Cardiology is a branch of medicine that focuses on heart disorders together with some parts of the circulatory system. The circulatory system is the blood transport system of the body. Circulatory disorders can arise from complications or problems with the heart, blood vessels or even the blood itself. This guide will focus on the signs and symptoms of circulatory disorders you should watch out for.
Cardiology and circulatory disorders
Cardiovascular disease, also known as heart disease, describes conditions that affect the heart. Diseases that fall under the heart disease umbrella include blood vessel diseases like coronary artery disease and heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias). The term cardiovascular disease is usually used interchangeably with the term heart disease. Cardiovascular disease refers to conditions that involve blocked or narrowed vessels that can lead to chest pain (angina), a heart attack or stroke.
Other heart problems, such as those that affect the heart’s muscle, rhythm or valves, are also considered to be forms of heart disease. Heart disease symptoms may vary. This often depends on the type of heart disease a person has. Here are some of the signs and symptoms of heart disease.
Heart disease symptoms in the blood vessels (atherosclerotic disease)
Men and women can have different cardiovascular disease symptoms. Men are often more likely to experience chest pain. However, women are highly likely to have other symptoms together with chest discomfort, like nausea, extreme fatigue and shortness of breath. Some of the common symptoms include chest tightness, chest pain, chest discomfort (angina) and chest pressure and shortness of breath. Some people experience pain in the upper abdomen, back, neck, jaw or throat or even pain, weakness, numbness or coldness in the arms or legs if the blood vessels in these parts of the body are narrowed.
Abnormal heartbeats (heart arrhythmias)
A heart arrhythmia basically refers to an abnormal heartbeat. The heart may either beat too slowly or quickly or irregularly. This usually shows that the heart is out of its normal rhythm. Arrhythmias can be harmless but, in some cases, they can be an emergency. Some of the signs and symptoms of heart arrhythmia include palpitations, a slow or racing heartbeat, dizziness or lightheadedness, chest discomfort or pain and fainting.
Coronary artery disease
Coronary artery disease usually develops when major blood vessels that supply the heart with oxygen, blood and nutrients become diseased or damaged. A common symptom of coronary artery disease is chest pain or angina. Angina is usually described as pressure, heaviness, discomfort, aching, fullness, squeezing, burning or a painful feeling in the chest. In some cases, angina may be felt in the arms, shoulders, neck, jaw, throat or back. Other signs and symptoms of coronary artery disease include shortness of breath, heart attack, dizziness, sweating, nausea, a faster heartbeat and palpitations.
Visit your doctor
A patient might not be diagnosed with cardiovascular disease until the person has a heart attack, stroke, angina or heart failure. You should always watch out for cardiovascular signs and symptoms. If you have any concerns, you should talk to your doctor. The good thing is that cardiovascular disease can, in some cases, be found early with occasional evaluations.
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