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Watch more How to Understand Heart Disease videos:
So what are some of the symptoms of heart disease that we can look out for? Some of them are pretty basic. They would be chest pressure or pain, shortness of breath, lower extremity edema, or palpitations. If we talk a little bit about each one, chest pain can sometimes be confusing. When doctors reference pain, we're not always talking about a sharp discomfort in the chest. As a matter of fact, sometimes pressure or discomfort in the chest, would be more concerning. In terms of shortness of breath, it could be either shortness of breath at rest, or when you try to exert yourself, such as going up a flight or two of stairs.
The lower extremity swelling is something we call edema, and you'll notice that usually at the end of the day. A good way to test it is just by pinching the ankle and seeing if your pinch leaves a dent in the skin. And the palpitations, that's a tough one to describe, but usually it means an awareness or funny sensation of the heart that can be either irregular or fast. If you have any of these symptoms, the best thing to do would of course be to speak with your doctor, because although sometimes this can be a sign of heart disease, obviously a lot of other things could also cause these kinds of symptoms.