Heart Disease And You – Preventing And Treating The Condition
Heart Disease covers a number of heart problems. For example, you may know someone who has had a heart attack, but that’s just one of many types of heart disease. For the most part, heart disease shows no obvious symptoms, which can make detecting it difficult. However with routine doctor visits, you can understand your heart disease risk and works toward preventing serious health complications. Here’s what you should know.
Different Types of Heart Disease
Heart disease relates to a group of problems that occur directly around the heart muscle or the surrounding arteries that supply blood to the heart. Several types of heart disease can happen at the same time and having one can increase the risk of developing another.
An arrhythmia is when there are irregularities with the heart rate or rhythm. Heart rate is controlled by the sinus node, a group of cells located at the top of the heart that send out electrical signals to keep the heart beating right. Normally, a normal resting heart rate is between 60 bpm and 100 bpm. If it is consistently higher or lower, it could indicate that your heart’s electrical system is not functioning properly.
The two main types of arrhythmias are:
- Tachycardia. This condition happens when your heart beats too fast. It is determined by a resting heart rate of 100 bpm or more. Atrial fibrillation or AFib is the most common type and, according to the CDC, there are around 2.7 to 6.1 million people in America are suffering from it.
- Bradycardia. This condition happens when your heart beats too slowly. It is determined by a resting heart rate of 50 bpm or less. In some cases, however, bradycardia can be a sign of good health, as elite athletes often have resting heart rates of up to 40 bpm. Minute.
- Coronary Heart Disease
Coronary heart disease also known as ischemic heart disease occurs when coronary arteries become damaged over time. Normally, the coronary arteries carry blood to the heart and supply it with oxygen and vital nutrients. But coronary artery disease occurs when cholesterol builds up and narrows these arteries – a process called atherosclerosis – and blocks blood flow to the heart. It is the most common type of heart disease and, according to the CDC, this disease alone had over 365,000 deaths in 2017.
- Heart Attack
A heart attack or myocardial infarction occurs when blood flow to the heart is interrupted and damages the heart muscle. About 14% of heart attacks are fatal. Heart attacks are in general not as dangerous as cardiac arrest, which is fatal 89% of the time. These are the usual clear signs of a heart attack:
- Pressure, tightness, pain, or tightness, or soreness in the chest or arms that may spread to the neck, jaw, or back
- Nausea, indigestion, heartburn or abdominal pain
- Shortness of breath
- Cold sweat
- Sudden dizziness or Lightheadedness
While some may notice these core sign of a heart attack, women may likely to encounter these symptoms more likely than men. If you think you or someone you know is having a heart attack, call 911 and see a doctor right away. However about 20% of heart attacks have no clear symptoms – this is called a silent heart attack – and it can go completely unnoticed.
- Congenital Heart Disease
Congenital heart disease is when you are born with a heart defect. Although there are many different types, it is mainly the result of poor development of the heart valve or blood vessels in the uterus. While people with congenital heart disease don’t always show symptoms, doctors look out for signs such as a clam or abnormal blood flow through the heart for a diagnosis.
- Heart Failure
Heart failure or congestive heart failure is when heart function deteriorates over time and no longer pumps blood efficiently. It often occurs in people with coronary artery disease who have ignored treatment for years. However, heart failure doesn’t mean your heart has stopped beating.
The Symptoms of Heart Disease
Most of the time, heart disease develops without noticeable symptoms. Therefore, it is important to visit your doctor for routine checkups as they can determine if you may be at risk. Normally the only symptom of heart disease is in fact just the signs of a heart attack. However, some people may experience less oppressive chest pain at other times. This is called angina and often occurs after physical exertion and worsens over time as heart disease progresses. However, it can be difficult to know if chest pain is severe and symptomatic of heart disease. For example, indigestion or heartburn and anxiety can cause chest pain that can be confused with angina or a heart attack.
The Risk Factors
To know if you have heart disease, it is important to understand the risk factors. Overall, these are two main causes of heart disease; high blood pressure and high cholesterol. High blood pressure or hypertension occurs when blood pumps too hard, hardens the arteries, and leads to a decrease blood flow to the heart. Around 70% of people who have their first heart attack will have hypertension. For blood pressure reading, normally it will be done by a doctor through a routine checkup. High cholesterol can also restrict blood flow through a disease called atherosclerosis, which is the buildup of plaque in the arteries. Atherosclerosis is a major cause of coronary artery disease, the most common type of heart disease.
Below are the following factors can lead to high blood pressure or high cholesterol and greatly increase the risk of heart disease:
- Lack of exercise. It’s important to keep your heart beating, and if you don’t exercise regularly, a sedentary lifestyle can raise your blood pressure and cholesterol and increase your chances of heart disease.
- Unhealthy diet. Eating foods high in saturated and trans fats and sodium can raise blood pressure and cholesterol. Also, skipping meals such as breakfast frequently can be bad for your heart.
- Use of alcohol. Drinking too much alcohol can negatively affect the heart, although moderate use can have some health benefits.
- To smoke. The use of cigarettes is one of the most important predictors of heart disease. And while the jury is still out on what marijuana does to your heart, experts believe that smoking any drug can increase your risk.
- Chronic stress. Over time, stress can contribute to a heart attack. Sudden stress can also cause takotsubo cardiomyopathy, which looks like a heart attack, but the artery isn’t actually blocked.
- Lack of sleep. Consistently sleeping less than seven hours a night can increase your risk of heart disease.
- Genetics. While hypertension is influenced by genetics, high cholesterol can often be completely genetic, known as familial hypercholesterolemia.
Some other underlying health conditions such as obesity, diabetes and kidney disease can increases the risk of heart disease.
Preventing Heart Disease
Even though you may have many of these risk factors, it’s never too late to prevent heart disease. The best way to do this is to take steps to lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol. Here’s how you are able to do it:
- Exercise regularly. Aiming for 30-60 minutes of physical activity every day is advisable. A combination of stretching exercises, strength training and aerobic (cardio) training during the week is recommended.
- Lose weight. Being overweight makes your heart work harder. In fact, cutting only 5% to 10% of body weight can lower cholesterol and blood pressure, which helps relieve the load on the heart.
- Eat healthier. Consume foods that can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol such as green vegetables, whole grains, and fish. Both the DASH diet and the Mediterranean diet are recommended for heart health.
- Stop smoking. Research has shown that quitting smoking can reduce the risk of heart disease by 39%.
Treating Heart Disease
Unfortunately, there is no cure for heart disease. However, if you have been diagnosed, there are many ways to treat your condition and cope with a healthy life. You will need to exercise regularly, maintain a healthy weight, and adopt eating plans and other lifestyle habits that keep blood pressure and cholesterol under control. Many people also need the help of medications or surgery to prevent more serious health complications or death. The Bottom Line is in order to reduce the risk of serious health complications, it is important to take heart health seriously. This means regularly checking your blood pressure and cholesterol levels with your doctor and following guidelines for a healthy and healthy lifestyle. Medical experts know how to fight heart disease, and by following these tips, you can too.
Ryu Crafts the Workflow & Creative Contents @Hanqover. He is fascinated with Automation, Digital Transformation, Web-App Developments, Zero Waste, Carbon Zero, Non-fungible Token (NFT) and Cryptocurrency. When things doesn’t go his way, he is Optimistic & Highly-Motivated on Problem-Solving. What keeps him awake-is the Taste & the Aroma of Fresh Roasted Coffee, the Guitars & Ukulele as well as Intellectual Legal, Technology & Crime themed dramas on Netflix.
- tanya-pro-FqM8JnWuWms-unsplash: Photo by Tanya Pro on Unsplash