Heart disease covers a wide range of diseases that affect your heart. Most of these diseases come from problems with your blood vessels, heart rhythm problems, heart infections and heart defects created before you were born.
Heart disease and cardiovascular diseases are often considered the same syndrome. If you have cardiovascular disease you have conditions that involve blocked and narrowed blood vessels. These blocked vessels lead to heart attacks, strokes or chest pains. There are also forms of heart disease that affects the heart’s muscles, valves and rhythms.
You can prevent many heart diseases with lifestyle choices that range from healthy eating to exercising to getting enough sleep. Depending on the symptoms you have, will determine what type of heart disease you are diagnosed.
Symptoms of Heart Disease
Narrowed, blocked of non-elastic blood vessels that stop the heart from getting sufficient blood will cause cardiovascular diseases. Watch for symptoms that can be:
- Angina or chest pain;
- Shortness of breath and problems getting enough oxygen into your lungs;
- Pain or numbness in your arms and legs. You could also experience weakness and coldness. Blood vessels are narrowed and unable to function properly.
You may not actually be diagnosed with cardiovascular or heart disease until your state worsens or you have a heart attack, stroke or heart failure. Be aware of cardiovascular symptoms and exam your concerns with your doctor. You can often find heart diseases early with regular visits and awareness.
Abnormal heartbeat or heart arrhythmias are symptoms of heart disease. Your medical check may find that your heart beats too fast or too slow or is too irregular. Tachycardia or racing heartbeat or fluttering in your chest should alert you to cardiovascular disease.
The heart is essentially a pump and is a muscle about the size of your fist. Your heart has a left side and a right side to keep oxygen rich blood on one side and oxygen poor blood on the other side.
Your right side of your heart has a right atrium and ventricle. The atrium collects and pumps blood to the lungs through pulmonary arteries. Your lungs provide fresh oxygenated blood, it turns red and blood is returned to the left side of your heart. It is then pumped through the aorta to provide oxygen and nutrients to your body. There are four valves that make up your heart; there duties are to push and pull blood in the right directions. These are the mitral, pulmonary, tricuspid, mitral and aortic values. Valves open and shut once a second or with every heartbeat.
To complicate a simple process, you heart also relaxes and contracts. Contracting is called systole and relaxation is defined as diastole. Systole pressure forces blood in the vessels that travel to your lungs and body. The ventricle refilling is diastole pressure. The cycle continues as long as your heart beats.
In the heart has electrical wiring, so to speak, that keeps the heart beating. Electrical impulses start high in the right atrium and run though pathways to the ventricles telling them to ” “pump. This system keeps your heart beating in normal rhythms and provides circulated blood. Keeping your heart beating regularly and in a choreographed manner is what keeps you from dying.
If anything goes wrong in this process, heart disease occurs.
Causes of Heart Disease
Damage to your heart can be caused by atherosclerosis or fatty substances in your arteries. Atherosclerosis disturbs your arteries or the blood vessels that transport the nutrients regenerated blood from your heart to the entire body.
Too much pressure in arteries creates vessel walls that are thick and stiff which in turn restrict blood flow to tissues and organs. Hardening of the arteries is the best known cause of cardiovascular disease. Atherosclerosis primary cause is an unhealthy lifestyle ” “ no exercise, poor diet, and smoking.
Irregular heartbeats or arrhythmia is another form of cardiovascular disease. Irregular heartbeats are caused by:
- Congenital heart defects or those defects that appeared at birth or before;
- High blood pressure;
- Coronary artery disease;
- High stress;
- Excessive alcohol or caffeine consumption;
- Drug abuse;
Heart infections are called pericarditis, myocarditis, and endocarditis. These occur when a bacterium, virus or chemical hits your heart muscles.
- Endocarditis may occur when bacteria enters your bloodstream. Every day activates such as eating or neglecting to brush your teeth regularly open a doorway for bacteria.
- Myocarditis is caused from regular activities and also by Lyme disease or a tick-borne bacterium.
- Influenza virus can cause heart disease. Fifth disease or the human parvovirus B19 is a cause of myocarditis. Gastrointestinal infections, Epstein-Barr or mononucleosis, rubella and some sexually transmitted infections and culprits of heart diseases.
- Parasites can cause heart infections. These include Trypanosoma cruzi, toxoplasma and Chagas” ™ disease or a parasite carried by insects.
- Medications can cause toxic reactions to the heart. Culprits are antibiotics like penicillin and sulfonamide drugs. Illegal substances like cocaine can cause heart infections. If you are administered medications or illegal drugs through dirty or poor needles, bacteria and viruses can be transmitted through the bloodstream straight to your heart.
In a healthy person with a strong heart, fatal arrhythmias do not develop without environmental triggers. Triggers can be electrical shock or the use of illegal drugs.
Symptoms of a diseased heart are:
- A diseased or deformed heart is one where the electrical impulses do not properly start or travel. You can develop valvular heart disease in the womb or when your heart”s structure changes due to age or a defect.
- Dilated cariomyopathy means that your heart”s main pumping chamber or the left ventricle is enlarged or dilated. The pumping ability of the left ventricle becomes weak and blood flow through th