Virtual Imaging: Early Detection Saves Lives. Imagery of two elderly couples jogging outside and smiling.

Signs You Have a Heart Condition

There are many types of heart conditions, such as coronary heart disease and congestive heart failure. Each affects the heart in its own way and requires different approaches to treatment, but many types of heart disease share common signs and symptoms. Recognizing and responding to the signs of a heart condition can help you seek medical help sooner when treatment is most effective.

Common Signs of a Heart Condition

Chest pain, also known as angina, is a primary sign of a heart condition. Some people describe angina as a discomfort, heaviness, aching, pressure, squeezing, fullness, or a painful feeling in their chest.  In some cases, angina is easily confused with indigestion or heartburn. In addition to feeling these symptoms in your chest, you might feel the symptoms of angina in your neck, throat, jaw, shoulders, arms, or back.

Other common signs you have a heart condition include:

  • Shortness of breath, particularly when you are moving around during the normal course of your day or when lying flat in your bed
  • Irregular heartbeat, otherwise known as palpitations, which can cause a feeling of “flip flops” in your chest
  • Pounding in your chest
  • Dizziness or weakness
  • Nausea
  • Sweating

If you experience any of these common symptoms of a heart problem, make an appointment with your doctor if the symptoms are mild or if they fade quickly. If your symptoms are severe or continue for a long time, seek medical help immediately, as they may be a sign of a life-threatening condition.

Less Common Signs of a Heart Condition

Some signs of a heart condition are less common but still important to recognize. Swelling of your feet and ankles may indicate heart failure, for example, which can also cause abdominal swelling and bloating. Quick weight gain – especially gaining two or three pounds in a single day – may also be an important sign.

Knowing the signs of a heart condition may someday save your life or the life of someone you love. If you experience any of these signs, make an appointment with your doctor. Your primary care provider may recommend diagnostic testing, such as a heart scan, to determine the cause of the signs and symptoms. For more information, or to make an appointment for a heart scan, call Virtual Imaging, Inc. Imaging Center at 770-730-0119.