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Dr Nadeem Ahmed talks about some common heart ailments

Here are few common heart problems we should know of.

Dr Nadeem Ahmed talks about some common heart ailments

Common Heart Ailments one should Know About

Heart disease is also called cardiovascular disease. Word cardio refers to the heart, and vascular refers to blood vessels. Heart disease is responsible for millions of deaths every year. There are several heart diseases, with their own symptoms and treatment.1

Some of them can be managed by lifestyle changes and medicine; for others, you may need surgery to make your heart work well again.2

What are the common heart diseases? 

Some of the common cardiovascular diseases include3,4

  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Arrhythmia
  • Problems with heart valve
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Aneurysm

Heart attack: A heart attack is a condition where the blood vessels supplying part of the heart are blocked. The part of the heart muscle supplied by that blood vessel begins to die because it does not receive blood.

The blockages may lead to a lower supply of blood to the heart, thereby weakening the oxygen supply. This usually leads to pain in your chest region which puts the heart into a stressful situation resulting in a heart attack.5

The block is because by a condition called “atherosclerosis”, a condition resulting due to hardening of the arteries attributed to cholesterol and plaque (deposits of fatty substances, cellular waste products, calcium, and fibrin) deposition.

Most people survive the first heart attack, and it is treated with lifestyle changes, medications and surgical treatment. If a similar incidence happens in the brain, it is called a stroke.2

Heart failure: Heart failure is a condition in which the heart isn’t pumping blood as well as it should. The condition is also called ‘congestive heart failure. In heart failure, the heart does not stop beating; in heart failure, the body does not receive sufficient oxygen. If untreated, heart failure can turn worse. Thus, it is important to visit a doctor.3

Arrhythmia: Heart beats in a specific rhythm. If the heart beats too slow, too fast or irregularly, it is called arrhythmia. If the heart beats too slowly it is Bradycardia, and if it is too fast it is Tachycardia. Arrhythmia can affect the way the heart works, and the heart can’t pump enough blood to meet your body’s needs.3

Problems of heart valves: The heart and big blood vessels of the heart as valves to ensure blood flow in one direction. When heart valves don’t close properly if affects the functioning of the heart. In these conditions, blood leaks through; it’s called regurgitation. The valves may also bulge and prolapse.3

Congenital heart disease: Congenital heart diseases are the heart diseases a child has by birth. They may affect the way blood is carried to the parts of the body. There could be a hole in the wall separating the heart’s chambers; big heart vessels may be narrower than normal; the valves may be affected, or even the heart may be underdeveloped. These need management as soon as possible.6

Aneurysm[KS1]: Aneurism is an abnormal bulge or ballooning in the wall of a blood vessel, which happens when the blood passes through the weakened blood vessel, eventually rupturing and leading to internal bleeding. This is an extremely dangerous condition. The symptoms include compression to surrounding tissues causing cough, shortness of breath or dysphonia (having an abnormal voice), sudden crushing chest or back pain due to sudden rupture.5

References:

  • https://www.who.int/health-topics/cardiovascular-diseases#tab=tab_1
  • https://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/heart-disease-types-causes-symptoms
  • https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/consumer-healthcare/what-is-cardiovascular-disease
  • https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20353118
  • Cardiovascular Disease. Edgardo Olvera Lopez; Brian D. Ballard; Arif Jan. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK535419/ )
  • https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/congenital-heart-disease/
  •  [KS1]It should be “Aneurysm”

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