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Heart Disease: Types, Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Heart Disease: Types, Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Max Lab

Sep 08, 2022

Heart diseases affect millions of men and women worldwide and are one of the leading causes of death. They are also known as cardiovascular diseases. Sometimes, heart disease does not show any signs and symptoms, making it hard to identify and seek treatment on time. However, by observing some early signs of heart disease, routine health check-ups, and doctor visits, one can be aware of their risk for heart disease and take proper steps to prevent serious complications. Here is more about heart disease, types, symptoms, causes, and treatment.

Heart Disease - Types

Heart disease is the umbrella term containing many different conditions and diseases. Some of the common types of heart disease include the following:

  • Coronary Heart Disease

Also called ischemic heart disease and coronary arteries disease, it occurs when coronary arteries get damaged over time. Generally, the coronary arteries carry blood to the heart, giving it nutrients and oxygen. However, cholesterol and other fatty substances build up and narrow the arteries, leading to CAD and blocking blood flow to the heart. Coronary heart disease can lead to pain in the chest or a heart attack.

Symptoms of coronary heart disease include:

  1. Shortness of breath
  2. Chest pain (angina)
  3. Dizziness
  4. Pain in the body
  5. Nausea

Causes of Coronary Heart Disease

  1. Smoking
  2. Diabetes or insulin resistance
  3. Sedentary lifestyle
  4. High blood pressure

 

  • Arrhythmia Heart Disease

It is a condition related to heart rhythm that becomes abnormal. There are different conditions related to arrhythmias – the heart can beat too fast or slow, or sometimes it seems the heart skips a beat. An arrhythmia can affect the functions of the heart. With an irregular heartbeat, the heart finds it difficult to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs.

Signs and symptoms of Arrhythmia are:

  1. Pounding in the chest
  2. Anxiety
  3. Palpitations (a sense of skipped or fluttering heartbeats)
  4. Blurry vision
  5. Dizziness
  6. Sweating
  7. Weakness or fatigue

Causes of Arrhythmia Include:

  1. Diabetes
  2. Heart defects, such as congenital heart defects
  3. Excessive alcohol or caffeine use
  4. CAD
  5. Substance use disorders
  6. High blood pressure (hypertension)
  7. Stress

 

  • Heart Infections

A heart infection can occur when viruses or bacteria enter the bloodstream and invade the heart. It can damage or inflame the heart muscles. Generally, it affects people above 65 years of age, those who have had heart surgery, or people who use injected recreational drugs. It can damage:

  1. Heart valves
  2. Heart muscle (myocardium)
  3. Outer membrane or sac (pericardium)
  4. Inner lining (endocardium)

Common symptoms of heart infection include:

  1. Blood in the urine
  2. Unexplained weight loss
  3. Shortness of breath (dyspnea)
  4. Fluid buildup (edema) in the abdomen, feet, or ankles
  5. Spleen tenderness
  6. Night sweats

Causes of Heart Infections include:

  1. Viruses and parasites
  2. Damaged or diseased heart valves
  3. IV drug abuse
  4. Artificial heart valves

 

  • Cardiomyopathy Heart Disease

Another common heart disease, Cardiomyopathy, is related to problems in the heart muscles, making it difficult for the heart to pump blood to the body. This condition can lead to heart failure. It is mainly a hereditary disease of the heart muscle. The major types of cardiomyopathy are hypertrophic, dilated, and restrictive cardiomyopathy.

As the condition grows, symptoms start appearing that include:

  1. Difficulty lying flat to sleep
  2. Breathing difficulty with activity or even at rest
  3. Cough while lying down
  4. Discomfort or pressure in the chest
  5. Swelling of the feet
  6. Bloating in the abdomen due to fluid buildup

Causes of Cardiomyopathy may include:

  1. Long-term rapid heart rate
  2. High blood pressure
  3. Heart valve problems
  4. COVID-19 infection
  5. Inflammation of the heart
  6. Damaged heart tissues due to a heart attack

 

  • Valvular Heart Disease

The heart has 4 valves, including mitral, aortic, tricuspid, and pulmonary valves. These valves get open and close to send blood through the heart. Valvular heart disease, also known as heart valve disease, happens when one or more valves do not open or close as they should due to being damaged or not working properly.

The symptoms of heart valve disease include:

  1. Fatigue
  2. Chest pain
  3. Irregular heartbeat
  4. Swollen feet or ankles
  5. Fainting (syncope)
  6. Shortness of breath

Causes of Valvular Heart Disease include:

  1. Coronary artery disease
  2. High blood cholesterol or other metabolic disorders
  3. Damage to the heart muscle due to a heart attack

 

  • Congenital Heart Disease

It is a general term used for referring to a range of birth defects affecting the way a healthy heart works. Congenital heart defects are present at birth or when a fetus is growing in the womb. While some heart defects are not detected, others may be diagnosed when they cause symptoms, like:

  1. Fatigue and low energy
  2. Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  3. Irregular heart rhythm
  4. Blue-tinged skin or lips

The causes of congenital heart disease are:

  1. Having alcohol or illegal drugs during pregnancy
  2. Inherited heart defects in the family
  3. Increased blood sugar levels
  4. Taking certain medications while pregnant

Heart Disease – Diagnosis and Treatment

Heart disease is diagnosed once a person starts showing symptoms or has a heart attack. The doctor orders different tests to detect exact heart disease. Some common heart disease tests include blood tests, echocardiogram, chest X-ray, electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG), Heart (cardiac) CT scan, and Cardiac catheterization.

The treatment plan for heart disease will be depending on the type of disease an individual has, severity level, and symptoms. Possible treatments for heart disease may include:

  • Medicines
  • Heart-healthy lifestyle changes
  • Cardiac rehabilitation
  • Surgeries if required

It is essential for everyone to maintain a healthy weight, exercise, and adopt healthy eating plans and lifestyle changes. It will keep blood pressure and cholesterol under control to avoid heart disease and related complications.

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