Heart Disease - Common Types, Prevention, and Treatment
Common Health Issues

Heart Disease - Common Types, Prevention, and Treatment

According to leading researchers at the CDC, heart diseases are responsible for one out of every four deaths in the US. This makes it one of the leading causes of death in humans. Hence we cannot stress the significance of learning about heart diseases enough.

What are heart diseases? The term includes a wide variety of ailments associated with what is perhaps our most vital organ, the heart. This brief account will cover the types, symptoms, preventions, and treatments of several heart diseases.

General Heart Disease Symptoms

Despite some symptoms being specific to certain types of diseases, coronary diseases share most of their signs. Here are some of the most frequent and recurring ones:

  • Angina (Chest pain)
  • Numbness in the limbs
  • Chest tightness and pressure
  • Pain in the neck, back, and upper abdomen
  • Abnormal heart rate

If you have any of these signs for an extended time, you must immediately consult a cardiologist. Moreover, cardiovascular diseases must get diagnosed at the earliest stages.

What Are The Types of Heart Diseases?

We can broadly classify CVDs into five major categories. They are:

1.Congenital Heart Anomalies

The term congenital refers to genetics, meaning these are the diseases present since an individual’s birth.

Hereditary conditions can be of one of two types:

Either they are very severe and cause problems immediately, or they get undiagnosed for years and don’t cause much harm.

A typical example is a defect in the interatrial or interventricular septum that causes mixing of blood, adding a blue tinge to the skin. One way or the other, it is crucial to get proper treatment if one is diagnosed with a congenital heart ailment.

2. Atherosclerosis

Atherosclerosis is a complex term for hardening of the blood vessels, especially arteries. Our diet plays a crucial role in this. In fact, fatty components of our diet get accumulated and deposited on the arterial walls, making the lumen narrower.

The stiffening due to atheromatous plaque causes some secondary problems that include:

  • Weakness in limbs
  • Cold
  • Unusual pain and numbness in the upper limbs


3. Ischemic Heart Disease

IHD, commonly known as coronary artery disease, is rapidly increasing in our population. In this particular anomaly, the blood vessels carrying oxygenated blood towards our heart (coronary arteries) get disrupted.

Even a slight change in our heart’s blood supply is hazardous, and that is why CADs are the leading cause of death in the United States.

4. Arrhythmia

Arrhythmia is an alteration of our heart’s regular rhythm. There are two types of arrhythmia, bradycardia, and tachycardia. Our heart starts beating faster than usual (72 times/minute) in the former and slower in the latter. Such alteration of our natural rhythm can cause severe complications if not treated urgently.

5. Myocardial Infarction

Perhaps the most common term that comes up with heart disease is a heart attack. A blockage in one (or more) of the coronary arteries causes myocardial infarction (heart attack).

The sudden halt of blood flow results in the death of a portion (or more) of the cardiac muscles. We can prevent heart attacks by taking some precautions in our daily lives. Here are a few such measures that you must take to reduce the risk of developing a coronary ailment.

How Can I Reduce The Risk of Getting a Heart Disease?

Diet is the most influential aspect we need to manage to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.  

According to the CDC, 47 percent of all Americans have at least one of the risk factors that may lead to heart disease. Therefore, ensure to keep the following guidelines in mind:

  • Make regular physical activity a central part of your daily routine.
  • Lower the intake of oily foods
  • Decrease the consumption of cholesterol
  • Quit smoking
  • Never skip your blood pressure medication if you suffer from hypertension.
  • Try not to gain too much weight, as obesity is a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases.
  • Reduce the amount of stress and hassle in your day to day regime.
  • Make your diet free of saturated fats and high amounts of salt.

If you follow these basic protocols, you can successfully prevent almost all heart diseases. However, there are still some risk factors that we cannot get rid of, like age and genetics. Hence this is where treatment comes in.

Potential Treatments

We can improve coronary disease therapy by using a Cardiac Hospitalization Atherosclerosis Management Program (CHAMP). Lifestyle changes have a great scope in treating cardiovascular diseases. 

You can modify your diet and make it low in sodium and fats. You can also make it rich in fruits and vegetables. Consequently, you will get a big help in treating the symptoms. Furthermore, quitting smoking and alcohol also helps to do wonders in treating these ailments.

For complex conditions, doctors prescribe medication like beta-blockers and anticoagulants that help treat the symptoms. Notably, treatment and cure differ from condition to condition.

Finally, the last resort for someone with coronary heart disease is surgery. If there is a severe blockage in any of the arteries, a surgeon inserts a stent to keep the lumen opened, making blood flow possible. Further complications lead to advanced surgeries like a bypass.

Therefore, it is wise to cautiously ensure that one does his best in applying the precautions so that the matter doesn’t worsen. Prevention is always better than cure.

Heart Diseases - Bottom Line

Lastly, the proportion of people developing CVDs depends on gender. Males are at a greater risk of getting heart anomalies than women. Furthermore, seventy to eighty-nine percent of all heart diseases occur in men, and this percentage increases with age.

Therefore, it is imperative to keep a check on anyone who crosses the age of 50-55. In 2021, it is crucial to maintain a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle because nothing comes before our health.

Hence we need to take care, regularly have ourselves checked, and immediately consult a cardiologist in case we feel anything suspicious. As a disease diagnosed early, is a disease cured

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Rich Health Editorial Team

Health Research

Rich Health Editorial Team is made up of medical practitioners and experienced writers who provide information for dealing with health issues in a simple and easy-to-understand manner