|What is Heart Disease? The Internal Silent Assassin [message #689]
||Wed, 13 May 2020 21:47
Registered: January 2020
Heart disease brings together a wide range of diseases that affect the structure of the heart and blood vessels. It is currently the leading cause of sudden and premature death around the world, especially in the elderly and those of low socioeconomic status. |
It usually has as its starting point a condition known as Atherosclerosis, which is the deposit of fat on the walls of the arteries. This disease is mediated by elements such as: Lifestyle, habits, diet and genetics. It can go unnoticed and eventually lead to the formation of atheroma plaque (cholesterol buildup on the artery wall).
Heart diseases include:
• Hypertension. Hypertension is high blood pressure, in which the pressure of blood pumped by the heart into the artery walls is increased. There is an increase in the force the heart must exert to pump the blood. It is considered hypertension when its value is above 130/80mmHg.
• Congenital heart disease. Alterations or malformations in the structure of the heart and vessels, developed before birth, that is, it is a birth defect.
• Heart failure. A condition where the heart's ability to pump blood to the human body is affected, which affects the delivery of oxygen to the tissues. It causes shortness of breath, fatigue, and edema in the extremities.
• Coronary heart disease. A condition affecting the blood vessels that supply the heart muscle, in which plaque (fat deposits) build up inside them, affecting the supply of oxygen-rich blood.
• Cerebrovascular accident. Also called a stroke. A condition in which the blood supply is interrupted due to a blockage or rupture of an artery. Curses with facial and limb paralysis, difficulty in articulating words and difficulty in walking.
• Arrhythmias. Alterations in heart rhythm, either due to irregular beats that are too fast (tachycardia) or too slow (bradycardia). These are usually the result of an electrical short circuit in the heart.
• Rheumatic heart disease. Damage to the heart muscle as a result of infection caused by streptococcus.
• Deep vein thrombosis. Formation of a thrombus (blood clot) in a deep vein, which breaks loose and lodges in a heart vessel, blocking the flow of blood. Usually located in the leg veins (calves and thighs).
• Acute myocardial infarction. Necrosis of the heart muscle due to the obstruction of the coronary arteries by a clot, which prevents blood from being directed to the heart, so that when it does not receive the oxygen supply, it dies.
Heart disease can be caused by both modifiable and non-modifiable elements.
Non-modifiable: Age and hereditary factors.
It is given by a combination of the following risk factors:
Harmful habits such as smoking.
Inadequate diets that lead to high blood cholesterol levels. Cholesterol has to travel through the blood attached to proteins, and the higher the LDL (low-density lipoprotein) level, the greater the likelihood of cerebrovascular disease because there is a greater buildup of cholesterol in the arteries.
Obesity, favored by a diet high in saturated fat. Achieving an abdominal perimeter greater than 90cm.
Stress. Individuals suffering from constant stress episodes are more likely to adopt behaviors harmful to their health, such as: Smoking and poor dietary habits.
Excessive alcohol consumption, which leads to increased triglyceride levels and blood pressure.
A key element is the early and timely detection of the disease.
Control of risk factors to achieve their reduction or elimination. It is imperative to start from an early age to avoid the establishment or progression of the disease.
Daily exercise practice.
Adequate diet, with plenty of vegetables and fruits, whole grains, fish, lean meat. Avoiding saturated fats, excess salt (it favours the increase of blood pressure) and excessively processed foods.
The specialized health personnel will perform a clinical exploration, together with the filling out of the medical history to know the personal and family history that could be related to the disease.
Depending on the case they may indicate: Stress test, chest X-ray, electrocardiogram, echocardiogram, CT scan, MRI, etc.
The treatment will vary in relation to the type of illness suffered and its level of evolution. It ranges from modifying daily routines (diet, exercise, harmful habits) to surgical interventions, including pharmacological therapy.
Many of these diseases have no cure, but there is the possibility of keeping them under control, so that a full life can be developed, but always hand in hand with the specialist's indications.