Medical science is of the opinion that heart disease often has no symptoms. But, there are some signs and symptoms which can be cited as indicators leading to probabilities of heart disease. The symptoms of heart disease include chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, palpitations or irregular heartbeats, light-headedness, fainting, and swelling in the legs, ankles, and feet. Although, these symptoms do not necessarily indicate heart disease, proper diagnosis and check-up should be done so as to thwart any untoward incident.
As heart disease also refers to the problems with the blood vessels, symptoms of peripheral blood vessel disorders should also be placed under scrutiny. This disorder varies depending on the location of the affected blood vessels. Symptoms in such cases may include pain, shortness of breath, muscle cramps, muscle fatigue, light-headedness, swelling, numbness, and changes in the color of the skin of the affected part of the body.
Chest Pain: Symptoms like chest pain arises when stiffness or grasping sensation in the chest (angina) is experienced due to inadequate supply of blood. This is caused when the muscles in the heart do not get enough blood (a condition referred to as ischemia), and enough oxygen, to be carried to tissues by the blood.
Fatigue: Feelings of weakness and fatigue can be considered as symptoms arising out of inadequate blood flow to the heart muscles mostly during any physical activity. This is caused when the heart pumps inefficiently as it does in heart failure.
Palpitation: The rate of heartbeats is very difficult to judge. Irregular heart beats or palpitations occur with other symptoms, such as shortness of breath, chest pain, fatigue, or fainting, are more likely to result from an abnormal heart rhythm or a severe disorder. It can be properly diagnosed by the doctor with the help of electrocardiography (ECG).
Shortness of Breath: Shortness of breath or dyspnea is regarded as a common symptom of heart failure. It occurs due to the condition called pulmonary congestion or pulmonary edema when fluid seeps into the air spaces of the lungs. Shortness of breath occurs mostly in people suffering from coronary artery disease and usually occurs during physical activity. However, in serious cases it may occur even during rest or minimal activity.
Limitation of Physical Activity: A very frequent and common symptoms of heart disease is a person’s limitation in physical activity or in performing any kind of chores. One of the measures taken to evaluate the severity of heart disease is to determine the scale of limitation in each case; which can be graded on that basis as mild, moderate and severe.
Swelling & Numbness: Swelling is caused due to the accumulation of fluid (edema) in tissues. It occurs when blood collect in the leg veins, increasing pressure in the leg veins and forcing fluids out of the veins into tissues. This collecting or pooling of blood may be an indication of heart failure or a venous disorder, such as deep vein thrombosis. Similarly numbness may be caused along with swelling if the blood supply to the affected area is inadequate.
Changes in Skin Color: In cases of inadequate supply of blood, due to anemia, or if the veins do not drain adequately, there might be changes in the color of the skin when the skin may appear pale, bluish or purplish.
Light Headedness and Fainting: Inadequate flow of blood, due to irregularities in the heart rate or rhythm, the heart cannot pump adequately resulting in light-headedness, faintness, or fainting (syncope).