Heart disease is a common term that involves many types of heart problems. It’s also known as cardiovascular disease, which means heart and blood vessel disease. Heart disease is the major root of death for both men and women in the United States. Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) is the most common form of heart disease. The main reason for CHD is when the arteries supplying blood to the heart become narrow or hardened because of the expansion of plaque. Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, and other substances found in the blood.
This plaque is also known as atherosclerosis. Plaque plays a vital role in determining the type of heart disease.
- Coronary artery disease: It is because of the expansion of plaque in the arteries supplying blood to the heart.
- Peripheral artery disease: It is because of the expansion of plaque in the arteries supplying blood to the legs and arms.
- Carotid artery disease: It is because of the expansion of the plaque in the arteries supplying blood to the brain.
The plaque narrows or blocks the blood flow to the heart muscle and can result in other heart problems.
- Angina: Chest pain due to lack of blood flow.
- Heart attack: When a portion of the heart muscle dies due to loss of blood flow.
- Heart failure: When the heart is unable to pump sufficient blood to the body.
- Arrhythmia: Nonperiodic heart rate.
- What causes heart disease?
Key risk factors for cardiovascular disease include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, etc.
Some other medical situations and lifestyle choices can also push people to a higher risk of heart disease which includes.
- Injurious or unhealthy diet
- Physically unfit
- Excessive use of alcohol
- Overweight and obesity
Other types of heart disease may act on the heart valves or heart muscle (cardiomyopathy).
The origin of heart disease depends on the sort of disease. Some possible causes involve lifestyle, infections, genetics, medicines, and other diseases.
- Who has a higher chance of getting heart disease?
- Age: The chances of getting heart disease increase with the age.
- Sex: The changes in heart disease might get differ in men and women.
- Genetics: The risk of heart disease increases when an individual has a family history of it. According to the research, some genes are associated to a greater extent with definite heart disease.
- Race: Specific groups have higher risks of heart disease than others.
- Lifestyle/ habits: An unhealthy lifestyle and habits can lead an individual to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. An unhealthy lifestyle does not affect the body at once. However, it’s a slow process and takes some time. And when the time comes the person feels high cholesterol, high blood pressure, etc.
Having meals rich in high saturated fats, carbohydrates, and fats, not getting sufficient physical activity, consuming excessive alcohol, smoking, and taking too much stress can’t keep the heart healthy.
- Medical conditions: The involvement of other medical conditions can increase the risk of heart disease. The medical conditions include.
a. High cholesterol level
b. High blood pressure
e. Autoimmune (when the immune system starts attacking the body)
f. Chronic kidney disease (gradual loss of kidney function)
g. Metabolic syndrome
- What heart failure is?
Heart failure is a condition that occurs when the heart is unable to pump blood throughout the body. It is not mean that the heart has stopped working, but the point to consider is the body is not getting sufficient oxygen and nutrients to function properly.
- What causes heart failure?
Numerous conditions can damage the heart muscle in various ways and cause heart failure. The most common causes are.
- Coronary heart disease
- Heart attack
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Malfunctioning heart valves
- Cardiomyopathy (a disease of the heart muscle)
- Inherited heart problems (congenital heart problems)
- Arrhythmias (non-periodic heartbeats)
- Viral infection in the heart muscle
- Thyroid gland or kidney diseases
The treatment options depend upon the type of heart disease the patient is dealing with. Lifestyle changes, medications and surgery are some of the options to deal with. Numerous medications can help cure heart conditions. The main options include.
- Anticoagulants: They are also known as blood thinners and are used to prevent clots. These can assist reducing the risk of heart attack.
- Antiplatelet therapies: These include aspirin and help to prevent or break up dangerous blood clots formation in the blood vessels.
- Angiotensin converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitors: These cause the blood vessel to expand to reduce the risk of high blood pressure.
- Beta-blockers: Beta blockers, including atenolol, bisoprolol, metaprolol, are frequently used to prevent angina and treat high blood pressure. They block affects of the specific of hormone in the body, which reduces the heart beat and improves blood flow.
- Diuretics: These can lower the heart’s workload, lowers blood pressure and remove excess of water from the body. Furosemide (Lasix) is one of the examples.
- Procedures and Surgery:
Due to the build-up plaque the arteries become narrow and cause problems to the heart. And if these problems are unable to control even with the medications then undergoing heart can assist treat blockages and heart problems. Some procedures and surgery includes.
- Coronary angiography:
A procedure that widens narrow or blocked coronary arteries. It is often united with the insertion of a stent, which is a wire-mesh tube that allows the blood to flow effectively.
- Coronary artery bypass surgery:
Coronary artery bypass grafting is the most habitual surgery. A coronary angiogram decides whether the patient is suitable for the treatment or not. This surgery is done for the narrowed or blocked artery. A good shape blood vessel from other part of the body can be utilized by the surgeon to repair the blocked one.
- Heart transplant:
A surgical transplant procedure executed on patients with end-stage heart failure or severe coronary heart disease when other medical or surgical treatments have failed. According to 2018, the most usual procedure is to take a functioning heart, with or without both the lungs, from a recently expired organ donor and implant it into the patient. The patient’s own heart is replaced with the donor heart. Or unlikely, the patient’s expired heart is left in place to reinforce the donor heart.
Just about 3500 heart transplants are performed each year globally. Most of half, which are in the US.
- Valve replacement:
A surgeon can repair or replace a valve that is not performing correctly.
- Device implantation:
Pace makers, balloon catheters, and other devices can help adjust the heart beat and support the blood flow.
- Laser treatment:
Transmyocardial laser revascularization (TMLR) is a surgical procedure, in which special carbon dioxide (CO2 ) laser is used to shoot tiny pinholes or channels through the heart muscle and into the heart’s lower left chamber (ventricle). These new channels upgrade the flow of oxygen-rich blood o the heart muscle, lowering the effects of angina.
- Ways to Keep the Heart Healthy:
Heart or cardiovascular disease is major cause of death. This does not only affect the old people but teenagers can also get affected by this. To keep the heart healthy following things must be done by every individual.
- Get sufficient sleep:
Sleep plays an important part in keeping your heart healthy, getting insufficient amount of sleep increases the risk of cardiovascular disease no matter what the age of a person is. One study reveals, that approx 3000 adults of over 40 years of age who slept less than 6 hours per night have suffered from a stroke or a heart attack, twice as much as those who have slept up to 8 hours per night. Make sleep your priority.
- Don’t sit for too long continuously:
From the past years, researches have revealed that staying seated for long periods of time is unhealthy regardless of how much exercise you do. Results of several observational studies including almost 800,000 people, researchers investigated that those who sat the most lead to increase of about 147 percent of the cardiovascular diseases and included 90 percent deaths due to the heart diseases.
Experts say it’s important to move throughout the day. Park further away from the office, take a few shorter walks throughout the day.
- Avoid smoking/secondhand smoke:
According to the American Heart Association, submission to tobacco smoke contributes to about 34,000 premature heart disease deaths and 7,300 lungs cancer deaths each year. Studies reveal that threat of developing heart is about 25 to 30 percent higher for people who are revealed to secondhand smoke at home or work. Also non-smokers who have high blood pressure or high blood cholesterol are at a greater risk for developing heart disease when they are exposed to secondhand smokers.
- Limit the sugar intake:
Sugar is rapidly becoming an open enemy for the people because of the junk calories it provides, which can easily lead to obesity. Excessive intake of sugar can lead to diabetes, disease of blood vessels, and heart disease. Additionally, sugar is the root cause of dental cavity and rotten teeth. Reading label is also necessary to attain heart health.
- Reduce weight:
Obesity is not a kind illness and it is connected with several chronic health problems, including heart disease and premature death. Obesity can be reversed but it needs constant effort and dedication. Lower body weight not only reduces the risk of heart diseases but also prevents from many types of cancers.
- Control your stress:
A major possibility of poor health and heart disease is uncontrolled stress. So, it is necessary to take steps to relieve stress from your life. Do not use alcohol to relieve stress, but practice yoga, meditation or get yourself enrolled in stress relief classes. Comforting yourself will not only upgrades your heart health but also brings quality to your life.
- Healthy heart food:
Diet plays an important role in heart health and can knockout the risk of heart disease. For healthy heart, foods that need to maximize your heart health are following.
- Leafy green vegetables:
Leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale, and collard green are popular for their wealth of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. In fact, they are a great source of vitamin K which supports to protect the arteries.
They are also rich from dietary nitrates which are known to reduce blood pressure, decrease arterial stiffness, and improve the function of cells lining the blood vessels.
Some researches have found a link between the decreases in risk of heart disease with the increasing intake of leafy green vegetables.
- Whole grains:
Common types of whole grains include:
a. Whole wheat
b. Brown rice
Refined carbohydrates lift the risk coronary heart disease. Contrarily, whole grains are protective. More studies have found that including more whole grains in your diet can benefit your heart health. While purchasing the whole grains, make sure to read the ingredients label carefully. Phrases like ‘’whole grain’’ or “whole wheat” specify the whole grain product, while words like, “wheat flour” or multi grain” may not.
One analysis of 45 studies concluded that having three more servings of whole grains regularly reduced the risk of heart disease by 22%.
Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries are filled with necessary nutrients that play a central role in heart health. Berries also contain antioxidants anthocyanins, which give protection against the oxidative stress and inflammation that, contribute to the development of heart disease.
Findings show that having significant amount of berries can reduce several risk factors for heart disease. Additionally, analysis of 22 studies revealed that eating berries was associated with reductions in (LDL) bad cholesterol, systolic blood pressure, and certain markers of inflammation.
- Fatty fish and fish oil:
Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines, and tuna are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which have been studied considerably for their heart-health benefits.
People frequently asked what healthy heart is normal. A normal resting heart rate for adults scales form 60-100 beats per minute. Foods that contain omega-3s are beneficial for healthy heart rate.
Beans are rich from resistant starch, which resists digestion and is brewed by the beneficial bacteria in your gut.
One review of 26 studies also reveals that a diet high in beans and legumes significantly reduces levels of (LDL) bad cholesterol.
- Olive oil:
Olive oil is filled with antioxidants which help to relieve inflammation and reduce the risk of chronic disease. It is also rich in monosaturated fatty acids and according to multiple studies, is linked with improvements in heart health.
Olive oil also contains high amount of oleic acid that has been proven in preventing and curing hypertension.
- Green tea:
Green tea is involved in a number of health benefits, from increased fat burning to improved insulin sensitivity. It is also filled with polyphenols, catechins, which can function as antioxidants to prevent cell damage, reduce inflammation, and keep the health of your heart safe.
Health is a great blessing, and we all know that Health is Wealth. This should be treated the same as we treat our favorite or most loved belonging, and when it comes to the heart, it is the most crucial organ of our body and without heart we can’t even live for minutes. It is really hard for those who are dealing with some sort of health problems. Everything is possible and achievable, even health also but it requires some dedication, care, and self belief. If you take care of your health then it will pay you with unreal success in life.
its really informative