Heart Disease

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FAQ's For Heart Disease

   

Heart disease is an umbrella term used to describe various diseases affecting the heart including coronary heart disease, arrythmia, and congenital heart defects.

There is no known cure for heart disease, but symrpoms can be relieved through lifestyle changes, medication and surgery.

Foods that are high in fat, sugar, and salt should be avoided. Excess caffeine and alcohol consumption aslo contributes to heart disease.

Chest discomfort, nausea, fatigue, dizziness, indigestion, heartburn, pain that spreads to the arms, throat, neck and jaw pain, snoring, sweating, a persistent cough, irregular heart beat and swollen feet, legs and ankles are all tell-tale signs of an unhealthy heart. Seek medical attention immediately.

The best form of treatment for heart disease is in the form of sweeping lifestyle changes. Some basic remedies include:
Quit smoking
Control blood pressure
Keep blood sugar levels under control
Check cholesterol regularly
Exercise
Maintain a healthy BMI
Prioritise mental health, as depression can increase the risk of heart failure
Manage stress
Practice the fundamentals of good hygiene

 
Heart disease is an umbrella term used to describe various diseases affecting the heart including coronary heart disease, arrythmia, and congenital heart defects. Heart disease is a term often used interchangeably with cardiovascular disease, however it is important to note the differences. CVD refers to blockage of the blood vessels causing angina, stroke or heart attack. Heart conditions involving the muscles, rhythm or valves come under heart disease.

Heart disease is caused by one or more of the following factors:
Heart defects you're born with (congenital heart defects)
High blood pressure
High cholesterol
Coronary artery disease
Diabetes
Family history of heart disease
Poor diet
Low physical activity
Obesity
Smoking
Excessive alcohol or caffeine consumption
Drug abuse
Poor stress management
Poor personal hygiene

Symptoms of heart disease often differ in men and women. While men most likely experience chest pain, women may experience other heart disease symptoms as well such as fatigue, nausea and shortness of breath. It is also important to note that symptoms differ based on the type of heart disease a patient has.

In the case of Atherosclerotic disease (heart disease in the blood vessels) the following symptoms are experienced:
Angina (chest pain, tightness and discomfort)
Pain, numbness, coldness or weakness of the limbs if blood flow to those parts is restricted
Pain in the neck, jaw, throat, back or upper abdomen
Shortness of breath

In the case of Heart Arrythmias (Irregular heartbeat), the following symptoms are experienced:
Chest pain or discomfort
Fluttering in your chest
Fast heartbeat (tachycardia)
Slow heartbeat (bradycardia)
Light-headedness
Shortness of breath
Dizziness
Fainting or fainting sensation

Heart disease stemming from birth defects, or congenital heart disease will have patients exhibiting the following symptoms in children soon after their birth:
Swelling in the abdomen, legs and area around the eyes
Cyanosis or a pale grey or blue colour of the skin
In infants, shortness of during feeding causing poor weight gain

Less serious congenital heart disease can only make itself apparent in the later stages of a person’s childhood or adulthood. These signs and symptoms include:
Easily getting tired during physical activity
Shortness of breath during physical activity
Swelling in the hands, feet and ankles

Dilated Cardiomyopathy (stems from weak heart muscles) causes symptoms like:
Irregular heartbeats
Breathlessness
Fatigue
Light-headedness
Dizziness
Fainting
Swelling of the legs, feet, and ankles

Valvular heart disease, which is caused by damage to the valves of the heart, leading to conditions such as leaking (regurgitation or insufficiency), narrowing (stenosis), or improper closing (prolapse).
It can produce the following symptoms:
Chest pain
Fatigue
Shortness of breath
Irregular heartbeat
Fainting
Swollen feet or ankles

Treatment of heart disease will involve major lifestyle changes to be made to the patient’s life, such as avoiding fat, sugar, salt and processed foods from the diet, regular exercise and cutting out smoking, drugs and alcohol. Cardiologists may also prescribe certain medications to ease symptoms. If lifestyle changes and medicine aren’t enough, certain surgical procedures will be required based on the type of heart disease and the extent of damage to the heart.

There are several home remedies for heart disease which can help in coping with symptoms. These include the following:
Quit smoking
Control blood pressure
Keep blood sugar levels under control
Check cholesterol regularly
Exercise
Maintain a healthy BMI
Prioritise mental health, as depression can increase the risk of heart failure
Manage stress
Practice the fundamentals of good hygiene

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