Posts Tagged ‘Treatment’

Heart Diseases – Causes, Symptoms, Types, Prevention & Treatment of Heart Diseases

February 11th, 2021

Beside cancer, heart disease kills more than 2,000 Americans everyday. Approximately 60 million Americans have heart disease.

I. Causes of Heart Diseases
There are many causes of heart diseases. Most of heart diseases are caused by high blood pressure contributes to hardening of the arteries. High levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) build up in the arteries as a result of uncontrolled diet with high levels of saturated fat and trans fat. All these add to the formation of atherosclerosis lesions and eventually arterial blockage or anything that serves to damage the inner lining of blood vessels and impedes the transportation of oxygen and nutrition to the heart can be defined as a risk of heart disease.

II Symptoms of Heart diseases

Here are some early indication of heart disease symptoms:

1. Leg cramps during walking
Leg cramps during exercise might be caused by dehydration. It is important to drink a lot of fluid during exercise. Leg cramps occur when the muscle suddenly and forcefully contracts. The most common muscles to contract in this manner are muscles that cross two joints. Leg cramps during walking might be an indication of heart disease caused by arteries in your leg being clogged up by cholesterol in result of not enough oxygen being delivered to the cells in your leg.

2. Chest pain
Chest pain is caused by blood vessels in the heart temporarily being blocked up. It is also caused by inadequate oxygen supply to the heart muscle or coronary . The persistence of chest pain would be an early indication of heart diseases.

3. Shortness of breath
Shortness of breath (dyspnea) is the major symptom of the left ventricular insufficiency. People with shortness of breath are four times more likely to die from a heart disease related cause than individuals without any symptoms.

4. Headaches
People see sparkling zigzag lines or loss of vision before a migraine attack may be at particular risk of future cardiovascular problems. Generally headaches do not cause heart diseases but a sudden, explosive onset of great pain might be.

5. Dizziness
Dizziness can have many causes including low blood count, low iron in the blood stream and other blood disorders, dehydration, and viral illnesses. Since there are many different conditions that can produce these symptoms, anybody experiencing episodes of severe headaches or dizziness ought to be checked by your doctor.

6. Palpitations
Palpitations is an extremely common symptom of heart disease. Palpitations are skips in the heart beats and irregular heart beats.

7. Loss of consciousness
It is a common symptom, most people pass out at least once in their lives. However, sometimes loss of consciousness indicates a dangerous or even life-threatening condition such as heart disease so when loss of consciousness occurs it is important to figure out the cause.

There are many more symptoms such as fatigue, memory defects, and changes in skin tone and temperature.

III. Types of Heart Diseases

The heart is a four chambered, hollow muscle and double acting pump that is located in the chest between the lungs. Heart diseases caused by high blood pressure contributes to hardening of the arteries. High levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) build up in the arteries as a result of uncontrolled diet with high levels of saturated fat and trans fat. All these add to the formation of atherosclerosis lesions and eventually arterial blockage.
There are some major types of heart diseases:

1. Type of heart disease affecting heart chambers

As we mention in the previous article, the heart is a four chambered hollow muscle and double acting pump that is located in the chest between the lungs. Heart diseases caused by high blood pressure contributes to hardening of the arteries. High levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) build up in the arteries as a result of uncontrolled diet with high levels of saturated fat and trans fat. All these add to the formation of atherosclerosis lesions and eventually arterial blockage.
In this article, we will discuss heart disease affecting the heart chambers.

Heart failure is caused by the heart not pumping as much blood as it should and so the body does not get as much blood and oxygen that it needs. The malfunctioning of the heart chambers are due to damage caused by narrowed or blocked arteries leading to the muscle of your heart.

There are 4 heart chambers as follow:

* The right atrium
* The left atrium
* The right ventricle
* The left ventricle.

Heart diseases affect the heart chambers include:

A. Congestive heart failure
Heart failure is caused by the heart not pumping as much blood as it should and so the body does not get as much blood and oxygen that it needs. The malfunctioning of the heart chambers are due to damage caused by narrowed or blocked arteries leading to the muscle of your heart.

a) Diastolic dysfunction:
The contraction function is normal but there’s impaired relaxation of the heart, impairing its ability to fill with blood causing the blood returning to the heart to accumulate in the lungs or veins.

b) Systolic dysfunction:
The relaxing function is normal but there’s impaired contraction of the heart causing the heart to not pump out as much blood that is returned to it as it normally does as a result of more blood remaining in the lower chambers of the heart.

B. Pulmonary heart disease
Pulmonary heart disease is caused by an enlarged right ventricle. It is known as heart disease resulting from a lung disorder where the blood flowing into the lungs is slowed or blocked causing increased lung pressure. The right side of the heart has to pump harder to push against the increased pressure and this can lead to enlargement of the right ventricle.

2. Heart Disease affecting heart muscles
In the case of heart diseases affecting heart muscles, the heart muscles are stiff, increasing the amount of pressure required to expand for blood to flow into the heart or the narrowing of the passage as a result of obstructing blood flow out of the heart.
Heart diseases affecting heart muscles include:

A. Cardiomyopathy
Heart muscle becomes inflamed and doesn’t work as well as it should. There may be multiple causes such as high blood pressure, heart valve disease, artery diseases or congenital heart defects.

a) Dilated cardiomyopathy
The heart cavity is enlarged and stretched. Blood flows more slowly through an enlarged heart, causing formation of blood clots as a result of clots sticking to the inner lining of the heart, breaking off the right ventricle into the pulmonary circulation in the lung or being dislodged and carried into the body’s circulation to form emboli .

b) Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
The wall between the two ventricles becomes enlarged, obstructing the blood flow from the left ventricle. Sometimes the thickened wall distorts one leaflet of the mitral valve, causing it to leak. The symptoms of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy include shortness of breath, dizziness, fainting and angina pectoris.

c) Restrictive cardiomyopathy
The ventricles becomes excessively rigid, so it’s harder for the ventricles to fill with blood between heartbeats. The symptoms of restrictive cardiomyopathy include shortness of breath, swollen hands and feet.

B. Myocarditis Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscles or the weaken of the heart muscles. The symptoms of myocarditis include fever, chest pains, congestive heart failure and palpitation.

3. Heart disease affecting heart valves

Heart diseases affecting heart valves occur when the mitral valve in the heart narrows, causing the heart to work harder to pump blood from the left atrium into the ventricle.

Here are some types of heart disease affecting heart valves:
a. Mitral Stenosis
Mitral Stenosis is a heart valve disorder that involves a narrowing or blockage of the opening of the mitral valve causing the volume and pressure of blood in the left atrium increases.

b. Mitral valves regurgitation
Mitral regurgitation is the heart disease in which your heart’s mitral valve doesn’t close tightly causing the blood to be unable to move through the heart efficiently. Symptoms of mitral valve regurgitation are fatigue and shortness of breath.

c. Mitral valves prolapse
In mitral valve prolapse, one or both leaflets of the valve are too large resulting in uneven closure of the valve during each heartbeat. Symptoms of mitral valves prolapse are palpitation, shortness of breath, dizzy, fatigue and chest pains.

d. Aortic Stenosis
With aging, protein collagen of the valve leaflets are destroyed and calcium is deposited on the leaflets causing scarring, thickening, and stenosis of the valve therefore increasing the wear and tear on the valve leaflets resulting in the symptoms and heart problems of aortic stenosis.

e. Aortic regurgitation
Aortic regurgitation is the leaking of the aortic valve of the heart that causes blood to flow in the reverse direction during ventricular diastole, from the aorta into the left ventricle. Symptoms of aortic regurgitation include fatigue or weakness, shortness of breath, chest pain, palpitation and irregular heart beats.

f. Tricuspid stenosis
Tricuspid stenosis is the narrowing of the orifice of the tricuspid valve of the heart causing increased resistance to blood flow through the valve. Symptoms of tricuspid stenosis include fatigue, enlarged liver, abdominal swelling, neck discomfort and leg and ankle swelling.

g. Tricuspid regurgitation.
Tricuspid regurgitation is the failure of the right ventricular causing blood to leak back through the tricuspid valve from the right ventricle into the right atrium of the heart. Symptoms of tricuspid regurgitation include leg and ankle swelling and swelling in the abdomen.

4. Heart disease affecting coronary arteries and coronary veins

The malfunctioning of the heart may be due to damage caused by narrowed or blocked arteries leading to the muscle of your heart as well as blood backing up in the veins. Types of heart disease that affect the coronary arteries and veins include:

A. Angina pectoris
Angina pectoris occurs when the heart muscle doesn’t get as much blood oxygen as it needs. Here are 3 types of angina pectoris:
a) Stable angina
Stable angina is chest pain or discomfort that typically occurs with activity or stress due to oxygen deficiency in the blood muscles and usually follows a predictable pattern. Symptom of stable angina include chest pain, tightness, pressure, indigestion feeling and pain in the upper neck and arm.

b) Unstable angina
Unstable angina is caused by blockage of the blood flow to the heart. Without blood and the oxygen, part of the heart starts to die. Symptoms of unstable angina include pain spread down the left shoulder and arm to the back, jaw, neck, or right arm, discomfort of chest and chest pressure.

c) Variant angina also known as coronary artery spasm
Caused by the narrowing of the coronary arteries. This is caused by the contraction of the smooth muscle tissue in the vessel walls. Symptoms of variant angina include increasing of heart rate, pressure and chest pain.

B. Heart attacks known as myocardial infarction or MI
Heart attacks caused by plaque rupture with thrombus formation in a coronary vessel, resulting in an acute reduction of blood supply to a portion of the myocardium. Symptoms of MI include a squeezing sensation of the chest, sweating, nausea and vomiting, upper back pain and arm pain.

C. Heart disease also known as coronary artery disease or coronary heart disease
Caused by arteries hardening and narrowing, cutting off blood flow to the heart muscle and resulting in heart attack. Symptoms of heart disease include shortness of breath, chest pains on exertion, palpitation, dizziness and fainting.

D. Atherosclerosis or hardening of arteries
Arteries are blood vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood to your heart and to other parts of your body. Atherosclerosis is caused by plaques that rupture in result of blood clots that block blood flow or break off and travel to another part of the body. Atherosclerosis has no symptom or warning sign.

E. Silent ischemia.
Ischemia is a condition in which the blood flow is restricted to a part of the body caused by narrowing of heart arteries. Silent ischemia means people have ischemia without pain. There is also no warning sign before heart attack.

5. Heart disease affecting heart lining
Rheumatic heart disease results from inflammation of the heart lining when too much fluid builds up in the lungs leading to pulmonary congestion. It is due to failure of the heart to remove fluid from the lung circulation resulting in shortness of breath, coughing up blood, pale skin and excessive sweating. Heart disease resulting from inflammation of either the endocardium or pericardium is called heart disease affecting heart lining.

Endocardium is the inner layer of the heart. It consists of epithelial tissue and connective tissue. Pericardium is the fluid filled sac that surrounds the heart and the proximal ends of the aorta, vena vava and the pulmonary artery.

a. Endocarditis
Endocarditis, which is an inflammation of the endocardium is caused by bacteria entering the bloodstream and settling on the inside of the heart, usually on the heart valves that consists of epithelial tissue and connective tissue. It is the most common heart disease in people who have a damaged, diseased, or artificial heart valve. Symptoms of endocarditis include fever, chilling, fatigue, aching joint muscles, night sweats, shortness of breath, change in temperature and a persistent cough.

b. Pericardium
Pericarditis is the inflammation of the pericardium. It is caused by infection of the pericardium which is the thin, tough bag-like membrane surrounding the heart. The pericardium also prevents the heart from over expanding when blood volume increases. Symptoms of pericarditis include chest pain, mild fever, weakness, fatigue, coughing, hiccups, and muscle aches.

6. Heart disease affecting electrical system
The electrical system within the heart is responsible for ensuring the heart beats correctly so that blood can be transported to the cells throughout our body. Any malfunction of the electrical system in the heart causes a fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat. The electrical system within the heart is responsible for ensuring that the heart beats correctly so that blood can be transported throughout our the body. Any malfunction of the electrical system in the heart malfunction can cause a fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat.

Types of heart disease that affect the electrical system are known as arrhythmias. They can cause the heart to beat too fast, too slow, or irregularly. These types of heart disease include:

a. Sinus tachycardia
Sinus tachycardia occurs when the sinus rhythm is faster than 100 beats per minute therefore it increases myocardial oxygen demand and reduces coronary blood flow, thus precipitating an ischemia heart or valvular disease.

b. Sinus bradycardia
Sinus bradycardia occurs when a decrease of cardiac output results