Heart Disease

human-heart-diagram

Coronary artery disease is caused by plaque buildup in the wall of the arteries that supply blood to the heart . Plaque is made up of cholesterol deposits. Plaque buildup causes the inside of the arteries to narrow over time. This process is called atheroscleroart disease describes a range of conditions that affect our heart. Diseases under the heart disease umbrella include blood vessel diseases, such as coronary artery disease; heart rhythm problems and heart defects when a baby born with (congenital heart defects), among others.
The term “heart disease” is often used interchangeably with the term “cardiovascular disease.” Cardiovascular disease generally refers to conditions that involve narrowed or blocked blood vessels that can lead to a heart attack, chest pain (angina) or stroke. Other heart conditions, such as those that affect your heart’s muscle, valves or rhythm, also are considered forms of heart disease.
Symptoms
Heart disease symptoms depend on what type of heart disease the person is suffering with
Symptoms of heart disease in our blood vessels (atherosclerotic disease)
Cardiovascular disease symptoms may be different for men and women. For instance, men are more likely to have chest pain; women are more likely to have other symptoms along with chest discomfort, such as shortness of breath, nausea and extreme fatigue like Chest pain, chest tightness, chest pressure and chest discomfort (angina Shortness of breath ,Pain, numbness, weakness or coldness in your legs or arms if the blood vessels in those parts of our body are narrowed Pain in the neck, jaw, throat, upper abdomen or back
Symptoms caused by weak heart muscle (dilated cardiomyopathy)
In early stages of cardiomyopathy, we may have no symptoms. As the condition worsens, symptoms may include:
• Breathlessness with exertion or at rest ,Swelling of the legs, ankles and feet ,Fatigue Irregular heartbeats that feel rapid, pounding or fluttering
Heart disease symptoms caused by heart infections
Endocarditis is an infection that affects the inner membrane that separates the chambers and valves of the heart (endocardium). Heart infection symptoms can include: Fever, Shortness of breath, Weakness or fatigue, swelling in your legs or abdomen, Changes in our heart rhythm
Heart disease symptoms caused by valvular heart disease
The heart has four valves — the aortic, mitral, pulmonary and tricuspid valves — that open and close to direct blood flow through our heart. Valves may be damaged by a variety of conditions leading to narrowing (stenosis), leaking (regurgitation or insufficiency) or improper closing (prolapse).
Depending on which valve isn’t working properly, valvar heart disease symptoms generally include: Fatigue, Shortness of breath, Irregular heartbeat, Chest pain

When to see a doctor
An emergency medical care is needed if someone have these heart disease symptoms:
• Chest pain
• Shortness of breath
• Fainting
Heart disease is easier to treat when detected early, so one should talk to doctor about concerns regarding the heart health. If someone concerned about developing heart disease, talk to the doctor about steps one can take to reduce the heart disease risk. This is especially important if someone have a family history of heart disease.

Various heart disease causes
The causes of heart disease vary by type of heart disease.

Causes of cardiovascular disease
Common causes of abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias) or conditions that can lead to arrhythmias include:
• Heart defects you’re born with (congenital heart defects)
• Coronary artery disease
• High blood pressure
• Diabetes
• Smoking
• Excessive use of alcohol or caffeine
• Drug abuse
• Stress
• Some over-the-counter medications, prescription medications, dietary supplements and herbal remedies
• Valvular heart disease
In a healthy person with a normal, healthy heart, it’s unlikely for a fatal arrhythmia to develop without some outside trigger, such as an electrical shock or the use of illegal drugs. That’s primarily because a healthy person’s heart is free from any abnormal conditions that cause an arrhythmia, such as an area of scarred tissue.
However, in a heart that’s diseased or deformed, the heart’s electrical impulses may not properly start or travel through the heart, making arrhythmias more likely to develop.
Causes of congenital heart defects
Congenital heart defects usually develop while a baby is in the womb. Heart defects can develop as the heart develops, about a month after conception, changing the flow of blood in the heart. Some medical conditions, medications and genes may play a role in causing heart defects.
Heart defects can also develop in adults. As you age, your heart’s structure can change, causing a heart defect.
Causes of cardiomyopathy
The cause of cardiomyopathy, a thickening or enlarging of the heart muscle, may depend on the type:
• Dilated cardiomyopathy. The cause of this most common type of cardiomyopathy often is unknown. It may be caused by reduced blood flow to the heart (ischemic heart disease) resulting from damage after a heart attack, infections, toxins and certain drugs. It may also be inherited from a parent. It usually enlarges (dilates) the left ventricle.
• Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. This type, in which the heart muscle becomes abnormally thick, usually is inherited. It can also develop over time because of high blood pressure or aging.
• Restrictive cardiomyopathy. This least common type of cardiomyopathy, which causes the heart muscle to become rigid and less elastic, can occur for no known reason. Or it may be caused by diseases, such as connective tissue disorders, excessive iron buildup in your body (hemochromatosis), the buildup of abnormal proteins (amyloidosis) or by some cancer treatments.
Risk factors
Risk factors for developing heart disease include:
• Age. Aging increases your risk of damaged and narrowed arteries and weakened or thickened heart muscle.
• Sex. Men are generally at greater risk of heart disease. However, women’s risk increases after menopause.
• Family history. A family history of heart disease increases your risk of coronary artery disease, especially if a parent developed it at an early age (before age 55 for a male relative, such as your brother or father, and 65 for a female relative, such as your mother or sister).
• Smoking. Nicotine constricts your blood vessels, and carbon monoxide can damage their inner lining, making them more susceptible to atherosclerosis. Heart attacks are more common in smokers than in nonsmokers.
• complications of heart disease, heart failure occurs when your heart can’t pump enough blood to meet your body’s needs. Heart failure can result from many forms of heart disease, including heart defects, cardiovascular disease, valvular heart disease, heart infections or cardiomyopathy.
• Heart attack. A blood clot blocking the blood flow through a blood vessel that feeds the heart causes a heart attack, possibly damaging or destroying a part of the heart muscle. Atherosclerosis can cause a heart attack.
• Stroke. The risk factors that lead to cardiovascular disease also can lead to an ischemic stroke, which happens when the arteries to your brain are narrowed or blocked so that too little blood reaches your brain. A stroke is a medical emergency — brain tissue begins to die within just a few minutes of a stroke.
• Aneurysm. A serious complication that can occur anywhere in your body, an aneurysm is a bulge in the wall of your artery. If an aneurysm bursts, you may face life-threatening internal bleeding.
• Peripheral artery disease. Atherosclerosis also can lead to peripheral artery disease. When you develop peripheral artery disease, your extremities — usually your legs — don’t receive enough blood flow. This causes symptoms, most notably leg pain when walking (claudication).
• Sudden cardiac arrest. Sudden cardiac arrest is the sudden, unexpected loss of heart function, breathing and consciousness, often caused by an arrhythmia. Sudden cardiac arrest is a medical emergency. If not treated immediately, it is fatal, resulting in sudden cardiac death.

By -PRINCIPAL – Dr. Rashmi Dhingra
UCBMSH Magazine – (YouthRainBow)
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