Everything You Need To Know About Heart Disease

30/03/2021

Heart disease refers to any conditions affecting the heart. There are several types, some of which are preventable.
Unlike a cardiovascular condition, which involves problems with the complete circulatory system, heart disease strikes only the heart.
In this article, you will get an in-depth understanding of the types, causes, and symptoms of heart diseases.

Types
There are various types of heart disease and they affect the heart in several ways. Some of the most common include the following:
• Coronary artery disease
• Congenital heart defects
• Arrhythmia
• Dilated cardiomyopathy
• Myocardial infarction
• Heart failure
• Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
• Mitral valve regurgitation
• Mitral valve prolapse
• Aortic stenosis

Symptoms
Symptoms of heart diseases vary based on the condition. However, some of the most common symptoms or initial warning signs include the following:
• Angina (Chest Pain)
• Difficulty breathing
• Fatigue and lightheadedness
• Swelling due to fluid retention, or oedema
• Chest pain
• Breathlessness
• Heart palpitations
• Nausea
• Stomach pain
• Sweating
• Arm, jaw, back, or leg pain
• Choking sensation
• Swollen ankles
• Fatigue
• Irregular heartbeat

Causes
Some of the most common causes of heart disease include the following:
• Damage to all or part of the heart
• Problem with the blood vessels heading to or from the core
• Low supply of oxygen and nutrients to the core
• High blood pressure
• High cholesterol
• Smoking
• High intake of alcohol
• Being overweight and obesity
• Diabetes
• Family history of heart disease
• Poor dietary choices
• Age
• History of preeclampsia during pregnancy
• Low activity levels
• High stress and anxiety levels

Treatments
The treatment choices will vary depending on the kind of heart disease a person has, but some simple procedures include making lifestyle changes, taking medicines, and undergoing surgery.
The following segments will look at some of these options in more detail:

1. Medications
Various medicines can help to treat heart diseases. A doctor will work with the patient to find a suitable alternative. Sometimes, the medications may cause side effects and complications, in cases of which it may be important to review the medicine regimen.

2. Surgery
Undergoing heart operation can help treat blockages and heart problems when medicines are not effective.

Some common types of operation include:
• Coronary artery bypass surgery: This lets blood flow to reach a portion of the heart when an artery is obstructed. Coronary artery bypass grafting is the most basic surgery.
• Valve replacement or repair: A surgeon can repair or restore a valve that is not working properly.
• Repair surgery: A surgeon can repair congenital heart deformities, aneurysms, and other problems.
• Device implantation: Pacemakers, balloon catheters, and other tools can assist regulate the heartbeat and support blood flow.
• Laser treatment: Transmyocardial laser revascularization can assist treat angina.
• Maze surgery: A doctor can create new pathways for electrical signals to pass through. This can help manage atrial fibrillation.
Heart transplants are a different option. However, it can be difficult to find a fit donor at the right point.

Prevention
Some lifestyle measures can reduce the chance of heart disease. These include:
• Eating a balanced diet
• Exercising regularly
• Maintaining a moderate body weight
• Quitting or avoiding smoking
• Limiting alcohol intake
• Managing underlying conditions

Taking these measures can help promote overall fitness and reduce the chance of heart disease and its complexities.

Dr Rajeev Garg
Sr. Consultant – Interventional Cardiologist

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