When it comes to heart diseases, what should you look to prevent? Here are the most common diseases pertaining to the heart and how to guard against them.
The human heart is one of the most fascinating and complex organs in the body. Alongside the brain, your heart is responsible for pumping and distributing blood to all of the body.
But in the United States, there are a number of diseases pertaining to the heart that can cause serious damage. It’s important to take preventative measures to keep your heart in great shape.
Read on to learn more about different types of heart diseases.
1. Heart Defects at Birth
Sometimes, it isn’t our own choices that cause heart problems. Unfortunately, there are a number of heart problems that can come up during pregnancy and after birth.
Some babies might be born with heart defects that can affect different parts of the heart. These usually tend to involve the valves of the heart as well as the heart chambers.
This can come from a number of factors but it’s usually from abnormal formations during a baby’s time in the womb.
Defects that are present at the time of birth are referred to as congenital heart defects.
2. Heart Infections
A common type of heart infection is pericarditis. This occurs when there the outer part of the heart becomes inflamed and irritated. The pericardium is a slim layer of membrane that surrounds the heart and protects it.
Though this condition is common, its important to get it treated. More serious cases may need surgery to treat this infection.
On the flip side, another type of infection called endocarditis affects the inner lining of the heart. This infection tends to be more serious and should be treated right away. It can cause significant damage to the heart’s valves to avoid serious conditions.
There are other types of rare infections and diseases, such as myocarditis. Research is still developing around these types of diseases and what specifically causes them.
Myocarditis occurs when there is inflammation in the heart due to another type of infection in the body or from an autoimmune disease.
This type of heart condition occurs when the heart either beats too fast or too slow. These irregularities can be risky, and can often lead to other serious conditions.
Arrhythmia is caused when the electrical signals don’t work well together, causing the heart to beat at an irregular pace.
Often times doctors use implanted devices that are utilized to keep the heart beating at a normal pace.
A procedure called cardioversion can also be used to deliver shocks to the heart.
4. Valvular Heart Disease
This specific type of disease pertains to the heart’s valves. The human heart has four valves, and this particular disease can affect one or all of the valves.
The four valves in the heart are the mitral, aortic, pulmonary, and tricuspid valves. All of the valves control the blood flow to different areas of the heart and other parts of the body.
Usually, valvular heart disease tends to affect the mitral and aortic valves the most. But any damage to the pulmonary valve can affect important blood flow to the lungs in the body.
5. Aortic Aneurysms
There are two different types of aortic aneurysms that affect the heart directly. One is called an abdominal aortic aneurysm. This affects the section of the aorta that connects with the abdomen.
The other type of aneurysm is called the thoracic aortic aneurysm. As the name suggests, this impacts the chest cavity area.
These two types of aortic aneurysms can cause severe chest or abdomen pains. They also run the risk of rupturing, which can cause deadly internal bleeding.
6. Coronary Artery Disease
This is one of the most common types of heart diseases. You may have heard your doctor warn you about the dangers of high cholesterol. That’s because high cholesterol creates unhealthy levels of plaque which can clog your arteries.
If your arteries are clogged, your heart must work overtime to ensure that your body is receiving an adequate supply of blood.
When the heart is strained, you may experience shortness of breath, feelings of fatigue, and ultimately chest pains.
If you’re experiencing chest pain and dizziness, you may also want to be checked out to rule out AFIB.
Plaque can be dangerous because if a buildup happens to rupture, it can cause a blood clot in one of your arteries. This blocks blood from reaching the places it needs to go, also known as a heart attack.
Heart attacks affect someone in the United States every forty seconds. What’s worst is that sometimes heart attacks can be silent, meaning the damage occurs without one being aware that it is happening.
You may experience a heart attack and find that it isn’t the first time.
When the blood supply to your heart is restrained, you may experience angina. This can cause a feeling of discomfort in parts of your body like your chest or neck, even your jaw.
Though it’s not a disease, it is a symptom that something in your heart is not working properly. The clog itself is called angina.
You may experience unstable angina when these symptoms worsen and your blood supply is further restricted.
In either case, anginas should be closely monitored because they indicate that your health can be taking a hit.
Diseases Pertaining to the Heart
There are a number of serious illnesses and diseases pertaining to the heart that affect Americans every day.
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