Death due to heart diseases is the biggest killer in the world.
As distressing as it may seem, there is good news. Over 80% of such cases can be prevented or at least delayed.
So, we thought, we would bring awareness to this grave issue, this World Heart Day.
Here’s everything you need to know about cardiovascular diseases and what you need to do to stay safe from it.
What is Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD)?
Cardiovascular diseases are diseases that affect the functioning and anatomy of your heart.
Most people are only familiar with a heart attack or stroke. While it is a type of cardiovascular disease, they are completely oblivious to the different types of cardiovascular diseases.
CVD or heart disease is an umbrella term under which many conditions and diseases are covered. It mainly affects the veins, arteries, and capillaries in and around the heart.
Abnormal heart rhythms
Abnormal heart rhythm is also known as Arrhythmias. As the name suggests, it is a heart abnormality where it either beats too fast or too slow. Its symptoms are chest pain, lightheadedness, low pulse, and fast heartbeat
Aorta, which is the largest artery is responsible for pumping oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. When this functionality is affected due to the widening or hardening of it, the condition is called atherosclerosis. Due to this the oxygen supply is cut short. Its symptoms include cold and numbness, especially in limbs, weakness in legs and arms, and chest pain.
It is a heart disease that causes the enlargening of the heart. Due to the abnormally large, thick, stiff heart, the normal functioning like beating and pumping of blood is hindered. If not treated it could get worse and result in abnormal heart rhythms or even failure. While it can be genetic, it can also be caused due to high blood pressure, diabetes, and other infections.
Coronary Artery Diseases (CAD)
It is a heart condition where there is a plaque buildup in the arteries and this eventually results in cutting short the supply of oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to the rest of the body. Some of its symptoms include discomfort or pain in the chest, shortness of breath, nausea, and feeling of indigestion.
Heart infections are caused by certain bacteria that result in the inflammation of the heart. Some of these conditions are endocarditis and myocarditis.
Deep Vein Thrombosis
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is caused due to blood clots in the veins, usually in the legs. If this clot happens in the lungs, it is called pulmonary embolism. This condition can be life-threatening if proper treatment is not given soon. It is caused due to genetics, sedentary lifestyle, long-term bed rest among others.
There are many other cardiovascular diseases, however, the above are the most common conditions.
Symptoms and their intensity may vary from person to person and depends on the conditions. A few people do not even notice any symptoms initially.
However, here are some of the most common symptoms.
- Pain or discomfort in the chest
- Shortness of breath
- Pain or discomfort in the limbs, especially in the left hand, shoulder, elbow, and back.
Are symptoms similar in women?
When it comes to cardiovascular diseases, the symptoms often differ in women. In most cases, they do not have common signs of heart diseases like pain in the chest. However, most women have reported that they noticed a few other signs weeks and even months before the actual attack.
Here are the common signs of heart disease in women.
- Jaw pain
- Neck pain
- Back pain
- Gassy pain in chest and abdomen
- Disturbed sleep
What are the common risk factors and tips to avoid them?
The risk factors for heart diseases are two-fold, controllable, and uncontrollable.
The controllable risk factors are unhealthy eating, smoking, drinking, etc. Other risk factors include hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, sedentary lifestyle among others.
Risk factors that are out of your hands are factors like genetics, age, and gender.
Knowing the risk factors, it might be pretty obvious how to avoid those risks. However, here are some of the common points to remember.
- Maintain an active lifestyle with at least 30 minutes of moderate activity daily.
- Consume heart-healthy foods and be mindful of the food you eat.
- If you smoke, be aware that smoking is a key risk factor to almost all the types of cardiovascular diseases, so try to quit or at least take measures to curb it.
- Take time to de-stress.
Treatment for cardiovascular diseases depends on the disease and the criticality of the issue. However, common treatment includes:
- Medication to regulate blood flow or stabilize heart rhythm.
- Lifestyle counseling and exercise prescription, and
The above treatments depend on how early you detect its signs. And to do that, we recommend getting regular check-ups. Getting a full body or at least a cardiac health check-up, in this case, can go a long way in determining if you would need treatment in preventing your heart functions from weakening, relieving symptoms of CVD, or preventing complications like heart failure.
Contact us today on 88 00 644 744 to book your health check-up or to consult an expert cardiologist.