Understanding Heart Disease | Cashmere amount


Posted on Dec 14 2021 | Author Dr Tasaduk Hussain Itoo

Heart disease includes a range of conditions that affect the heart such as – coronary artery disease (disease of the blood vessels of the heart), cardiac arrhythmias (problems with the rhythm of the heart), congenital heart disease (innate heart defects), disease of the heart valves , cardiomyopathy (disease of the heart muscle) and heart infections.

The signs and symptoms of heart disease depend on the type of heart disease you have. However, basic symptoms that warrant immediate medical attention include chest pain, shortness of breath, and fainting.

Coronary artery disease

The most common cause of coronary artery disease is the build-up of fatty plaques in the arteries (atherosclerosis). Unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as a poor diet, lack of exercise, being overweight and smoking can lead to atherosclerosis.

Symptoms of coronary heart disease can be different for men and women. For example, men are more likely to have chest pain. Women are more likely to have other signs and symptoms in addition to chest discomfort, such as shortness of breath, nausea, and extreme fatigue. Signs and symptoms in general can include:

· Chest pain, chest tightness, chest pressure and chest discomfort (angina pectoris).

· Shortness of breath.

· Pain, numbness, weakness, or cold in the legs or arms.

· Pain in the neck, jaw, throat, upper abdomen or back.

Cardiac arrhythmias

A person’s heart may beat too fast, too slowly, or irregularly. Common causes of arrhythmias or conditions that can lead to arrhythmias include – coronary heart disease, diabetes, drug abuse, excessive use of alcohol or caffeine, the heart defects you were born with (birth defects). (congenital heart disease), high blood pressure, smoking, some over-the-counter and herbal remedies, stress, and some valvular heart disease. Signs and symptoms of cardiac arrhythmia include:

· Floating in your chest.

· Running heartbeat (tachycardia).

· Slow heartbeat (bradycardia).

· Chest pain or discomfort.

· Shortness of breath.

· Dizziness.

· Dizziness.

· Fainting (syncope) or almost fainting.

Congenital heart disease

Serious heart defects that you are born with (congenital heart defects) are usually noticed soon after birth. Certain medical conditions, medications, and genes can play a role in the development of heart defects. Signs and symptoms of heart abnormalities in children may include:

· Pale gray or blue skin color (cyanosis).

· Swelling of the legs, abdomen, or areas around the eyes.

· In an infant, shortness of breath during feedings, leading to poor weight gain.

· Swelling of the hands, ankles or feet.

Cardiomyopathy

This is a thickening or enlargement of the heart muscle, which may depend on the type:

Dilated cardiomyopathy: This is the most common type that can be caused by decreased blood flow to the heart (ischemic heart disease) resulting from damage after a heart attack, infections, toxins, and some medications, including those used for treat cancer. It can also be inherited from a parent.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: This type is usually passed down through families (inherited). It can also develop over time due to high blood pressure or aging.

Restrictive cardiomyopathy: This less common type of cardiomyopathy, which makes the heart muscle stiff and less elastic, can be caused by diseases, such as connective tissue disorders or the buildup of abnormal proteins (amyloidosis).

In the early stages of cardiomyopathy, one may not feel any symptoms. As the condition worsens, symptoms may include:

· Shortness of breath with activity or at rest.

· Swelling of the legs, ankles and feet.

· Tired.

· Irregular heartbeats that seem fast, pulsating, or pulsating.

· Dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting.

Heart infection

Endocarditis is an infection that affects the inner lining of the heart chambers and heart valves (endocardium). It is caused when germs reach the heart muscle. The most common causes of heart infection are bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Signs and symptoms may include:

· Fever.

· Shortness of breath.

· Weakness or fatigue.

· Swelling of the legs or abdomen.

· Changes in heart rate.

· Dry or persistent cough.

· Unusual rashes or spots.

Valvular heart disease

The heart has four valves – the aortic, mitral, pulmonary, and tricuspid valves – which open and close to direct blood flow through the heart. Many things can damage heart valves – one can be born with valve disease, or the valves can be damaged by conditions such as rheumatic fever, infections (infective endocarditis), or connective tissue disorders – resulting in narrowing ( stenosis), leakage (regurgitation or insufficiency) or improper closure (prolapse). Depending on which valve is not functioning properly, the signs and symptoms of heart valve disease usually include:

· Tired.

· Shortness of breath.

· Irregular heartbeat.

· Swollen feet or ankles.

· Chest pain.

· Fainting (syncope).

Risk factors for heart disease

Age: Getting older increases the risk of damaged and narrowed arteries and weakened or thickened heart muscle.

Sex: Men are generally at higher risk for heart disease. The risk for women increases after menopause.

Family history: A family history of heart disease increases the risk of coronary artery disease, especially if a parent developed it at a young age.

Smoking: Nicotine constricts blood vessels, and carbon monoxide can damage their inner walls, making them more susceptible to atherosclerosis. Heart attacks are more common in smokers than in non-smokers.

A poor diet: A diet high in fat, salt, sugar and cholesterol can contribute to the development of heart disease.

Arterial hypertension: Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to hardening and thickening of the arteries, narrowing the vessels through which blood circulates.

High blood cholesterol level: High levels of cholesterol in the blood can increase the risk of plaque formation and atherosclerosis.

Diabetes: Diabetes increases the risk of heart disease. The two conditions share similar risk factors, such as obesity and high blood pressure.

Obesity: Being overweight usually worsens other risk factors for heart disease.

Physical inactivity: Lack of exercise is also associated with many forms of heart disease and some of its other risk factors.

STRESS: Unrelieved stress can damage arteries and worsen other risk factors for heart disease.

Poor dental health: If the teeth and gums are not healthy, germs can enter their bloodstream and travel to the heart, causing endocarditis.

Prevention of heart disease

In general, a healthy lifestyle is the key. Recommendations include:

Control of high blood pressure: It is one of the most important things one can do to reduce the risk of heart disease – exercise, manage stress, maintain a healthy weight, and limit the amount of sodium in the diet and avoiding alcohol can all help control high blood pressure. In addition to recommending lifestyle changes, you may need to take medication to treat high blood pressure.

Controlling Diabetes: Diabetes can be managed with diet, exercise, weight control, and medication.

Reduce the amount of cholesterol and saturated fat in your diet: Eating less cholesterol and fat, especially saturated fat and trans fat, can reduce plaque build-up in the arteries. In addition to dietary changes, it may be necessary to take cholesterol-lowering drugs.

Exercise regularly: Exercise reduces the risk of heart disease in several ways. It can lower blood pressure, increase high density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, and improve the overall health of blood vessels and heart. It also helps with weight loss, diabetes control, and stress reduction.

Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables: A diet containing at least five daily servings of fruits or vegetables can reduce the risk of heart disease. Eating a diet that emphasizes olive oil, fruits, nuts, vegetables, and whole grains can help.

Smoking cessation: Smoking increases the risk of heart disease for smokers and non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke. Thus, quitting smoking reduces the risk of heart disease.

Avoid alcohol: It can be a risk factor for heart disease. Heavy alcohol consumption increases the risk of high blood pressure, ischemic heart disease, and heart attack.

Avoid drug addiction: Some drugs, such as cocaine and methamphetamines, are established risk factors for ischemic heart disease.

Maintain good oral hygiene: It is important to brush your teeth and gums often and to have regular dental check-ups.

Antiplatelet drugs are commonly used as preventative drugs. Platelets are cells in the blood that form clots. Antiplatelet drugs make these cells less sticky and less likely to clot. The most commonly used antiplatelet drug is aspirin.

Anti coagulants : Medicines, which include heparin and warfarin, reduce blood clotting. Heparin works quickly and can be used for a short time in the hospital. Slower-acting warfarin can be used longer.