According to heart.org, about 121.5 million Americans are affected by heart disease currently. Out of which 655,000 die from it every year, that is 1 in every 4 deaths. To say heart disease is a major problem across the globe won’t be wrong. A huge amount of money, somewhere around $219 billion, and resources gets spent on health care, medications, and lost productivity every year.
Broadly speaking, heart disease is the term used to refer to any condition affecting the heart. Oftentimes, people confuse heart disease with cardiovascular disease, but it is to be noted that, although all heart diseases are cardiovascular in nature, not all cardiovascular diseases are heart disease. Heart disease is strictly affecting the heart, while cardiovascular disease affects the entire circulatory system.
To understand heart diseases better, we first must understand the different types of heart diseases that could affect an individual
Coronary artery disease (CAD): Caused by the build-up of plaque in the artery.
Cardiomyopathy: Very common type of heart condition, which causes the heart muscle to harden or grow weak.
Arrhythmia: Caused by abnormal heart rhythms.
Atherosclerosis: This causes the arteries to harden.
Heart infections: Infections in the heart caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites.
Congenital heart defects: These are the heart defects that are present since birth.
What could trigger heart disease in an individual?
Although indeed, heart diseases do not discriminate based on, age, sex, and race, different types of heart conditions have different causes, but some common triggers ultimately lead to the development of heart irregularities.
High blood pressure
High blood glucose levels due to diabetes
All of these triggers are equally liable to cause heart disease in an individual, but factors like stress, anxiety and way too much pressure on oneself can also be reasons behind the development of the person’s heart condition.
Sign and Symptoms of Heart Disease
Similar to how different heart condition have different reasons, different heart conditions also can have varying symptoms that is more exclusive to the particular disease. And some of those signs and symptoms are mentioned below.
Congenital heart defects
The development of this condition begins when the fetus is still in the womb and can only be recognized when the infant starts showing the following symptoms
Irregular heart rhythm
Exhaustion and fatigue
Shortness of breath
This heart disease causes the heart muscle to either grow weak or harden, hence making it incapable of pumping the required amount of blood in the body to survive. Some notable symptoms of this disease are
Swollen legs, particularly the ankle region and feet
Shortness of breath
Coronary artery disease (CAD)
Caused by the accumulation of plaque in the arteries that are responsible for moving oxygen-rich blood through the lungs and heart. It is often diagnosed by the following symptoms
Shortness of breath
Pressure on the chest
Feeling bloated, as if you might have indigestion or gas
Heart infections are the broad term to cover conditions such as myocarditis and endocarditis, which are caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites. Their symptoms include
With common symptoms like shortness of breath and chest pain, Atherosclerosis various other signs as well, such as
Coldness in the limbs
Weakness in the limbs
Common Symptoms observed in women with heart conditions
While these are some particular symptoms one can expect from heart ailments, some other common symptoms that specifically women experience before they experience a heart attack are:
Jaw pain and neck pain
Paleness and many others
Heart disease Treatments and Preventive Measures
Mostly dependent on the type of disease you have and how advanced your condition is, treatment for Heart conditions varies a lot. But most of them fall into three main categories, such as:
Adhering to the prescribed medication by the doctor to prevent the heart diseases from advancing any further.
Doing away with your old unhealthy lifestyle and adopting a healthy one instead. Engaging in more physical activity, eating healthy food, and cutting down tobacco and alcohol intake.
In case the condition has developed too much or if the surgical procedure would be a better long-term solution, surgeries are also carried out by the doctors on the patient.