What Are the Symptoms of Early Heart Disease?

What is coronary heart disease? Atherosclerosis (heart disease) occurs when the blood vessels of the heart, called coronary arteries, narrow and become hard. The fat and cholesterol which is in the blood builds up on an artery wall's, which forms an atheroma (a swelling). This swelling can hinder the blood supply to the heart, which starves the heart of oxygen. A blood clot can sometimes form at this time, which can block the artery or even break up the atheroma. This permanent damage is called a heart attack or myocardial infarction (MI).

Who is more likely to get heart disease? Men or people who are older in age (including women), if you have a family history of heart conditions (including angina) or if you are over weight, have severe diabetes or even if you experience high stress levels in your life, you are in a high risk category.

What are the early symptoms of heart disease? Shortness of breath (medically known as dyspnea) is an early symptom, however as most people will experience this at some point in their lives, it's important to know when to be concerned. If you are short of breath after walking just a few metres, or climbing a few steps or even while sitting in an armchair, this are not normal and you should consult your doctor. The same goes for chest pains. Although severe cases of chest pain could be angina, heart attack warning signs or symptoms of heart disease, superficial or milder pain could be caused by pinched nerves in the thoracic spine (base of the neck to shoulder blade area) or even stomach ulcers. Do not ignore pains around the chest area which last more than a few minutes. Consult a doctor immediately.

Palpitations is one of the most common reasons why people worry about heart disease, but more often than not there is nothing to be concerned about. However, a related symptom called rhythmias can sometimes occur in people who do not have any other signs, and this could be a cardiac problem. One of the most common heart problems is Edema, which is the swelling of the ankles, legs, abdominal and chest walls and the eyes. This occurs when pumping of the right side of the heart weakens. Although edema is also caused by water and salt retention, it can also occur because of liver or kidney diseases and should be checked by a doctor.

Why does coronary artery disease happen? Although a person may be born in a high risk category, because of their genes, one of the main causes of this condition is because of poor diet and lack of exercise. People who avoid the healthy options in life, will usually have high cholesterol levels.

Consuming too much salt at meal times can lead to high blood pressure, which in turn could lead to suffering symptoms of cardiovascular disease. The best advice is to use a low sodium salt, if you must have salt in your food. Smoking is also one of the huge risk factors, which could lead to problems.

Treatment and Prevention

Here are some tips which could help prevention of coronary problems.

Take regular exercise

Do not smoke

Lose weight if you are over weight

Eating a healthy - eat foods that lower cholesterol.

This article is not written by a professional, but written by a health enthusiast, therefore if you have any concerns relating to heart disease, you should always consult a doctor.

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