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Swollen Heart Symptoms You Need To Watch Out for

Symptoms of a swollen heart do not always arise, especially if the disorder is not severe. Therefore, do not ignore the mild symptoms that you may actually have experienced when you have a swollen heart.

Swollen heart or cardiomegaly is not a disease, the condition is actually a sign of a certain clinical condition or disease. Symptoms of a swollen heart that arise depend on the cause. In some people, the swollen heart does not cause symptoms, but in others the symptoms of a swollen heart that can cause the body to feel uncomfortable.

Everyone does have different heart sizes, but you can measure the size of your heart by looking at your fist. About the size of an organ that is always working every time to pump blood. As for its weight, it is estimated that the average human heart weighs 280 - 340 grams in men, and 230 - 280 grams for women. Not only that, but the heart also beats at least 100 thousand times each day and always supplies an average of 2000 gallons of blood for the whole body. When blood is not supplied properly and there is interference with the heart, then you can experience a swollen heart.

Signs and Symptoms of Swollen Heart that Often Occur

It is important for you to recognize the causes and symptoms of a swollen heart because the condition of a swollen heart will be easier to handle when detected early.

The following signs and symptoms that are often found in some patients with swollen heart include:

  • Shortness of breath (especially when on the move or when lying flat).
  • Arrhythmia or heart rhythm disorders.
  • Swollen legs and feet.
  • Weight gain due to swelling.
  • Sometimes chest pain occurs.
  • Fatigue
  • Palpitations

The degree of symptoms of a swollen heart that arises in each person can be different. There are some people who have almost no symptoms at all. Some people only experience mild symptoms for several years. But generally, when the heart-swelling gets worse, it will cause shortness of breath that gets worse.

Some Causes of Swollen Heart

Some causes of heart-swelling include:

  • Congenital heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart muscle abnormalities
  • Anemia
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Disorders of the heart valves
  • Abnormal heartbeat
  • Pregnancy
  • Rarely exercise
  • Obesity

You are advised to immediately see a doctor when you feel symptoms of a swollen heart. Especially if there are symptoms of severe shortness of breath, chest pain, fainting, and discomfort in the arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach. Patients should get medical attention immediately because the condition can be a sign of a heart attack.

Because a swollen heart can be caused by several things, it is important to see a doctor get a medical examination and find the cause of symptoms of a swollen heart. After the diagnosis is determined, treatment for this condition can include the administration of drugs and surgical procedures.

Risk of complications from heart swelling

The risk of complications from heart swelling depends on which part of the heart is enlarged and the cause. Complications of heart-swelling can include:

  • Heart failure. One of the most serious types of problems causing heart swelling in the left ventricle, because it will increase the risk of heart failure. In heart failure, the heart muscle becomes weak, and the ventricles are saggy so that the heart cannot pump blood efficiently throughout the body.
  • Blood clots. The swelling of the heart turns out to be more susceptible to the formation of blood clots in the lining of the heart. If these blood clots enter the bloodstream, they can block blood flow to vital organs, even causing a heart attack or stroke.
  • Heart murmur. For people who have an enlarged heart, two of the four heart valves - mitral and tricuspid valves - can experience dysfunction where these valves do not close properly as a result of blood that has been pumped back to the heart and causes abnormal heart sounds (murmurs ). Although not always dangerous, heart murmurs should be monitored by a doctor.
  • Heart attack and sudden death. Some forms of heart-swelling can cause heart rhythm disturbances. The heart rhythm is too slow to pump blood or too fast so it can cause fainting or, in some cases, heart attack and even sudden death.

Applying a healthy lifestyle is the main effort to avoid the condition of the swollen heart and other heart-related problems. You can adopt a healthy diet with a nutritious menu, stop smoking, not consume alcoholic beverages and illegal drugs, and be diligent in exercising.

It is important for you not to ignore any signs and symptoms of a swollen heart that may arise, because this condition can cause severe complications, such as heart failure, heart attack, and stroke, until sudden death.



  1. Mayo Clinic (2017). Diseases & Conditions. Enlarged Heart.
  2. Watson, S. & Murrell, D. Healthline (2018). What Causes an Enlarged Heart (Cardiomegaly) and How’s It Treated? 

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Health and clinical interests include all aspects of infectious diseases

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