Blessings and more blessings, one and all. Thank you for being a part of Itz Holistically Wholesome, where God’s grace feeds you spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. So as many of you are aware, February is Heart Health Month. As such, I will share a bit about our heart, its effects, and how we can keep it strong and healthy.
Heart disease is the number one killer among us. There is so much that could be said as everything is interrelated, meaning our entire lifestyle must be considered when dealing with matters of the heart. In other words, a healthy heart needs a healthy body to be at its optimal.
As mentioned in my last post, the term heart disease describes several conditions that affect our heart, and each has its specific signs, symptoms, and treatments, so let us get into that. The most common types of heart disease are:
Coronary Heart Disease – The coronary arteries nourish the heart muscles. If these arteries should become narrowed, it will prevent enough oxygen and nutrients from being supplied to the heart, nor will it be able to get rid of carbon dioxide and waste products. Consequently, it will cause the heart to become tight due to oxygen deprivation. Additionally, you will feel a heavy pain in the center of the chest when you exert yourself, eat a meal (especially late in the evening), or are stressed. This is known as angina pectoris. The pain will stop or lessens when you rest, but it strongly indicates what may be coming. Angina should be treated as severe because it could lead to a heart attack. Higher risk for heart disease:
- Age (For men, the risk of heart disease increases after age 55; for women, the risk rises sharply after menopause.)
- Being inactive
- Having diabetes or metabolic syndrome
- Family history of coronary heart disease
- High blood pressure
- High levels of LDL “bad” cholesterol or low levels of HDL “good” cholesterol
Arrhythmia is the general term used to describe your heart when it has an irregular beating pattern. Arrhythmias often develop from other heart problems but may also happen independently.
Heart failure occurs when the heart can no longer pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. It results from the coronary arteries but can also arise due to thyroid disease, high blood pressure, and cardiomyopathy (heart muscle disease), among other conditions.
Heart Valve Disease
Our heart has four open and closed valves (tricuspid, pulmonary, mitral, and aortic valves), allowing blood to flow between the chambers, lungs, and blood vessels. Your heart has four valves that open and close to direct blood flow between your heart’s four chambers ( right and left atrium and right and left ventricles), the lungs, and blood vessels. Any abnormality may cause the valve difficulty opening and closing the right way. If this should happen, blood could either leak or be blocked. For example, a heart attack, rheumatic fever, congenital heart disease, high blood pressure, or coronary artery disease can cause heart valve problems.
Cardiomyopathy (Heart Muscle Disease)
Cardiomyopathy is a disease of your heart muscle or myocardium that occurs when stretched, thickened, or stiff. As a result, your heart may get too weak to pump well. The disease has many possible causes, including genetic heart conditions, reactions to certain drugs or toxins (such as alcohol), and infections from a virus. Sometimes, chemotherapy causes cardiomyopathy. But, many times, doctors can’t find the exact cause.
Congenital Heart Disease
Congenital heart disease happens while a baby is still in the womb. The heart abnormality sometimes leads to problems right after birth, but other times there aren’t any symptoms until you become an adult.
Pericardial disease is any disease of the pericardium, which is the sac surrounding your heart. Pericarditis or inflammation of the pericardium is one of the more common diseases. Infection usually causes by a virus, inflammatory diseases such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, or injury to your pericardium. Pericarditis often follows open heart surgery.
If you want to learn more about heart diseases, you can look up heart diseases from your search bar. In addition, the Mayo Clinic, Healthline, and CDC offer helpful information.
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