Heart disease can take a variety of forms. Each type of heart disease has unique signs, risks, and treatments. Some treatments for heart diseases can be significantly improved by making lifestyle modifications. At the same time, other heart disease cures include taking medications or undergoing surgeries. Learn about some of the types of cardiac disease, heart disease symptoms, and heart disease cures through this article.
Heart disease in the US leads to several deaths every year. It is the cause of 1 in every four deaths in the US. Approximately 610,000 people pass away every year because of problems of the heart. For several populations, including whites, Hispanics, and Black people, cardiovascular disease is the primary cause of death. A growing number of Americans are at risk of some heart illness. Even though heart illness is fatal, most people can avoid getting cardiac issues. You may live longer if you start developing certain good living habits.
What Are The Different Types Of Heart Disease?
Coronary Artery Disease
The most frequent heart condition is CAD. Your coronary arteries may get blocked if you have CAD. This may result in less blood flowing to your heart muscle, depriving it of the oxygen it requires. Atherosclerosis, i.e. hardening of the arteries, can lead to several other diseases.
Congenital Heart Defects
Congenital heart disease develops when something goes wrong when the infant is still in the womb, and the heart is developing. Sometimes the heart condition causes issues right away, but other times you don’t notice any symptoms until you’re an adult. One of the most prevalent congenital cardiac conditions is septal anomalies. These are openings in the wall that divide your heart’s left and right sides.
This infection is typically brought on by bacteria, which can enter the bloodstream and establish themselves in the heart during illness, during surgery, or after using intravenous medications. When you already have valve issues, it frequently occurs. It is typically curable with antibiotics but left untreated; the sickness poses a serious threat to life. You might require valve replacement surgery if endocarditis severely damages your heart valves.
Rheumatic Heart Disease
Rheumatic fever, which is connected to strep throat and scarlet fever, damages your heart muscle and valves, which leads to the development of this ailment. In the early 20th century, rheumatic heart disease was increasingly prevalent. However, by treating the illnesses that cause it with antibiotics, doctors can now stop it from happening. The signs typically appear many years after the infection if you contract it.
A pericardial disease is any condition that affects the pericardium, the sac that surrounds your heart. Pericarditis, or pericardial inflammation, is one of the more widespread illnesses. A viral infection, pericardial damage, or inflammatory conditions like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis typically bring it on.
Cardiomyopathy is a condition that affects the myocardium or heart muscle. It stretches, thickens, or becomes stiff. Your heart could become unable to pump effectively. The illness has numerous potential causes, including viral infections, genetic heart abnormalities, adverse drug or toxin reactions, and congenital heart conditions. Chemotherapy can occasionally result in cardiomyopathy. Doctors frequently are unable to pinpoint the exact cause.
Angina is a pain or discomfort that develops in your chest, arm, neck, stomach, or jaw when the blood flow to your heart is reduced due to artery narrowing. The term for this blockage is atheroma. The difference between angina and heart disease is, angina is not a disease in and of itself; it is a sign of coronary heart disease.
Mitral Valve Regurgitation
Four valves in your heart open and close to control blood flow between the four chambers of your heart, the lungs, and the blood arteries. A deviation could make it difficult for a valve to open and close properly. Your blood flow may get obstructed, or your blood may leak. Perhaps your valve doesn’t open and close properly. Heart valve issues can develop from heart attacks, congenital heart disease, excessive blood pressure, coronary artery disease, or infections like rheumatic fever.
Your heart’s rhythm is erratic when you have an arrhythmia. Serious arrhythmias can occur on their own, but they frequently result from other heart issues.
If you have heart failure, your heart doesn’t pump blood as efficiently as it should to meet your body’s needs. The most common cause is coronary artery disease, but other illnesses such as thyroid disease, hypertension, cardiomyopathy, and others can also contribute to it.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Heart Disease?
Various types of heart disease can bring on numerous symptoms of cardiac problems.
- Arrhythmias – Heart palpitations, a sluggish heartbeat, fainting spells, vertigo, and chest pain
- Atherosclerosis – Weakness in your arms and legs, as well as coldness and numbness
- Congenital heart abnormalities – Weariness, blue-tinged skin, swollen extremities, breathing difficulties, shortness of breath, and irregular heartbeat
- CAD – Chest pain or discomfort, pressure or a squeezing sensation in the chest, shortness of breath, nausea, and feelings of indigestion or gas
- Cardiomyopathy – Fatigue, bloating, swollen legs, shortness of breath, and a pounding or rapid heartbeat
- Endocarditis and myocarditis – Chest pain, chest congestion or coughing, fever, chills, and skin rash
How Is Heart Disease Being Diagnosed?
Physical exams and blood tests
Your doctor will do a physical examination and ask about your recent symptoms as the first step. They will then inquire about your personal and family medical histories. Some heart conditions may be influenced by genetics. Inform your doctor if someone in your family has any serious heart conditions. Doing so may help doctors in checking your cholesterol or inflammation.
- Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) – This examination can track the electrical activity of your heart and assist your doctor in identifying any anomalies.
- Echocardiogram – Your doctor will receive a detailed image of the structure of your heart through this ultrasound test.
- Stress test – This examination is carried out as you exercise vigorously by walking, running, or riding a stationary bike to observe how your heart beats respond.
- Carotid ultrasound – Your doctor may request this ultrasound exam to obtain a thorough image of your carotid arteries.
- Holter monitor – You could be required to wear this holter monitor or heart rate monitor for 24 to 48 hours with your doctor. They can see more of your heart’s activity this way.
- Tilt table test – Your heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen levels are measured while you are fastened to a table and steadily lifted or lowered.
- CT scan – Your doctor will get a CT scan and receive a highly-detailed X-ray image of your heart from this imaging examination.
- Heart MRI – A heart MRI can produce a highly accurate image of your heart and blood vessels, like a CT scan.
- Cardiac catheterization and coronary angiography – Your doctor might put a catheter into your heart through the groyne and arteries. They can test the heart and blood arteries with the catheter’s assistance. Your doctor can do coronary angiography once this catheter is in your heart. A dye is injected into the fragile arteries and capillaries during coronary angiography. A very precise X-ray image is produced with the aid of the dye.
- Electrophysiology study – Your doctor may use a catheter to affix electrodes to your heart during this procedure. Your doctor can record how the heart responds to electric pulses after the electrodes are positioned.
What Are The Risk Factors For Heart Disease?
Heart disease has numerous risk factors. Some are controllable, while others are not. According to the CDC, about 47% of Americans have at least one heart disease risk factor. These risk elements that indicate a sign of a weak heart include:
- high blood pressure
- high cholesterol and low HDL
- physical inactivity
What Treatments Are Available For Heart Disease?
Heart disease treatment options for different types of heart disease often include:
- Lifestyle Modifications – These are frequently the initial actions in treating heart disease. A heart-healthy diet reduced in sodium and fat, regular exercise, giving up smoking, and moderate alcohol use are just a few examples of lifestyle adjustments.
- Medication – If changing your lifestyle is not enough to treat your heart condition, your doctor may recommend taking medication. The disease and severity will determine the kind of medication that is recommended.
- Surgery – Surgery can be required if dietary modifications and prescription drugs are insufficient. Which type of surgery your doctor advises depends on the type of cardiac disease you have and how much damage your heart has sustained.
What Lifestyle Changes Are Needed To Treat Heart Disease?
The following lifestyle modifications can aid in the treatment of the different types of cardiac disease:
- Eat a healthy diet – The key to preventing heart disease is maintaining a healthy diet. The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan is advised as it focuses on heart-healthy meals high in minerals, protein, and fiber yet low in fat, cholesterol, and sodium.
- Exercise regularly – Physical activity has several advantages, including improved circulation and heart health. It is advised to engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise five days a week or at least 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise three days a week.
- Control your blood pressure – One of the largest risk factors for heart disease is high blood pressure. Make sure to have regular blood pressure checks. For most adults, this translates to once a year; if your blood pressure is excessive, you may need to see more frequently. An average blood pressure value is 120/80 millimeters of mercury, according to the AHA (mmHg).
- Keep cholesterol under control – Your arteries can get blocked by high cholesterol, increasing your risk of heart attack and coronary artery disease. Once more, if necessary, your doctor will advise medication and lifestyle modifications to lower your cholesterol.
- Maintain a healthy weight – Being overweight or obese considerably boosts the risk of developing heart disease because it increases the likelihood of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. These diseases can be avoided by maintaining a healthy weight through exercise and a balanced diet.
- Limit alcohol intake – Alcohol abuse increases the risk of heart disease by increasing blood pressure and adding extra calories to your diet, which can result in weight gain. Males over 65 and healthy women of all ages should keep one drink daily, while men 65 and younger should limit their alcohol consumption to two drinks per day.
Heart disease is incurable and irreversible. It needs constant therapy and close observation. Some heart diseases can be cured with treatments, surgeries, and dietary modifications. Bypass surgery or a coronary intervention may be utilized when other heart disease treatments are unsuccessful. It is critical to take control of your general health. This is particularly valid if you have a family history of heart disease or other health issues that raise your chance of developing heart disease. Taking good care of your body and heart now will benefit you in the long run.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the risk factors for Coronary Artery Disease?
- Family history
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Overweight or obesity
How common is heart disease among women?
The most prevalent form of heart disease, coronary heart disease, affects about 1 in 16 women aged 20 and over (6.2%):
- Black women (6.5%), Hispanic women (6%), and white women (6.1%) make up about 1 in 16 people
- 3.2% of Asian women (about 1 in 30)
How do people cope with heart disease?
- Eat a heart-healthy diet
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Get plenty of exercises
- Quit smoking
What age does heart disease start?
Any age can be affected by heart disease and the causes that cause it. Younger adults (aged 35-64) suffering from obesity and hypertension may start heart disease soon.
Is heart disease genetic?
Heart disease, high blood pressure, and other disorders connected to these presumably have some genetic component. People with a family history of heart disease are probably to share settings and other elements that could raise their risk.
How long do heart diseases last?
People with heart failure live ten years less than people without cardiovascular complications. People with chronic heart failure survive 80% to 90% of the first year. But the survival rate drops to 50%-60% by the fifth year and then to just 30%.