Heart Diseases Types, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Prevention Experts Tips

Heart Diseases

The word heart disease is used to describe many ill conditions affecting the heart. Heart disease is one of major prominent problems in the world. Every year many people die of heart disease. In general heart disease means that the heart does not work normally. Infants who are born with heart disease are found to have inherited congenital abnormalities. If people develop heart related problems after many years of their birth, the condition is known as acquired heart disease. Most commonly, heart diseases are acquired rather than of congenital category.

Heart disease is also called as cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease refers to disorders of heart and blood vessels.

Types of Heart Disease and Their Symptoms:

There are many types of heart diseases. Most common among them are some coronary artery disease, arrhythmia, heart failure, heart valve disease, heart muscle disease, congenital heart disease.

Heart Diseases

1.Coronary Artery Disease:

It is the most common heart disease. It occurs when the arteries that supply oxygen and blood to the heart become narrow due to accumulation of cholesterol on the inner walls of arteries. This restricts blood flow to your heart and the heart muscle can’t get oxygen sufficiently.  This can lead to chest pain or heart attack and sometimes sudden cardiac death.

Symptoms:

The most common signs are:

  • Chest pain
  • Indigestion or nausea
  • Light-headedness or sweating
  • Fast heart rate or shortness of breath

Heart Diseases

2.Arrhythmia:

Arrhythmia means abnormal heart rhythm which can be irregular, too fast or too slow. It can occur when the electrical signals that coordinate your heartbeats don't work properly.

Symptoms:

Most Common symptoms are:

  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain

Heart Diseases

3.Heart Failure:

Heart failure is technically called congestive heart failure (CHF). It can occur when the heart does not have enough strength to pump efficiently enough blood to the entire body. Heart failure does not mean that heart is no longer working at all. It means that your heart is not able to pump blood the way it should.

Symptoms:

Symptoms may include

  • Shortness of breath
  • Edema, or swelling of your feet, ankles, and legs
  • Sleep apnea
  • Fatigue
  • A rapid heart rate

Heart Diseases

4.Heart Valve Disease:

Human heart has four valves; they ensure that the blood pumped through the heart keeps flowing forward. Heart valve disease occurs when one or more of the valves in the heart are not working well.

Symptoms:

Its main symptom is heart murmur which is an unusual sound heard between heartbeats. But many people have heart murmur without having heart valve disease. Heart valve disease often worsens over time and signs and symptoms may appear years after a heart murmur is first heard.

Note:  Many people with heart valve disease do not exhibit any symptoms but they can still have a valve problem that needs treatment.

Heart Diseases

5.Heart Muscle Disease (Cardiomyopathy):

The muscle disease occurs when the heart walls become thick or heart becomes enlarged. This causes the heart to be less able to pump enough blood to the body and the result is heart failure.

Symptoms:

  • General weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath, particularly during exertion or exercise
  • Light headedness
  • Dizziness
  • Chest pain
  • Heart palpitations
  • Fainting attacks
  • High blood pressure
  • Swelling in the feet, ankles or legs, known as edema

Heart Diseases

6.Congenital Heart Disease:

Some children may be found to have been born with heart disease known as congenital heart disease. It can occur in one out of every 100 live births. Most common types of congenital heart diseases are

Atrial Septal Defects (ASD), Ventricular Septal Defects (VSD) and Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA).

Risk Factors of Heart Disease:

Various factors increase the risk of heart disease, like its existence in ancestors, age, or ethnicity. Other most common risk factors include:

  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Poor diet
  • Lack of exercise
  • Obesity
  • Stress
  • Poor hygiene (some viral and bacterial infections can affect the heart)
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Overweight

Heart Diseases

Prevention of Heart Diseases:

Some of your lifestyle changes can greatly reduce the chance of heart diseases

1.Maintain Healthy Diet:

Take foods that are low in fat, sodium and cholesterol to help control your blood pressure. Choose foods that are rich in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids and try to add plenty of vegetables and fruits in your diet.

2.Quit Smoking:

Quitting smoking does lower the risk of heart disease.

3.Do Workouts Daily:

Heavy weight and obesity increase risk of diabetes and increase the cholesterol levels in blood. Increase in physical activity helps to maintain a healthy weight.

4.Don’t Drink Too Much of Alcohol:

Too much of alcohol consumption increases the blood pressure and increase the risk of heart disease. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, men should drink no more than two drinks, and women should drink not more than one alcoholic beverage per day. The BAC (blood-alcohol concentration) should not exceed 0.08 g/dL.

5.Learn How to Deal With Stress:

As much as possible try to reduce your stress either through exercise, medication, stress management therapy or support groups.

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