Symptoms and Diagnosis of Heart-related Disorders
There is no one single symptom that would unmistakably indicate heart disease but there are certain symptoms that would suggest the possibility. Identification of symptoms is done by doctors through interviews to obtain a personfs medical history and through physical examination. The symptoms of heart disease include certain types of pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, palpitations, light-headedness, fainting and swelling in the legs, ankles and feet. However, these symptoms do not necessarily indicate heart disease.Inadequate blood supply to the heart can cause tightness or a squeezing sensation in the chest called angina. Inadequate blood supply to other muscles usually causes claudication or the tightening and fatiguing pain in the muscle during exercise. Other possible sources of pain would include inflammation of the sac that envelops the heart, aneurysm, dissection and mitral valve prolapse.Shortness of breath results from fluid seeping into the air spaces of the lungs. During the early stages, shortness of breath mainly occurs during physical activity. It tends to occur even at rest as heart failure worsens. Determining whether palpitations are abnormal would depend on a number of factors. Generally, those that occur with other related symptoms are more likely the result of an abnormal heart rhythm or a serious disorder.Light-headedness or fainting results when the blood flow is inadequate due to abnormal heart rate or rhythm or the inability of the heart to pump adequately. Swelling, numbness and changes in skin color can be due to the pooling of blood when the heart is unable to pump out all of the blood it receives from the rest of the body. In this case, the skin may appear pale, bluish or purplish.