When it comes to heart disease, most people think of a heart attack. But term covers several conditions that can damage your heart and keep it from beating normally. These conditions include ischemic heart disease, cardiac arrhythmias, cardiomyopathy, and heart failure.
A buildup of sticky plaque (fat and cholesterol) can cause heart arteries to narrow, making it difficult for blood to flow. Many people don't even know they have a problem until their arteries clog with blood clots and have a heart attack. But there may be warning signs of coronary heart disease, such as frequent chest pains called angina.
Plaque is hard on outside and soft on inside. Sometimes hard shell cracks. When this happens, a blood clot forms. If it completely blocks an artery, it cuts off blood supply to part of heart. Blood carries oxygen, and a lack of oxygen can quickly damage organs and possibly lead to death.
How does a heart attack feel?
Possible clinical manifestations:
1. Pain or pressure in chest;
2. Discomfort in back, jaw, throat or arms;
3. Nausea, indigestion or heartburn;
4. Weakness, restlessness or shortness of breath;
5. Rapid or irregular heartbeat.
Irregular heartbeat: arrhythmia
Hearts beat with electrical impulses and lose their rhythm. Arrhythmias can cause heart to beat faster, slower, or flutter. Arrhythmias are usually harmless and resolve quickly, but some types can affect blood flow and cause serious harm to your body.
Myocardial disease: cardiomyopathy
Abnormal heart muscle, or cardiomyopathy, makes it difficult for heart muscle to pump blood and deliver blood to other parts of body and organs. Over time, health issues such as high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes can lead to this serious condition, which can lead to heart failure.
This does not mean that heart stops working, it means that heart cannot provide enough blood to meet needs of other parts of your body, organs. Thus, over time, heart gets bigger and works faster. This weakens heart muscle and reduces blood flow, making problem worse.
It is worth noting that in most cases, heart failure occurs as a result of coronary heart disease and heart attacks.
Congenital heart disease: congenital atrial disease, ventricular disease
From birth, there is a "leaky valve or damaged wall" between chambers of heart. Sometimes there are no symptoms in childhood and birth defect is not discovered until adulthood.
However, not all ASDs require treatment, but some require medication or surgery. If you have CAD, you are more likely to develop arrhythmias, heart failure, and valve infections.What tests can be done to check condition of heart?
An electrocardiogram records electrical activity of heart. During this painless test, doctor attaches electrodes to skin for several minutes. The results will tell your doctor if your heart is working normally. This can confirm if you are having a heart attack or have ever had one.
Heart stress test
This is a measure of how well heart works under stress. Walk on a treadmill or ride a stationary bike to make your workout even harder. In meantime, your doctor will monitor your ECG, heart rate, and blood pressure to see if your other organs are getting enough blood.
This portable device records your heartbeat for 24 hours. If your doctor suspects you have heart problems, they may recommend that you wear a monitor for a day or two that continuously monitors electrical activity (unlike an ECG, which is a snapshot over time). Your doctor may also ask you to keep a journal of your activities and symptoms.
Doctors use them to detect certain signs. From this picture, you can observe size of heart, and preliminarily judge whether there are problems with heart and where problem is.
This test uses sound waves to show a real moving image of heart. With ultrasound, doctors can detect problems such as abnormalities in atrioventricular chambers, heart valves, or blood flow. It helps in diagnosing disease and aids in subsequent treatment.
CT of heart
Computed tomography of heart scans a detailed x-ray of heart and its blood vessels. The computer then stacks images to create a 3D image. Doctors use it to look for hardened plaque in blood vessels as well as valves. problems and other types of heart disease.
In this procedure, doctors pass a narrow tube called a catheter through a blood vessel in arm or leg until it reaches heart. He then injects a contrast agent into each coronary artery, making them easy to see on x-rays. This image shows any narrowed or blocked blood vessels and severity of narrowing/blockage.
Most types persist for a long time. Symptoms are difficult to notice at first and may not interfere with daily life.
If your heart begins to fail, you may be short of breath or feel tired. Watch for swelling in abdomen, ankles, feet, or legs. In many cases, long-term treatment can help control all symptoms. You can fight heart failure with medication, lifestyle changes, surgery, or a transplant.How to solve heart problems:
Some people have low blood pressure, heart rate, or cholesterol levels that can be controlled and improved with medication.
Opens a blocked artery to improve blood flow. The doctor uses a balloon to insert a thin catheter into an artery. When balloon reaches blockage, it fills with air, which inflates artery and allows blood to move freely. They may also insert a small mesh tube called a stent to open up those narrowed/blocked blood vessels.
Heart Bypass Surgery
Your doctor may recommend this surgery if one or more arteries are narrowed or blocked. It starts by removing a blood vessel from an area of your body (such as your chest, abdomen, leg, or arm) and connects it to a healthy artery in your heart. Bypassing lesion to achieve effect of blood vessels.How to prevent heart disease:
What can be done to prevent heart disease
These daily habits can reduce your chances of heart disease:
If you have diabetes, it is important to control your blood sugar levels. If you have high cholesterol and high blood pressure, do your best to manage your "three highs" and control your symptoms to prevent further deterioration.