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Heart disease, also known as cardiovascular disease, involves blood vessels that are narrow or blocked which can lead to chest pain, a heart attack or a stroke. There are also other health concerns or infections that affect the heart, the heart’s muscles or the rhythm of the heart and are also considered to be related to heart disease. Heart disease and its symptoms are different from person to person and individual lifestyle choices such as diet, exercise and heredity. There are several different kinds of heart disease such as heart infections, heart defects, rhythm problems in the heart, and coronary artery disease.

Heart Disease Symptoms

When it comes to heart disease symptoms they, too, vary from person to person; however, the most common symptoms of heart disease are: shortness of breath, chest pain, numbness, pain, coldness or weakness in your arms or legs. While some experience pain in their right of left arm that travels to their jaw, others have little pain but perspire and feel weak. Some do not become aware that they have heart problems until hey suffer from heart failure, stroke, angina or have a heart attack.

Abnormal Heart Beats or a Heart Defect

If you find that you have abnormal heart beats, you may have the following symptoms: a slow heartbeat, a fluttering in your chest, your heart races, you have chest pain, you feel dizzy or you feel that you might faint. However, if you have a heart defect, you may have the following symptoms: swelling in your legs, stomach or around your eyes, pale skin, or shortness of breath. There are certain times you need to see a doctor soon such as if you have chest pain, you faint or begin to have shortness of breath.

What Causes Heart Disease?

It is important to note that there are definite causes of heart disease such as: being overweight, not exercising on a regular basis, smoking and a diet that is filled with too much fat, sweets, alcohol and processed foods. In addition, it is helpful to know that there are certain factors that put a person more at risk for heart disease and stroke such as your age, genetics, sex, poor nutrition, having high blood pressure and not getting it under control, diabetes, being overweight, having high cholesterol, not engaging in regular physical activity, a great deal of consistent stress and not keeping clean. Bacterial infections can also increase the risk of heart infections, as well as not keeping your gums and teeth clean.

What Causes a Stroke?

Cardiovascular disease may cause a stroke, which occurs when the arteries that lead to your brain become narrow or blocked. A stroke is considered to be a medical emergency because one’s brain tissue begins to die quickly once the stroke begins. Getting to a hospital emergency room quickly can make a difference in the damage that occurs and a person’s recovery rate.

Tests and Treatment for Heart Disease

There are tests you can take to find out if you have heart disease such as a chest x-ray, blood tests, an ECG, a Holter monitor, a heart biopsy, or a Holter monitoring. A Holter monitor is a device that you wear that records your heart to see if there are any heart rhythm irregularities. Treatments for any blockages found from the above tests are: medications, changing your life such as eating healthier and getting more exercise, surgery or medical procedures. What some may not be aware of is the importance of controlling blood pressure. If high blood pressure is left untreated, it will damage the lining of the cells lining in the coronary vessels and later causes inflammation and the beginning of plaque buildup. To lower your blood pressure, develop a healthier diet, a routine exercise program, less salt, lose some weight and drink alcohol in moderation.