, genetic history, infection, etc.

Pre-existing health conditions such as high blood pressure, high-stress levels, high cholesterol, and other metabolic syndromes increase the risk of cardiovascular disease symptoms. In this article, we will create an informative guide to heart diseases, their symptoms, causes, and the ways to prevent or maintain the condition.

Each disease has specific symptoms, causes, and treatments. Some of these conditions can be reduced by healthy and heart-friendly lifestyle choices, and some need full-fledged medical treatment. Therefore, it is in the best interest to know the basic signs and symptoms of these heart diseases and keep an eye open for signs and minor symptoms. There are many heart and cardiovascular diseases.

  • Coronary artery disease (CAD)
  • Congenital Heart Disease
  • Cardiomyopathy ( Heart Muscle Disease )
  • Pericardial Disease
  • Heart valve disease
  • Heart Arrhythmias
  • Heart failure
  1. Coronary Artery Disease

Coronary Heart disease is commonly known as CAD. In coronary heart diseases, Blood vessels such as arteries are choked with plaques ( cholesterol deposits), and they struggle to circulate enough blood and nutrients to the heart muscles. Another contributing factor to coronary heart disease is inflammation. Due to coronary heart disease, the heart muscle doesn’t get sufficient blood flow, and there is a lack of oxygen in the bloodstream. This heart condition usually starts as the result of atherosclerosis. Coronary heart disease develops over the years, and if it goes unnoticed, it may lead to severe blockages and cause many heart problems, such as heart attack and heart failure.

Symptoms of Coronary Artery Disease

The initial phase of the development of coronary artery disease symptoms may go unnoticed. Another possibility of noticing the symptoms is during exercise; the heartbeats are fluttering. As the plaques and build-up increase, arteries start to become more narrow, and the severity of CAD increases with every passing day.

  1. Angina

In simpler terms, angina means chest pain. With the growing severity of CAD, you might start to experience a little discomfort and tightness on the left side of the chest. You might even experience pressure and pain. This pain is usually experienced on the left or the middle part of the chest. Angina can be triggered by heavy emotional breakdowns and hyperactivities. In the case of females, sharp pain can occur in the neck, arm, or back.

  1. Shortness of Breath

This is a prevalent sign of heart disease. You might experience shortness of breath while doing any minor or significant physical activity. With the passing of time, the severity of this symptom can increase quickly.

  1. Fatigue

If your heart is suffering from any heart disease, be it coronary artery disease, Cardiomyopathy, etc., your body will experience fatigue even after a long stretch of break or rest. In the case of coronary artery disease, your heart is struggling to pump blood, and because of the lack of oxygen in the blood, your heart muscles are not working efficiently.

  1. Heart Attack

In the most severe cases of coronary artery disease, an individual is likely to experience a heart attack due to a completely blocked artery.

  • Signs and symptoms of a heart attack in males: Angina, shortness of breath, pain in arms, and extreme sweating.
  • Signs of a heart attack in females: Pain in jaw, neck, nausea, and fatigue.

Causes of Coronary heart disease:

  • High cholesterol levels
  • High Blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Unregulated stress


  • Consuming enough fibre
  • Exercising daily
  • Reducing the consumption of unhealthy fats
  • Healthy weight
  • Managing stress levels
  1. Congenital heart disease

As the etymological meaning of congenital signifies the condition from birth, congenital heart diseases are the health conditions present from birth. Congenital heart disease is the abnormalities in the structure of the heart or how the heart functions since inception. There are several kinds of congenital heart diseases, and these conditions may take life-long medical treatments.

Types of Congenital heart disease

  • Congenital mitral valve abnormalities
  • Atrial Septal Defect
  • Double-outlet right ventricle
  • Atrioventricular canal defect
  • Coarctation of the aorta
  • Bicuspid Aortic valve

There are thousands of congenital heart diseases. These diseases or conditions can either be treated with surgeries or lifelong medical care.

Symptoms of Congenital heart disease

The symptoms of congenital heart disease might vary according to the type of the disease. The symptoms mentioned below are the common symptoms observed in patients with congenital heart disease.

  • Irregular heart rhythms
  • Cyanosis ( blue tinted lips, fingernails, skin)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Being tired easily
  • Swollen body tissue and organs (edema)
  1. Cardiomyopathy ( Heart Muscle Disease )

In Cardiomyopathy, heart muscles struggle to pump the blood to the rest of the body parts. In extreme cases of Cardiomyopathy, heart failure may occur. There are several types of  Cardiomyopathy:

  • Dilated Cardiomyopathy
  • Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
  • Restrictive Cardiomyopathy

In extreme cases of Cardiomyopathy, surgically implanted devices are installed or may heart transplant is required.

Symptoms of Cardiomyopathy

There are no diagnosed or observed symptoms of Cardiomyopathy during the early phases. According to the professionals in heart care centres, these are the few common symptoms of Cardiomyopathy.

  • Breathlessness or shortness of breath during minor physical activity
  • Swollen legs, ankles, and feet
  • Bloated abdomen
  • Coughing
  • Unable to lie down flat
  • Fatigue
  • Irregular patterns of heartbeats  ( rapid, pounding, and fluttering )
  • Angina
  • Dizziness and lightheadedness

Causes of Cardiomyopathy

  • Use of amphetamines, cocaine, and anabolic steroids
  • An extended period of High blood pressure
  • Too much alcohol consumption
  • Heart tissue damage
  • Abnormal proteins in the organs
  • Rapid heart rate for an extended period
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Heart valve problems
  • Lumps of inflammatory cells (granulomas)
  • Viral infections
  • Hemochromatosis ( Iron Build)
  • Metabolic disorders such as thyroid, diabetes
  • Pregnancy complications.

Prevention of  Cardiomyopathy

  • Family history of Cardiomyopathy
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Alcohol and substance abuse
  • Certain kinds of chemotherapy drugs
  • Diabetes
  • Thyroid disease
  • Connective tissue disorder
  1. Pericardial Disease

Before moving on to the disease, let’s understand what Pericardium is. It is a thin fibroelastic sac that is of two layers and separates the heart from the surrounding mediastinal structures. Acute pericardial disease is usually caused by pericarditis or inflammation in the Pericardium. This inflammation can be the result of viruses and other inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus. Pericardial diseases can also cause severe injury to the Pericardium.

Symptoms of  Pericardial Disease

According to research, Pericardial Disease may not exhibit some noticeable symptoms. Here is the list of some common symptoms of Pericardial Disease

  • Dyspnea, shortness of breath
  • Discomfort while breathing
  • Angina and pain around the chest bone or the left side of the chest
  • Chest fullness
  • Swollen abdomen and legs
  • Lightheadedness
  1. Heart valve disease

As the name suggests, heart valve disease is the condition when any valve of the heart is not functioning correctly. If any heart valve is not working or having trouble opening and closing, then heart valve disease can take place. If the valve is struggling to open and close, the blood flow can be blocked and leak. Heart valve disease includes congenital heart disease.

Complications of Heart valve diseases

  • Heart failure
  • Stroke
  • It can be a symptom of cardiovascular disease

Symptoms of Heart valve disease

  • Whooshing sound or heart murmur
  • Angina
  • Abnormal swelling
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swollen ankles and feet
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Irregular heartbeat patterns

Causes of Heart valve disease


This phenomenon happens when heart valves don’t close properly or struggle in closing. Due to regurgitation, blood leaks backwards into the heart. This condition is also known as prolapse.


In this situation, the flap valve becomes thick or gets stiffened and, in other cases, can fuse together. Due to stenosis, the valve opening gets narrowed, which results in less blood flow.


In this condition, the calve isn’t formed correctly. NAd, the solid tissue, is responsible for blocking blood flow between heart chambers.


As we now know, the symptoms of heart disease may vary according to the conditions. According to the professionals below mentioned symptoms of early heart problems.

Signs of heart problems

  • Angina
  • Pressure, discomfort, and tightness in the chest
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain and numbness in arms and legs
  • Sharp stroke of pain in the jaw
  • Cold legs and arms
  • Pain in neck, throat, and upper abdomen.
  • Irregular heartbeat patterns
  • Tachycardia
  • Syncope
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness

To prevent potential heart conditions, it is crucial to have a heart-friendly lifestyle and regular checkups at Cardiac Hospital. Here are the heart care tips that can be used for creating lifestyle choices for a healthy heart and body.

  • Include fibre in your diet: When you choose to consume plant-based products such as fruits and vegetables, it helps you to reduce the levels of bad cholesterol and provides your heart and body with all essential nutrients.
  • Avoid unhealthy fats: Make sure you avoid trans fat at any cost.
  • Stop smoking: Smoking is the leading cause of coronary artery disease. It causes harm to blood vessels.
  • Manage stress: High levels of stress lead to high blood pressure, which causes harm to the functioning of the heart.

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