Everything You Need To Know About Heart Disease
There is nothing more frightening to a person than the thought of developing heart disease. All too often it goes undiagnosed until the more serious symptoms appear and the terminology used to describe their condition will often leave the patient scared and at a loss to comprehend what is happening to them. To alleviate some of that fear, we will go over the different kinds of heart disease, their symptoms and treatment, so that you can go to your next physical feeling informed and aware of the danger signs.
Being diagnosed with any form of heart disease can be frightening and you will have a lot of questions about your treatment. Everyone here at Trinity Medical Group realizes that and want you to know that we are here for your every need, call us today.
What is Heart Disease?
This term is actually one used as a general description for a host of different conditions involving the heart. As a diagnosis, it begins with physical examinations that reveal a heart murmur or a whooshing sound heard between heartbeats. This will lead the doctor performing more tests to determine exactly what is going on inside your heart, like angiography or echocardiograms. The murmur is just the first clue that something is happening that may develop into something more and you must keep in mind that there are several conditions that fall under this general diagnosis, each one with similar symptoms.
Coronary Artery Disease
Coronary artery disease occurs when the main arteries that supply blood to the heart become blocked by arterial plaque. The plaque is made up of fat cells and other debris that cling to the walls of the artery, slowing the flow of fresh blood to the heart. Without regular infusions of fresh, oxygenated blood the muscles of the heart can deteriorate over time. This condition is an aftereffect of high cholesterol and hypertension, both very treatable conditions if caught early enough.
Symptoms of coronary artery disease include a painful discomfort in your chest that is often mistaken for heartburn. This pressure might also be felt in the neck, jaw, arms, throat, back and left shoulder. You may also experience shortness of breath, palpitations or irregular heartbeats, weakness, dizziness, sweating and nausea. All of this is caused by your heart having to work twice as hard to get the blood it needs.
Crucial Warning Signs
Some conditions can happen without warning, like heart failure or a heart attack and will have a defined set of warning signs that everyone needs to be particularly attentive to.
Potential warning signs of heart disease:
- Pain or heaviness in the chest or left arm
- Pressure resembling heartburn
- Discomfort in the back, jaw, throat or arm
- Sweating, nausea or dizziness
- Weakness, anxiety, and shortness of breath
- Irregular or rapid heartbeats
It is crucial to seek medical attention immediately at the first sign of any of the following symptoms. Treatment afterwards will depend upon the exact nature of the condition.
Coronary Heart Disease
What Causes Coronary Heart Disease And What Is The Appropriate Treatment?
Coronary heart disease is a condition that afflicts the coronary arteries. These are blood vessels that run across the heart’s surface, bringing blood to the heart muscle itself so that it can function to pump blood to the rest of your body. Also known as coronary artery disease or CAD, it develops when fatty deposits build up on the walls of the coronary arteries, narrowing the arteries and restricting the flow of blood to the heart muscle. Eventually, the arteries become so narrow that the heart ceases to function properly, or the heightened pressure within the arteries becomes too much and the arteries burst.
Coronary Heart Disease
Heart problems like CHD are usually characterized by chest pain that starts as a dull ache that comes and goes and eventually progresses to sharp pains. Other symptoms include dizziness and fatigue, as the heart receives insufficient oxygen to function properly. At its worst, this condition can lead to congestive heart failure and death if not treated in timely fashion. At Trinity Medical Group, you will find professionals who are experienced at dealing with heart problems, and who can ensure that you receive the medical treatment you require to begin the road to recovery from your condition. Call our office today to schedule your appointment, and rest assured that all your medical needs will be met with promptness, efficiency and professionalism.
The fatty deposits on the walls of coronary arteries that are the cause of the condition are medically known as atheroma. Atheroma are formed from cholesterol and a number of other waste substances. Cholesterol in the bloodstream is carried by two types of molecule known as LDL or Low Density Lipoproteins and HDLs or High Density Lipoproteins. HDLs are commonly known as the ‘good’ lipoproteins while LDLs are commonly known as the ‘bad’ lipoproteins.
Cholesterol in the bloodstream is processed by the liver, which breaks down the cholesterol into harmless substances. HDLs bring cholesterol to the liver to be processed, whereas LDLs take cholesterol away from the liver to the rest of the body. This is how cholesterol makes its way to the coronary arteries and becomes deposited on the artery walls.
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is another key contributor to coronary heart disease, as it puts undue strain on the walls of blood vessels. With atheroma lining the walls of the coronary blood vessels, even under regular conditions the vessel walls would already be under greater strain as the blood must be pushed through a narrower tube. High blood pressure exacerbates the problem greatly, and it is not unknown for coronary arteries that are overly stressed to burst. Without prompt treatment, a burst blood vessel will quickly lead to death.
Treatment should consist of a combination of medical and non-medical approaches. Drugs have been developed that effectively combat levels of cholesterol in the bloodstream as well as reduce blood pressure. Lifestyle factors are often either the cause or major contributors towards coronary heart disease, and those factors must immediately be addressed, as they are well within your power to change.