Heart Disease Symptoms

Heart disease symptoms can take many forms, but pay close attention to the few I will highlight. I will shed some light on the all important symptoms of heart disease and explain why they occur.  First I will define and explain what heart disease means for me. Maybe, it means something else for you, but remember I'm taking a scientific approach to explaining what it is. If you're living it there's an added emotional content that comes with being disabled by heart disease. Rest assured there is a way to come out of the darkness and into the light, I'm working hard to solving this issue so people can live a normal happy life.

Heart disease for the most part is a result of poor lifestyle choices and  heart disease symptoms are a result of those choices.  Like everyone else we want to live our life our way and not be told what to eat, drink or vice versa. Heart disease takes on many forms, Congested Heart Failure (CHF), atrial fibrillation or other arrhythmia's, heart blocks, wolf-Parkinson's white syndrome, pericarditis, cardiac tamponade, coronary artery disease (CAD), acute coronary syndrome (ACS) or myocardial infarction (Heart attack, M.I.). Some of the diseases I've listed are chronic meaning you will have to live with them for a very long time, but all of them have an immediate life threatening aspect.

Heart disease symptoms are also known as risk factors. If you have these symptoms then you are at risk in developing heart disease or already have.

Heart Disease Symptom #1 Hypertension

Hypertension (high blood pressure) is caused by having high amounts of purines in the liver. Purines are created by our liver as a by product of protein synthesis after eating meat. If you are on a high protein diet, eventually purines will build up and you will get hypertension. That same pathway that creates purines also leads to inflammation.

Heart Disease Symptom #2 high cholesterol

Cholesterol is essential for the cells to make a new outer covering and repair damage. The liver makes 80% of the cholesterol we need in order to have ample supply, the remainder we get from the diet.  Cholesterol is also the building blocks for plaques that plug up our blood vessels. The theory is, if we reduce the building blocks that cause the blockages then we wouldn't make plaque that cause the problem. The problem with that theory is we always produce cholesterol so we can never reduce it enough to prevent heart disease. So the scientists need to stop thinking about reducing cholesterol and focus on the reason we lay down the plaque in the first place and that's chronic inflammation. It's not important to lower cholesterol unless you already have plaque buildup in the arteries.

Heart Disease Symptom #3 Obesity

Obesity is not about being overweight. Someone could be overweight and be healthy, just look at weightlifters, muscle weighs heavier than fat. Obesity is something more, it's the disproportionate amount of fat to height and weight. Otherwise known as BMI (body mass index). BMI is just an estimation of fat to muscle ratio and it has limitations. Obesity as it is associated with heart disease is the fat distribution around the abdomen. The shape resembles an apple. Abdominal fat distribution is strongly linked to heart disease. Abdominal fat is laid down due to increased stress and cortisol is the culprit. As stressors increase so does the cortisol levels and it lays down fat around the abdominal area. Increased stress makes some people choose the wrong foods, stress eaters.  Since the wrong foods doesn't quench the hunger people need more and more of this type of food. Having increased alcoholic beverages and sugar intake causes inflammation that can cause hypertension, diabetes and Coronary artery disease (CAD). If you are a stress eater look at the triggers and get help. These types of people are quite literally eating themselves to death.

Heart Disease Symptom #4 Shortness of breath

The heart and lungs work together, like an orchestra, to deliver life giving oxygen and nutrients to themselves and to the rest of the body. What happens to one surely will happen to the other. Shortness of breath is is in simplest of forms the body's need for more oxygen. The lungs respond by increasing the rate at which we breathe. It is the same as the heart, if the heart is working too hard it needs more and more oxygen in order to keep going. If it can't get enough it asks for more. As the heart pumps blood, it does work, the cells of the heart require the same oxygen and nutrients as the rest of the body to survive. If some reason the arteries supplying the heart aren't big enough to meet demand then the heart must increase the rate at which the blood is being delivered. Imagine a roadway with trucks delivering oxygen and nutrients to the heart. Thousands of trucks using the same road. If the roadway is only two cars wide then the only way the heart can meet demand is to increase the speed of the trucks. Like everything else though there is a speed limit at which the trucks can go. As the heart works harder then too the lungs increase production trying to fill the demand of oxygen. Our bodies respond by increasing the rate of breathing above normal and we feel it as shortness of breath.

Heart Disease Symptom #5 Dizziness/syncope

There are four very separate reasons for dizziness. Dizziness is subjective to the person feeling dizzy. First there is one kind of dizziness that the persons feels as if on a swing spinning round and round or a feeling of the ground moving. This type of dizziness is associated with vertigo a feeling of movement when in fact the body is perfectly still. Secondly, there is a dizziness that the person feels unsteady kind of off balance but does not fall and is able to walk straight. This type of dizziness is known as dysequalibrium. Thirdly, another dizziness is not a true dizziness but some describe as dizziness is the inability to stand straight or walk straight. This kind of dizziness is a symptom of strokes and requires immediate medical attention. Lastly, the feeling of going to pass out (syncope) is the dizziness that could be related to the heart. This is where it gets tricky and needs a medical examiner to determine what the real cause is. I will describe the feeling of going to pass out (syncope) as it relates to the heart to keep it simple. Pre syncope or syncope is the brains interpretation that it's not getting enough nutrients or oxygen. As the lack of oxygen persists and the demand is not met we pass out out until the demand is met. There are a couple of heart related problems that could trigger dizziness. In order for the heart to deliver oxygen to the body it uses the force of pressure in order to maintain circulation. The blood pressure is acted on by three separate forces. Firstly, if the body senses that not enough oxygen is being delivered, the heart rate increases in its first attempt to increase blood pressure and delivery of oxygen. The more the heart beats more volume is pumped into the arteries and the more volume of blood per square inch is achieved thusly to a lesser extent increasing blood pressure. The higher the blood pressure the further in the body the oxygen can go without much effort from the rest of body. If some reason that's not enough and the brain is still craving oxygen then the heart can increase how strong every beat is, this is called contractility. As the heart increases the rate of blood into the arteries it also tries to squeeze harder making every beat count. This causes more blood to be pumped into circulation and thus causing more volume of blood per square inch into the arteries again increasing pressure a little bit more. So if the brain is feeling starved of oxygen and thus we interpret it as feeling feeling dizzy, the feeling of going to pass out the heart increases the volume of blood per square inch in the arteries. This increases the pressure in the arteries and the blood can travel further and faster. Now we have the heart working harder and harder still. Yep we're probably feeling short of breath at this point. If the brain still feels dizzy the body has another ace up its sleeve to increase demand by making the arteries less elastic and more rigid. The laws of physics are being applied, if the fluid in an enclosed space has expanded volume in a rigid cylinder the pressure per square inch increases. The body is no different than anything in nature, by making the arteries more rigid with the increase in volume of blood the pressure exerted on the blood increases. If After all these attempts the brain still can't get enough oxygen, boom, we pass out and it's called syncope. In healthy young people the body's technique for increasing blood pressure works most of the time. On the reverse works the same way too, if the heart rate is too slow the blood pressure is not as high and we feel dizzy. If the heart doesn't contract that strong we feel dizzy and if the arteries don't become too rigid and remain elastic the blood pressure falls and we feel dizzy. Then if it is in the extreme like in 3rd degree heart block or ventricular tachycardia (VT) we feel dizzy and pass out.

Heart Disease Symptom #6 Chest pain

The general rule of thumb is any pain in the torso from the belly button to neck can be related to the heart. I've had people come to the emergency room with pain that sounded like heartburn, but just to be safe I did an ECG that showed the patient having a heart attack. Pain can be, pressure, tightness, fullness and sharp. The heart organizations like to keep it simple to the cardinal signs of a heart attack:

1.  Pain in the chest
2.  Pain that radiates up into the neck and/or into the left arm
3.  Shortness of breath
4.  A feeling of impending doom

No one ever fits into this neat package if they did no one would die of a heart attack. Denial is big, especially if you have risk factors or symptoms of chronic inflammation as I like to call them. If you have fallen and hurt your chest that doesn't count or at risk for developing a pulmonary embolism, for example sitting stagnate for long periods of time, long distance travelling, or smoke and take birth control pills. This problem is associated with sharp chest pain with every breath, but if you are active and don't do the above and still have sharp chest pain, then maybe it could be a heart attack. How can you differentiate the one from the other? You can't, it takes a keen eye from your health practitioner to investigate. What do you do? Get off google and go see your doctor and let him/her investigate. It could be a pulled muscle or muscle inflammation, heartburn, esophageal spasms, pulmonary embolism and the list goes on. Do yourself a favour and talk it out with your doctor and give yourself peace of mind, oh and by the way, change your risk factors.

Heart Disease Symptom #7 Stress

Other than smoking, stress is another leading contributor to having heart disease. People that have high stress jobs day in and day out can put a strain on the mind and body. When people are stressed not only does it raise the blood pressure and increase the heart rate but the chemical cortisol is released and has been proven to lay down belly fat. Stress on its own does not cause heart disease. The arteries would have to have arteriosclerosis changes such as moderate to severe coronary artery disease and the extra jolt of adrenaline and the increase in heart rate and blood pressure would put the heart over the edge, like a mini stress test your doctor would do.

Heart Disease Symptom #8 Gingivitis

No, I'm not a dentist, but gingivitis has been proven to be a precursor to heart disease. Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gums, thought to be from poor diet and poor oral hygiene. I think the inflammation is the key and your gums are the gateway to the inner workings of the body.  Inflammation of the gums is a warning sign of the inflammation that is taking place inside the body. Inflammation that is laying the ground work for the development of plaque ladened arteries and the development of heart disease.

Heart Disease Symptom #9 lower leg swelling

Heart disease comes in many shapes and sizes and congested heart failure, aka. Heart failure, is one of them. As the heart is having to do more and more work, like every muscle it compensates by growing bigger, more specifically, the left ventricle. If you don't alleviate the cause, the heart tries to compensate and since the cardiovascular system is a closed loop, blood has no where to go so it backs up. It starts to back up in the legs more specifically the right leg. At this time the heart is beyond the maximum it can handle so the pressure must be relieved and doctors would need to give lasix or furosemide to urinate out the excess fluid. Since now the heart is changed structurally there is not much else to do but limit your fluid intake while taking the "water pill". Fluid that overwhelms the lungs is the congested part of the problem and makes it very hard to breath since fluid is backing up into the lungs.

Heart disease symptoms can be very scary. Taking a preventative role versus a reactive role will go a long way to not having to live with these horrible conditions. If these ailments already plague you then there is a way to potentially reverse the process, but first you must stay on your medication. Change your lifestyle, since your lifestyle is what got you here such as smoking, diet and lack of exercise. That definitely has to change. Before any of that changes, the very first thing is to change your thinking. Your mind plays a integral role in wellness, a negative mind yields a negative body. Simply just saying positive things may help in the short term but long term changes begin when you believe in these changes in your soul. You believe them so deeply that nothing would change it. Having a bad day happens to everyone, having a bad life is the result of not seeing the beauty in everything. If you think you're having a bad life then maybe, just maybe the mind is negative. The first step, is to let things happen as they should happen, you won't like it, but there it is. Allow people to do what they are going to do, you can't change them, but you can change how you react to them. I Spoke with a yoga teacher the other day and she said and I quote "you can't accept new energy through a closed fist". Think about it.

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