Heart disease, also known as cardiovascular disease or heart and blood vessel disease, is a condition in which the heart and blood vessels are not functioning properly. It can lead to chest pain, heart attack, or stroke. Heart disease can be caused by a variety of factors, such as high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, obesity and lack of exercise. Heart disease can also be hereditary or due to other medical conditions that affect the heart and blood vessels.
Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the world. It is also a major cause of disability and an important contributor to health inequality. As people age, their risk of developing heart disease rises. More than half of people aged 60 years or older have some form of heart disease or another.
Heart disease is a general term for a variety of diseases that affect the heart and blood vessels. Each one has distinctive signs and treatments. For some people, medication and lifestyle adjustments can significantly improve health. For some, you might require surgery to restore the functionality of your heart.
There are seven types of heart disease and each requires a different treatment plan. This article focuses on the types of heart disease and how to potentially treat them.
Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)
The most frequent heart condition is Coronary Artery Disease. Your coronary arteries, which carry blood to your heart, may become blocked if you have CAD. This may result in less blood flowing to your heart muscle, depriving it of the oxygen it requires. Atherosclerosis, often known as hardening of the arteries, is the condition that typically leads to the disease’s onset.
- Pain in the chest (angina)
- Insufficiency, dizziness, nausea (feeling ill to your belly), or a cold sweat
- Soreness in the shoulders or arms
- Respiration problem
- High cholesterol
- Insulin resistance or diabetes
- Higher blood pressure
- Not working out enough (sitting a lot)
- Consuming tobacco or smoking
Visit a doctor right away if any of the symptoms apply to you. He or she will go over treatment alternatives that could slow the progression of the condition, stop new plaque from forming, or reduce the patient’s risk of having cardiac issues. Key lifestyle adjustments, like as eating a heart-healthy diet, lowering stress, losing weight, exercising, and stopping smoking, may improve symptoms and the long-term outlook for people with the condition, regardless of how far along it is in its progression.
Surgery, such as angioplasty, stent replacement, coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG), or off-pump coronary artery bypass surgery, may also be necessary for the treatment of coronary artery disease.
An abnormal heartbeat is known as an arrhythmia. It indicates that your heart’s regular rhythm is off.
Your heart may feel as though it is “fluttering” or as though it has added or skipped a beat. It may appear to be beating either too slowly(called bradycardia) or too quickly(called tachycardia). Or perhaps nothing would be apparent.
Arrhythmias may indicate a serious situation or they may be unimportant. Seek immediate medical attention if you notice anything out of the ordinary with your heartbeat so that doctors can determine what is causing it and what you should do about it.
- Breathing problems
- Slow heartbeat (bradycardia)
- Fast heart (tachycardia)
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Chest pain
- A fluttering in the chest
- Syncope or fainting or nearly fainting
- Coronary artery disease, other heart issues and previous cardiac surgery.
- High blood pressure.
- Congenital cardiomyopathy
- Thyroid problem.
- Obstructive sleep apnea.
- Electrolyte(blood elements) imbalance.
- Too much alcohol
- Nicotine, or caffeine.
Although specialised treatment for arrhythmias is not always necessary, it is nevertheless crucial to get your arrhythmia assessed by a physician.
When choosing a type of treatment, a doctor will consider whether your arrhythmia may lead to more severe symptoms or other diseases.
When you have an arrhythmia, it’s crucial to workout, eat a balanced diet, and control your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Your risk of complications like a heart attack or stroke can be reduced as a result.
To help you control your arrhythmia and avoid problems like a heart attack, your doctor may prescribe medication.
You could require a small operation or surgery if your arrhythmia cannot be treated with medicine or other forms of therapy.
Congestive heart failure (CHF), also referred to as heart failure (HF), is a syndrome, a collection of signs and symptoms brought on by a decline in the heart’s ability to pump blood.
When the heart is unable to adequately pump blood to the body, heart failure results. All of the body’s major processes are hampered by insufficient blood flow. A illness or group of symptoms known as heart failure makes your heart weak or stiff.
Some heart failure patients have trouble pumping enough blood to maintain the body’s other organs. In certain people, the heart muscle itself stiffens and hardens, which limits or prevents blood flow to the heart.
- Dramatic weight gain
- A decrease in appetite
- Continuous coughing
- Inconsistent heartbeat
- Heart flutters
- Abdominal growth
- Breathing difficulty
- Intolerance to workout
- Abdomen or swollen ankles and legs
- Sleep with additional pillows
- Breathing heavily while resting down.
- Enlarged neck veins
- A condition known as cardiomyopathy that weakens the heart’s muscle
- A congenital cardiac problem
- Chest pain
- Heart valve failure
- Several kinds of arrhythmias
- High blood pressure
- Emphysema, a lung condition
- Uncontrolled sleep apnea
- A thyroid that’s hyperactive or underactive
- Extreme types of anaemia
- Some cancer treatments, like chemotherapy
- Alcohol and drug abuse disorder
Heart failure cannot be cured, but there are treatments that can help you manage your symptoms and live a better life. Depending on the diagnosis’s stage, your doctor will go over therapies with you.
A pacemaker, also known as an ICD, helps regulate your heart rate to lessen the strain on your heart. An ICD is used to identify and treat risky irregular heartbeats.
Heart surgery is performed to enhance blood flow to the heart or to replace or repair a defective valve that is straining the heart.
Medication for heart failure typically requires long-term use. Even if you feel well, your doctor may increase the dosage of your medications. It’s crucial that you consult your doctor or pharmacist before stopping your heart failure medications.
Heart Valve Disease
Any heart valve may be impacted by heart valve diseases. With each heartbeat, flaps on your heart valves open and close, allowing blood to pass between the upper and lower chambers of the heart and to the rest of your body. The atria are the heart’s upper chambers, and the ventricles are its bottom chambers.
In order for the heart valves to function, blood must flow forward and not back up or leak.
If a heart valve problem is left untreated, some persons with it may not exhibit any symptoms while others risk developing strokes, heart attacks, and blood clots.
- Chest pain
- Palpitations triggered on by abnormal heartbeat
- Low or high blood pressure
- Breathing difficulty
- Stomach ache based caused by an enlarged liver
- Ankle pain
- Heart attack
- Infection (endocarditis)
- A rheumatic heart condition
- Untreated syphilis
- The development of myxoma
- Marfan disorder
- Aortic bicuspid valve
- Ebstein’s oddity
- Fallot tetralogy
- Atresia tricuspida
Depending on which heart valve is afflicted, what kind of valve disease you have, and how serious it is, there are many treatment options for heart valve disease.
Medication alone may be sufficient for some people to enhance valve performance. This is most frequently the situation when another ailment, such as extreme high blood pressure or substantially impaired heart muscle performance, causes heart valve dysfunction.
Surgery may be required to repair or replace the heart valve if a patient has a serious diagnosis and their symptoms continue or worsen in spite of receiving the recommended treatment. Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) and transcatheter mitral valve replacement (TMVR) are examples of minimally invasive procedures that can replace heart valves.
The pericardium, a flexible, two-layered sac that surrounds the heart, is impacted by pericardial disease.
The pericardium aids in maintaining the position of the heart, aids in preventing the heart from filling up too much with blood, and aids in preventing chest infections from harming the heart. The pericardium is not necessary for life, though. The performance of the heart little changes if the pericardium is eliminated.
The pericardium often has precisely the right amount of lubricating fluid between its two layers to allow them to effortlessly slide over one another. The distance between the two layers is really small. However, in some diseases, excess fluid builds up in this area (known as the pericardial space), leading to an expansion of the area.
- Respiratory issues or shortness of breath (dyspnea)
- Breathing difficulty while resting down
- Chest pain
- Chest expansion
- A sense of faintness or dizziness
- Swelling in the legs or stomach
- Autoimmune diseases like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis
- Cancer of the heart
- Metastatic spread of cancer, especially of lung, breast, or hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Radiation treatment for cancer
- Chest injury
- Heart attack, cardiac surgery, or some other operation
- Thyroid problems (hypothyroidism)
- Using specific medications or being around toxins
- Infections caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites
- Wastes in the blood as a result of renal failure (uremia)
According to its intensity and root reason. Small ones with recognised causes and no symptoms don’t require any particular care.
Ibuprofen is a common non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicine (NSAID) used to treat discomfort and swelling around the heart.
Pericardiocentesis. An interventional cardiologist inserts a needle into the pericardium after passing it through the chest. A catheter is then used to drain extra fluid.
Balloon Pericardiotomy. A drainage hole is made in the pericardium using a small balloon attached to a catheter.
To treat pericarditis that is persistent or recurrent, a pericardiectomy may be performed. The pericardium may be entirely or partially removed during this treatment.
Cardiomyopathy (Heart Muscle Disease)
A set of illnesses known as cardiomyopathy damage the heart muscle. There may be little or no symptoms at first. As the condition develops, heart failure may develop, which can lead to symptoms like shortness of breath, fatigue, and limb swelling. There’s a chance of fainting and an abnormal heartbeat. The risk of sudden cardiac death is higher for those who are affected.
The heart deteriorates with worsening cardiomyopathy. The heart’s capacity to pump blood throughout the body decreases, and it becomes unable to keep up a regular electrical pulse. Heart failure or abnormal heartbeats known as arrhythmias may develop. Other issues like cardiac valve issues might also arise from a weak heart.
- A lack of breath during exercise or even while at rest
- Legs, ankles, and feet swelling
- Abdominal bloating brought on by a fluid buildup
- Cough when resting
- Difficulty falling asleep flat
- Quick, thumping, or erratic heartbeats
- Chest strain or pain
- Unsteadiness, fainting, and dizziness
- Chronically high blood pressure
- Heart attack-related heart tissue damage
- Lengthy fast heart rate
- Cardiac valve issues
- The covid-19 virus
- Several infections, including those that induce heart irritation
- Metabolic conditions such as Diabetes Mellitus, thyroid illness, or overweight
- Dietary deficiencies of vital nutrients, such as thiamin (vitamin b-1)
- Pregnancy complications
- A development of iron in the heart’s muscle (hemochromatosis)
- The formation of granulomas, which are small clusters of inflammatory cells, in any organ in the body, including the heart and lungs (sarcoidosis)
- Excessive protein deposition in the tissues (amyloidosis)
- Connective tissue problems
- Overindulging in alcohol for a long time
- Use of anabolic steroids, cocaine, or amphetamines
- Radiation and some chemotherapy medicines are used to treat cancer
Cardiomyopathy typically has no known treatment, but it is sometimes possible to effectively manage the symptoms and avoid consequences. Early diagnosis of some cardiomyopathies is crucial since they can have particular treatments.
Changing your way of life could help you control the ailment that’s causing your cardiomyopathy. It may be necessary to take medications to regulate blood pressure, treat an irregular heartbeat, get rid of extra fluid, or stop blood clots.
Surgery, such as bypass surgery or valve surgery, may be a possibility if symptoms are severe and drugs are ineffective. A less frequent treatment called a septal myectomy removes some cardiac tissue to enhance blood flow through the heart.
Heart transplantation is a last-minute protocol.
Congenital Heart Disease
Congenital heart disease is a generic term covering a variety of birth abnormalities that impair the heart’s ability to function normally.
Congenital refers to a condition that exists from birth.
CHDs can alter a baby’s heart’s shape and function, and they are present at birth. They may have an impact on how blood moves from the heart to the rest of the body.
One in four newborns who have a heart problem have a serious CHD. In the first year of life, infants with a serious CHD require surgery or other interventions.
- Abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmias)
- Lips, fingernails, and skin all blue (cyanosis)
- Respiration problem
- Experiencing extreme fatigue after exercising
- Swelling of bodily organs or tissues (edema)
- Faulty genetics or chromosomes.
- Pregnant women who drink or smoke
- Illnesses that affect pregnant women (diabetes, drug use, phenylketonuria or viral infection).
The likelihood that a congenital heart disease can be corrected in you or a loved one is higher than ever. It might not be necessary to treat all defects. Some patients’ treatments could entail numerous surgeries or other procedures. Other people only need one.
For the rest of their lives, some kids and adults may require medication. Additionally, they might have to see their cardiologist on a frequent basis.
Your newborn may undergo surgery or a catheterization within hours of birth, depending on the issue. Sometimes it takes place weeks or months later.
Catheters are helping doctors mend hearts in an increasing number of cases. Closing a hole or widening a narrowed valve or artery are the two basic heart repairs performed by these procedures, often known as cardiac catheterizations.
Sometimes, your doctor will advise open heart surgery for you or your child. In order to do this procedure, a surgeon must make a cut through the chest and directly access the heart.
In the US, heart disease is the most common cause of death. The majority of women are killed by it. Heart disease is caused by a combination of lifestyle factors, genetics, and environmental factors. There are many things you can do to reduce your risk of heart disease.
Understanding more about the different types of heart disease and how to treat them will help you to prevent them. If you notice any of these symptoms, it is essential that you seek medical assistance from a qualified health care provider, as these can be life threatening.
If you’re concerned about your risk for heart disease, talk to your doctor about it. Ask about taking medication to reduce your risk. It’s also a good idea to adopt lifestyle changes that can reduce your risk of developing heart disease. Keep a healthy weight, exercise regularly, avoid smoking and eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables.