In Ireland, especially among men, Heart Disease is one of the biggest killers. In this article I detail what heart disease is, what the risks of heart disease are, what causes heart disease, the tests available to test for heart disease and the many treatment options available for heart disease.

What is it?

Heart Disease refers to a number of diseases that affect your heart, and in some cases, your blood vessels. The various diseases that fall under the umbrella of Heart Disease include diseases of your blood vessels, such as Coronary Artery Disease; heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias); and heart defects you're born with (Congenital Heart Defects).

How do I recognise it?

Heart Disease symptoms vary, depending on what type of Heart Disease you have.

Symptoms of Heart Disease in your blood vessels (Cardiovascular Disease)

  • Chest pain (Angina)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain, numbness, weakness or coldness in your legs or arms, if the blood vessels in those parts of your body are narrowed

Heart Disease symptoms caused by abnormal heartbeats (Heart Arrhythmias)

Heart Disease symptoms caused by Heart Defects

Serious congenital Heart Defects — a defect you're born with — usually become evident during the first few hours, days, weeks and months of life. Heart Defect symptoms could include:

  • Pale gray or blue skin color (cyanosis)
  • Swelling in the legs, abdomen or areas around the eyes
  • Shortness of breath during feedings, leading to poor weight gain

Less-serious congenital Heart Defects are often not diagnosed until later in childhood, or even adulthood. Signs and symptoms of Congenital Heart Defects that usually aren't immediately life-threatening include:

  • Easily becoming short of breath during exercise or activity
  • Easily tiring during exercise or activity
  • Built-up fluid in the heart or lungs
  • Swelling in the hands, ankles or feet

Heart Disease symptoms caused by thick heart muscle (Cardiomyopathy)

  • Breathlessness with exertion or even at rest
  • Swelling of the legs, ankles and feet
  • Bloating (distention) of the abdomen with fluid
  • Fatigue
  • Irregular heartbeats that feel rapid, pounding or fluttering
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness and fainting

Heart Disease symptoms caused by heart infections

Heart Disease symptoms caused by valvular heart disease


The causes of Heart Disease vary by type of Heart Disease.

How do you treat it?

Like any disease, even if there is no cure, there is almost always something you can do to manage it and take control. There are three main areas involved in the treatment of any disease:

For information on medicines and therapies relevant to Heart Disease, make an appointment at Lynch's Pharmacy, Broadale, Douglas, Cork on 021-4366923.

Learn all about the drugs used to treat the Heart Disease and any complementary medicines or therapies proven to help. Equip yourself with the tools to manage the condition and not be managed by it.

How do you live with it?

Certain adjustments may be needed to get on with your life, and often, some simple tips and advice can go a long way to making these changes. 

When you come to a Lynch's Pharmacy Clinic, we give you all the necessary information available to make your life more manageable and allow you to better live with your condition.


Heart Disease-

Heart Disease, Information for patients-