The first thing we think of when someone mentions the word ‘heart’ is ‘love.’ The heart is indeed a lovely organ which always comes through for us and keeps our body going through everything that comes its way. It works 24/7 and supplies blood to over 75 trillion cells in the body. Yes, you read it right! 75 trillion cells!
Therefore, on this World Heart Day, the least you can do for your heart is know about all the threats that your heart is prone to. Given below is a list of heart diseases that you should know and be careful about:
Atherosclerosis: Atherosclerosis is responsible for quite a few cardiovascular diseases. In atherosclerosis, the flow of blood in the body is restricted due to the thickening of the walls of the arteries. This stiffness of the walls is caused due to deposition of fat called plaques. Atherosclerosis can happen throughout the body eventually leading to heart attack or stroke.
Rheumatic Heart Disease: Rheumatic heart disease is primarily caused due to repeated bouts of rheumatic fever. Every attack of rheumatic fever causes damage to one or more heart valves. As a result of this, the blood flow to the heart valves is interrupted eventually leading to the inflammation of the heart.
Angina: Angina is a condition which causes pain in the chest due to reduced blood supply to the heart. Due to the reduced blood supply to the heart, the flow of oxygen to the heart is blocked which can lead to serious consequences. In addition to chest pain, some other symptoms of angina are shortness of breath and sweating. Angina can eventually lead to heart attack.
Heart attack: A heart attack occurs due to a blood clot which interrupts the flow of blood to the heart muscle, thus depriving the heart of oxygen. Signs and symptoms include severe chest pain, fatigue, abnormal heartbeat, etc. The intensity of one’s heart attack can severely damage the heart making one more likely to die if diagnosed with another heart attack.
Cardiac arrest (Sudden death): Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart loses the ability to pump blood. The most common cause of cardiac arrest is coronary heart disease, the other causes being the abnormality of the heart's rhythm, major blood loss, lack of oxygen, intense physical exercise, etc. If not treated within minutes, cardiac arrest can lead to death.
Ventricular Aneurysm: An aneurysm is a bulge caused due to the weakness in the walls of the blood vessels or high blood pressure. A ventricular aneurysm is generally a blood bubble in the ventricular wall which blocks the passageway to the heart. These aneurysms enlarge overtime but the scar tissue keeps them from rupturing. Loss of stamina is one of the consequences of ventricular aneurysm.
Heart failure: First of all, it is very important to know that heart attack and heart failure are two different things. In heart failure, the heart does function but it is too weak and damaged to adequately pump blood and supply oxygen to the body. The symptoms usually include fatigue, shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat and swollen legs.
Cardiac Arrhythmia: Cardiac arrhythmia refers to a problem with the rate of the rhythm of the heartbeat. Due to the malfunction of the heart’s electrical system, the heart beats irregularly, either too slow or too fast. While the condition is not dangerous, it can be life-threatening in some cases. Symptoms may include chest pain and dizziness.
Congenital Heart Disease (CHD): Congenital heart disease refers to a problem in the structure of the heart since birth. This malformation can be due to hereditary genes or exposure to certain toxic elements in the womb like alcohol. Excess sweating, fatigue, breathing problems and blueness of the skin are some signs and symptoms of CHD.
Valvular Heart Disease: Sometimes, the heart valves may be narrow, start leaking or might not close properly which leads to major valvular damage. Some people are born with valvular heart disease whereas in some cases, the valves get damaged to side effects of medicines, rheumatic fever, tissue disorders, etc.
Too many conditions out there are waiting for their one chance to hurt your heart. Don't let it happen. Love your heart with all your heart!
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