There are a lot of life-threatening conditions that you can have. One of these is heart disease. It is an ailment which is related to atherosclerosis, a condition wherein there is a plaque in your arteries. When this happens, the arteries become too narrow to the point that the blood is having a hard time to pass through. The blockage can then trigger a stroke or heart attack.
Fortunately, there are ways to determine if you have a heart disease. Continue reading this to find out.
Types of Heart Diseases
Before you know the different examinations that you can take to check your condition, it is best that you know the different types of heart diseases first. Below are the different kinds of this ailment:
- Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)
It is the most common type of heart disease wherein you have a blockage in your arteries. When this happens, you will not have the needed blood supply in your heart.
- Heart Failure
In this condition, your heart no longer pumps blood. Other causes that could be related to this disease are high blood pressure, thyroid disease, and heart muscle disease.
- Heart Arrhythmias
This ailment gives your heart a different beating pattern than normal. This type of heart disease can come from other sicknesses, but it can be formed on its own as well.
- Heart Valve Disease
There are four different chambers in your heart. When one of these has a defect, the valve will have a hard time functioning. This can result in a blood clot or blockage.
- Congenital Heart Disease
This usually takes place during your development as a baby. The defects will show up after birth or when you become an adult.
These are just some of the common examples of heart diseases that you can have. It is great that you get familiarized with these so that when the results come out, you have already had an idea of what kind of condition that you are facing.
Symptoms of Heart Disease
Of course, you will not take a heart disease screening without feeling any of the ailment’s sickness. Here are the possible signs that you can experience:
- Chest discomfort
You will feel tightness, pressure, or pain in your chest every once in a while. The feeling usually lasts for a couple of minutes and can occur even when you are just resting.
- Stomach pain
This sign along with indigestion, nausea, and heartburn are common when you have a heart disease. There can be even a chance when you will vomit when these signs appear. Take note that women have a higher risk of having these symptoms than men.
Other times, you may feel lightheaded or dizzy. This could be because you have not eaten or it could be because you are having a heart attack. However, when you are already dizzy and you start feeling chest pain, then you should immediately call your doctor.
- Throat pain
Pain in your throat could be related to a lot of conditions. But you will know that the disease is connected to your heart when the pain started from your chest up to your throat. There are even instances when the pain even reaches your arm. When this happens, immediately call your doctor.
Fatigue is a major symptom of various diseases. But when you feel extreme fatigue with your daily routines, then something must be wrong, especially when the feeling just occur without any cause. In this case, set an appointment with your doctor right away.
Tests to Prevent Heart Attack
Once the abovementioned symptoms occur, you can go to your doctor for a check-up. He or she will then ask you to take any of the following examinations:
- Electrocardiogram (ECG)
This type of heart disease examination uses electrical signals to check your heart’s structure and rhythm. It can be done when you are exercising or resting.
- Stress test
This exam tests how your heart reacts when its rate increases. To do this, the doctor may require you to drink medicine or exercise.
- Holter monitoring
It is an advanced gadget that is used to record the ECG for up to 72 hours. It focuses on finding out your heart’s irregularities.
- Cardiac catheterization
In this screening, the doctor will insert a small tube in your vein that will capture x-rays in your body. The image will check the possible pressures in your heart as well as blood flow.
- Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
This test involves a machine that contains a magnetic field. You will be asked to lie down for the machine to take images of your body. Then, the doctor will analyze these images to confirm if you really do have the condition.
This is an ultrasound which develops a picture of your chest. This way, the doctor can see the structure of your heart as well as its functions.
- Cardiac computerized tomography (CT) scan
This type of scan specializes in checking heart problems. A huge machine will develop images of your heart while you lie down in a machine. The images will show your chest and heart.
Once the results come out, the doctor will give you treatment. It can be a form of medicine or something else, depending on the type of heart disease and condition. Take note as well that there are a lot of signs that will appear to help you know if you have heart disease or not.
But before you can start treating yourself, it is best that you take a heart disease test first. There are a lot of tests to choose from, you can even two exams to be sure that you have a second opinion. This will also ensure you that all the possible defects not only in your heart but also your chest is seen. Another benefit would be that you can get the treatment for all the conditions that are seen during the tests.