Heart Disease: Types, Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

  • 07 Sep, 2023
  • 366
  • Medical tourism

The human heart is a delicately designed organ that supports the entire body. It is a muscular organ that is about the size of a closed fist and is located in the centre of the chest but somewhat to the left. The heart beats around 100,000 times every day, distributing 8 pints of blood throughout the body. This transports waste and supplies tissues and organs with blood that is nutrient- and oxygen-rich. Deoxygenated blood is delivered by the heart to the lungs, where it picks up oxygen and releases carbon dioxide, a waste product of metabolism. The circulatory system is made up of the heart, blood, blood vessels, arteries, capillaries, and veins.

Heart Disease and Its Types:

Heart diseases can refer to a variety of heart-related ailments. Coronary artery disease (CAD) is regarded as the most prevalent type of heart disease in which the blood arteries in your heart get narrower due to fatty deposits. However, abnormalities with your heart's electrical system, heart muscle, valves, or other components can arise.

CAD, Heart valve disorders, Heart attack, Heart failure that causes heart squeezing and makes it difficult to relax, Arrhythmias or irregular heartbeats, congenital heart disease, abnormal heart muscle or cardiomyopathy, and problems with the pericardium (the sac filled with fluid that surrounds your heart) are some of the types of heart related ailments.

Let’s discuss different types of possible heart disease and it’s symptoms in detail.

1-     Congenital heart disease:

Some individuals are born with a congenital heart problem. It mostly affects the heart's blood arteries, valves, and walls. Heart problems that can occur at birth include the following.

Abnormal Heart valves: These valves may leak blood or fail to open properly.

Septal defects: A hole exists in the heart's wall between either the lower or upper chambers.

Atresia: A cardiac valve that is absent.

Bluish lips and complexion, breathlessness, eating difficulties, abnormally low birth weight, chest pain, and delayed growth are just a few of the signs that newborns with congenital heart disease may exhibit.

2-     Ischemic heart disease:

When the coronary artery is blocked, the heart cannot receive enough blood, which causes a heart attack. In medicine, a heart like this is referred to as ischemic. Possible signs and symptoms of ischemic heart disease are as following.

Chest pain: This is described as a tightness that may spread to the base of your neck or your arms. Shortness of breath, cold sweats, and nausea may or may not be present.

Palpitations: If you have ischemic heart disease, you probably feel your heart pounding in your chest and have a rapid heartbeat.

• Shortness of breath, sometimes referred to as dyspnea, impairs the heart's ability to pump blood to the rest of the body. This causes the blood to stagnate in the heart, which makes breathing challenging.

Loss of consciousness: This can happen when the heart is unable to adequately pump blood to the rest of the body.

• Both cold sweats and nausea can strike at once or separately. This is the nervous system's attempt to react to ischemia.

3-     Coronary Artery Disease or CAD

CAD is brought on by dysfunctional blood arteries that carry blood to the heart. As a result, there is a disruption in the flow of oxygen, blood, and other vital nutrients. This occurs as a result of cholesterol build-up on the artery walls. When you have CAD, it's possible to develop blockages in your coronary arteries, which can result in a reduction in the blood flow to your heart muscle and prevent it from receiving the oxygen it requires. The condition that often causes the disease to start is atherosclerosis, also known as hardening of the arteries. Angina, a chest ache that is caused by CAD may lead to a heart attack.

The most typical CAD symptoms include angina, which might feel tight or pressing in the left or middle of the chest. Another symptom is breathlessness. If your heart isn't pumping enough blood, you'll experience exhaustion. Additionally, a heart attack will occur when the coronary artery is totally obstructed.

4-     Heart  Failure

It occurs when a person's heart continues to beat, but not as well as it should. Problems with the pumping or relaxing function can lead to congestive heart failure, a specific kind of heart failure. Coronary artery disease, hypertension, arrhythmias, and other problems that go untreated can all lead to heart failure. The heart's capacity to rest or pump correctly may be compromised by several diseases. Heart-related illnesses should be treated as soon as possible to reduce the risk of complications, as heart failure can be fatal.

Common signs include coughing, fatigue, weakness, dizziness, decrease in appetite, need urination at night, palpitations or rapid or erratic heartbeat shortness of breath after lying down or during physical activity enlarged or swollen liver or abdomen, swollen ankles and feet, waking up from sleep after a few hours owing to breathing difficulties, gaining weight.

5-     Arrhythmias

An irregular heartbeat is known as an arrhythmia. It takes place when the electrical impulses that regulate the heartbeat are malfunctioning. The outcome may be an irregular heartbeat or a heartbeat that is too fast or too slow.

A variety of arrhythmias exist, that includes,

a- Tachycardia: heartbeat that is too quick.

b- Bradycardia: This term describes a sluggish heartbeat.

c- Contractions that start too early: This is a heartbeat that starts too early.

d- Atrial fibrillation: abnormal heartbeat

One could have a sensation like a rushing heart or fluttering. Shortness of breath, Fainting or light-headedness, Chest pain, and Fatigue can be other symptoms.

 Arrhythmias can, in rare circumstances, be fatal or have serious side effects.

6-     Disease of the Heart Valve

The four chambers of the heart, the lungs, and blood vessels are connected by four valves that open and close to control blood flow. A valve's ability to open and close properly may be compromised by an anomaly. Your blood flow could be obstructed or blood could leak as a result.

Chest pain, abdominal swelling, a whooshing sound in the heart (or heart murmur), and severe tricuspid regurgitation are all signs of heart valve dysfunction. Apart from these, you may also experience Fatigue and breathlessness, especially when moving or when lying down. Your feet and ankles swelling, and you feel faint and woozy.

7-     Aortic Stenosis

It is frequently referred to as a failing heart valve or a narrowing of the aortic valve orifice and is one of the most prevalent and dangerous valve disease issues. The left atrium's pressure may be impacted by aortic stenosis, which limits blood flow from the left ventricle to the aorta. It could be born with congenital valve abnormalities, or it might develop over time as a result of calcium deposits or scarring.

You could never have any symptoms if you have mild aortic valve stenosis. Symptoms frequently take a long time to become more obvious. There are specific signs for severe cases that are important to note. They consist of breathing difficulties especially after exercising, stiffness or pain in the chest experiencing dizziness or faintness Fatigue, fluttering or rapid heartbeats, cardiac murmur

8-     Cardiomyopathy

It is a condition that affects the myocardium, or heart muscle. It stretches, thickens, or becomes stiff. It's possible that your heart won't be able to pump properly. Potential causes include viral infections, genetic heart abnormalities, adverse drug or toxin reactions (including alcohol), and genetic heart conditions. Chemotherapy can occasionally result in cardiomyopathy.

Heart disease risk factors

You may be more susceptible to certain diseases due to a variety of lifestyle and environmental variables. Significant contributors include the following:

       High cholesterol.

       Blood pressure issues.

·        Type 2 diabetes.

       Unhealthy diet.

       Substance abuse disorders.

       Smoking

       Heavy alcohol consumption

       Elevated triglycerides

·        Diabetes and heart disease in the family,

       Food Choices

Age, sleep apnea, a lack of exercise, a high level of stress and anxiety, being overweight and obese, having leaky heart valves, and having a history of preeclampsia during pregnancy are all risk factors.

 

Heart Disease Causes:

Causes of heart disease vary in accordance to it’s type.

       A build up of fatty plaques in the arteries is what causes coronary heart disease.

       Drug interactions, diabetes, cardiomyopathy, mental stress, alcoholism, or smoking can all contribute to irregular heartbeats.

       One month after pregnancy, congenital cardiac abnormalities typically start to form in the womb.

       Cardiomyopathy, or an enlarged heart muscle, may be hereditary or brought on by the accumulation of a protein called amyloid in the heart.

       Viruses, parasites, and bacteria can all cause heart infections.

       Rheumatic fever or conditions affecting connective tissue are the two main causes of heart valve disease.

Treatment of Heart Disease:

Depending on the type of heart disease a person has, there are many treatment options available. However, some standard approaches include adopting a healthier lifestyle, taking drugs, and having surgery.

Medication: Typically given medications include aspirin, beta-blockers, anticoagulants, and pain relievers. They halt development and avoid difficulties.

Surgery

When medication is ineffective at treating blockages and other cardiac issues, surgery may be necessary. Common surgical procedures include:

A)     Coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG):  When an artery is blocked, this procedure enables blood to flow to a certain area of the heart. Coronary artery bypass grafting is the procedure that occurs the most frequently. An unblocked blood artery can be repaired by a surgeon using a healthy one from another body part. Procedures used for CABG can be Off-Pump CABG or Open heart CABG, On-Pump CABG, Minimally invasive CABG and Robot-assisted CABG.

B)     Coronary angiography: Coronary angiography is a treatment that makes use of x-rays and a specific dye to see how blood moves through the arteries in your heart. To find heart-related coronary artery blockages, coronary angiography is conducted. This procedure expands coronary arteries that are obstructed or narrowed. It is frequently paired with the placement of a stent, a wire-mesh tube that facilitates better blood flow, the procedure is called Balloon Angioplasty and Angioplasty and Stent Placement.

C)     Valve replacement or repair: An ineffective valve can be replaced or repaired by a surgeon. Procedures adopted for valve replacement or repair surgeries can be Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), Transcatheter mitral valve repair (TMVR), Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation and Balloon valvuloplasty.

D)     Repair Surgery: Congenital cardiac defects, aneurysms, and other issues can all be fixed surgically. Procedures can be Aneurysm repair, VAD or Ventricular assist device Implantation, Heart valve repair or replacement, etc.

E)     Device Implantation: Pacemakers, balloon catheters, and other implants can support blood flow and help control the heartbeat. Procedures are termed as Temporary Pacemaker Implantation, Permanent Pacemaker Implantation, Single Chamber Pacemaker Implantation, Dual Chamber Pacemaker Implantation, biventricular pacemaker, ICD, or implantable cardioverter defibrillator Implantation.

F)      Treatment with lasers:  Transmyocardial laser revascularization or TMR is effective in treating angina. Other laser-based procedures can be Transmyocardial Laser Revascularization (TMLR), Percutaneous Transmyocardial Revascularization (PTMR) and Transmyocardial Revascularization and Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG) Combined.

G)     Maze surgery: A surgeon can reroute electrical signals through new channels. Atrial fibrillation may be treated using this. This procedure can be done using Scalpel, Radiofrequency, and/or Cryoablation.

H)     Heart Transplant:

During a heart transplant, a sick heart is swapped out for a healthier donor heart. Typically, patients who require a heart transplant are those whose diseases have not sufficiently improved with treatment.

When other methods of treating cardiac issues have failed and heart failure has resulted, heart transplants are done. Heart failure happens due to following reasons in adults

       heart muscle deterioration (Cardiomyopathy)

       Severe Cardiovascular disease

       Heart valve dysfunction

       a birth abnormality of the heart

       dangerously recurring ventricular arrhythmias that are resistant to standard treatments

       a previous heart transplant failed

Congenital heart defects or cardiomyopathy are the two main causes of heart failure in children.

In certain medical centres, patients with specific diseases may undergo a heart transplant along with another organ transplant (multi-organ transplant).


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