Heart Disease is the leading cause of death in many parts of the world. The problem with this disease is that it can strike you when you least expect it, and before you can do something about it, it has already inflicted severe damage to your health. Getting to know about this group of ailments will be your first defense against it. Below, you will find the most common forms of this health problem.
Coronary Heart Disease
The most common type is the coronary heart disease. This refers to the atherosclerosis of the coronary arteries or the blood vessels of the heart. Atherosclerosis takes place when the arteries become narrowed and blocked due to buildup of plaque. This can restrict the blood flow in the vessels that nourish the heart. When this happens, the heart runs short on oxygen and nutrients, which it needs to be able to function properly. Symptoms of coronary heart disease include shortness of breath, palpitations (irregular heartbeats), faster heartbeat, weakness, dizziness, nausea and sweating.
Heart attack is a sudden piercing pain felt in the left arm and the chest. It is brought about by coronary heart disease or the buildup of fatty plaques in the coronary heart disease. The buildup of the plaque is not the direct cause but the sudden formation of blood clot on the plaque buildup. The blood clot cuts off the blood flow and results in heart attack. Risk factors include high blood pressure, high level of cholesterol, smoking, obesity, stress, and sedentary lifestyle.
High Blood Pressure
Also known as hypertension, high blood pressure occurs when the heart pumps blood too strongly causing too much pressure on the blood vessels. This heart disease is commonly caused by fatty foods, foods high in sodium, smoking, alcohol drinking, stress, sedentary lifestyle, and excessive weight. It is important to maintain correct level of blood pressure, which is 120/80 mmHg.
Ischemic Heart Disease
Ischemic heart disease, also called myocardial ischaemia, is characterized by reduced blood supply in the heart muscle. It is usually due to coronary heart disease. Like other heart diseases, risk increases with age and unhealthy lifestyle habits like fatty diet and smoking. Diabetes and hypertension can also lead to this particular type of heart disease. Symptoms of this heart disease include pain in the left side of the chest, dizziness, and decreased tolerance for exercise.
Rheumatic Heart Disease
This heart problem is a complication that arises from rheumatic fever. It usually occurs after several attacks of this fever, which damages the valves of the heart making it difficult to open and close properly. Rheumatic heart disease has decreased in rate after the invention of antibiotics that fight the streptococcal bacterium that causes rheumatic fever. Symptoms include fatigue, chest pain, fainting, palpitations and breathlessness.
Pulmonary Heart Disease
Pulmonary heart disease occurs when abnormal pressure is exerted on the lungs as a result of incorrect blood flow to that part of the body. Shortness of breath, occasional fainting attacks, and chest pains are some of the common symptoms of this problem.