No one wants to have a heart disease. Having a cardiovascular problem will not only mean more medical bills to pay, but it also means many restrictions on your normal activities. A heart disease is not a joking matter as many people in the United States suffer from it. It is important that you need to know what the causes of heart disease are so that you will be able to do preventive ways to stay away from it. Proper knowledge of the illness is a critical tool to fight it and make you healthy and worry-free.
What Are The Causes Of Heart Disease?
Though many conditions fall under the category of heart disease such as coronary heart disease (CHD), heart arrhythmia, cardiomyopathy, and any other Congenital Heart Defects, the causes of heart disease are most often the same or interrelated in some ways.
CHD is often referred to as heart disease by people who are not aware of the other conditions that may affect the heart. Thus, the causes of heart disease are sometimes misinterpreted as well. However, a heart disease occurs when plaque starts to develop in your arteries and blood vessels that are coming into your heart. Due to the development of plaque, blockage occurs and blocks the nutrients and oxygen flow from reaching your heart.
Aside from plaques, a heart disease may be caused by other factors too, including:
- Unmanaged high blood pressure
- Increase in level of cholesterol and fats
- First-hand and second-hand smoking
- Diabetes or high sugar levels resistant to insulin
- Inflammation of blood vessels
- Inactive lifestyle
- Bad diet
- Excessive alcohol or caffeine intake
- Drug abuse
- Underlying medical conditions[?su_list]
Who Are At The Risk For Acquiring Heart Disease?
Since heart disease is one of the leading causes of deaths in the United States, it is important to know and take note if you are included in the risk group or not.
If so, you must start visiting your doctor regularly to assess and monitor your heart condition as well as prevent any worsening of the problem or existing condition.
Risk factors in having a heart disease include:
- People are prone to developing a heart disease as they grow older.
- Males are known to be more likely in acquiring a heart disease when compared to women. However, as women reach their menopausal stage, the chances of acquiring the disease are as same as the males.
- Family history. If a family member who has a history of heart disease, your risk of having the same disease also increases.
- Unhealthy lifestyle. As stated earlier, one of the causes of heart disease is a dangerous lifestyle which includes unhealthy habit such as smoking, drinking, stress and inactivity among many others. This shows that if you are someone who practices these unhealthy choices, your risk of developing the disease tremendously increases.
- Suffering from existing medical condition. If you are a hypertensive patient and do not go for treatment, your high blood pressure will likely cause and lead to a heart disease. Same as well as with other medical condition such as diabetes and even depression. In the case of diabetes, unmanaged high levels of glucose will increase plaque development in the walls of your blood vessels, while depression leads to many changes in your body which in turn increase the risk of heart disease development.
Signs And Symptoms Of Heart Disease?
Heart disease may be asymptomatic and may attack at the moment you least expect it. The worst case scenario will be a sudden and unexpected cardiac arrest. Cardiac arrest may also be the first symptom of a heart disease. Lucky you, if you will survive the attack. But what if for those who do not? There are events where no symptoms occur even if there is already an evidence of ischemia seen on an electrocardiogram result. This condition is called as silent ischemia and may happen when there are 50% or more arteries already blocked.
However, there are also people who exhibit signs and symptoms of a heart disease.The number of individuals showing different symptoms outweighs those that do not. Symptoms of a heart disease usually happen when you engage yourself in exercise or any activities because the need of oxygen and nutrients by your heart muscles are not being met due to the blockage of the blood vessels.
The symptoms do not occur at the same time, but you still need to take note of them anyway:
- Angina Pectoris or chest pain upon exertion, and may be relieved by
- Shortness of breath upon exertion
- Feelings of rapid or very intense heartbeats, also known as palpitations
- Pain that may occur on your left side, particularly in your jaw, back, and arm
- Feelings of fatigue
- Dizziness or light-headedness that may result to fainting
- Irregular heartbeat
When To Seek Medical Help?
Asking for a certified health-care professional is crucial to prevent any fatal damage that a heart disease may bring. It is safer if you visit your doctor to assess and monitor your heart even if you have not felt any symptoms at all. A doctor’s visit will do no harm to you, and he can also check your overall condition.
If you do not know that you have a heart problem, yet you experience the symptoms listed below, immediately seek health care at the soonest possible time or call 911:
- Chest pain which may or may not be relieved even after rest
- Feelings of indigestion after exertion
- Shoulder or arm pain
- Unexplainable jaw pain
- Shortness of breath upon exertion
- Fainting spell
- Upper abdominal pain
- Nausea and vomiting that cannot be explained
Remember that time is a significant factor when treating a heart disease. Thousands of Americans die each year because they did not seek any immediate help.