Characteristics of Heart Disease to Watch Out for

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Characteristics of Heart Disease to Watch Out for
Characteristics of Heart Disease to Watch Out for

The characteristics of heart disease are important for you to know. The reason is, this disease can attack anyone and sometimes does not cause symptoms. By recognizing the characteristics of heart disease, treatment steps can be taken immediately before it causes fatal complications


Heart disease is a condition when the heart is disturbed and does not function properly. These disorders can vary and are handled in different ways. The characteristics of heart disease are generally almost the same, although the type of disease is different.

Characteristics of Heart Disease by Type

The following are some types of heart disease and their accompanying signs and symptoms:

1. Heart attack

A heart attack occurs when blood flow to the heart muscle is blocked due to plaque or blockage in the heart's blood vessels. This condition disrupts the heart's function to circulate blood throughout the body.

A person who has this condition will show several characteristics of heart disease, such as:

A person who has this condition will show some signs of heart disease, such as:

  • Chest and arm pain that radiates to the neck, jaw, shoulders, to the back
  • Dizziness, nausea and vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain in the upper abdomen or solar plexus
  • Upper stomach feeling full or uncomfortable
  • Weak
  • Cold sweat
  • Fast heartbeat or pounding

The symptoms and severity experienced can vary between patients, some even show no symptoms at all (unrecognized myocardial infarction). However, the more signs of heart disease you have, the more likely you are to have a heart attack.

2. Coronary heart disease

Coronary heart disease occurs when the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart are blocked due to plaque buildup or atherosclerosis.

Coronary heart disease is generally characterized by discomfort, pain, or pressure in the chest. In addition, coronary heart disease can also cause several other characteristics of heart disease, such as:

  • Weak and dizzy
  • Cold sweat
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of breath

3. Arrhythmia

Arrhythmia occurs when there is a disturbance in the heart rhythm. This condition causes the heart to beat irregularly, too slowly, or too fast, so it cannot pump blood properly.

Arrhythmias are usually accompanied by the following characteristics of heart disease:

  • Heart palpitations or palpitations
  • Pain in chest
  • Dizzy
  • Weak
  • Shortness of breath
  • Loss of consciousness or fainting

4. Atrial fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation is a type of heart rhythm disorder characterized by a faster heart rate than normal. The normal heart rate is 60–100 beats per minute. Meanwhile, in atrial fibrillation, the heart rate is more than 100 beats per minute.

Just like a heart attack, atrial fibrillation sometimes has no symptoms at all. However, there are some signs of heart disease or symptoms of atrial fibrillation that generally appear, including:

  • Heart pounding
  • Shortness of breath during normal activities
  • Sudden weakness and dizziness

Although not dangerous, atrial fibrillation still needs to be treated appropriately. The reason is, in addition to causing discomfort for the sufferer, this heart disease can also cause complications in the form of stroke, to heart failure.

5. Heart failure

Heart failure is a condition when the heart cannot pump blood smoothly throughout the body. High blood pressure and coronary heart disease can cause the heart muscle to weaken and lead to heart failure.

The symptoms of heart failure can worsen over time or occur suddenly. The following are symptoms of heart failure:

  • Shortness of breath when resting or lying down
  • Coughing constantly, which gets worse at night
  • Swelling in the stomach area
  • Dizzy
  • Tired and weak
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Reduced appetite

6. Pericarditis

Pericarditis is inflammation of the pericardium, which is the layer that covers and protects the heart. This condition can be caused by viral, bacterial, and fungal infections, or autoimmune disorders.

Pericarditis is generally characterized by symptoms of fever, arrhythmia, body feeling weak, and sharp or stabbing chest pain. The pain will get worse when the patient inhales, coughs, or lies down. If not treated immediately, pericarditis is at risk of causing death.

7. Cardiomyopathy

Cardiomyopathy refers to heart muscle disorders or better known as heart weakness. This condition causes the heart muscle to thicken, enlarge, or become stiff.

Some people with cardiomyopathy have no symptoms and can live a normal life. However, not a few also show symptoms and worsen as heart function declines. This condition has the following characteristics of heart disease:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Exhaustion
  • Palpitations
  • Swelling in the arm or ankle
  • Fainted

8. Heart valve disease

The heart has 4 valves that function to maintain blood flow to and from the heart. However, in people with valvular heart disease, one or more of the valves is damaged or impaired.

As a result, the valves cannot open and close properly, thus disrupting the heart's function in pumping blood. If the heart valve is disturbed, the sufferer will show the characteristics of heart disease in the form of:

  • chest pain
  • Shortness of breath, especially when doing activities or lying down
  • Weak and dizzy
  • Palpitations

How to Diagnose Heart Disease

To determine whether the symptoms you are experiencing include the characteristics of heart disease or not, immediately consult a doctor. This is especially important if you have risk factors for heart disease, such as being overweight and high blood pressure.

In determining the diagnosis and type of heart disease experienced by the patient, the doctor will perform a physical examination and supporting examinations, such as:

  • Electrocardiography (ECG)
  • Chest X-ray
  • Echocardiography
  • Angiography
  • Heart enzyme test

To prevent heart disease, you are advised to adopt a he althy lifestyle by eating nutritious foods, limiting fat and s alt intake, quitting smoking, exercising regularly, and managing stress well.

If you have risk factors for heart disease or feel signs of heart disease, consult your doctor for an examination and get the right treatment.