You need blood and oxygen to live. You need the
oxygen throughout your body and the blood carries it there. Your brain
also needs a constant supply of blood flowing
to it. When the heart cannot function property, we call it heart
Of all heart problems the one most feared and discussed is the heart attack. Some people have higher risks of heart attacks due to simple genetics, while other people are more at risk for having a heart attack because of other health and medical problems they already have.
Unlike what you see on TV, though, a the symptoms of heart disease are
varied. An actual heart attack is not usually sudden or even obvious. In fact, many heart attacks can happen without a person even knowing they've had one. True heart attack symptoms often come on slowly. There may be a tightening sensation around the chest area, or it could feel as if you have a heavy weight on your chest instead.
Having pain that spreads outwards from your left shoulder, arm or jaw, particularly combined with chest tightness, pain, or heavy weight feelings. Also shortness of breath and sweating or vomiting, particularly when combined with the other symptoms noted here, are all signs that a heart attack is in progress.
Not everyone has pain when they have a heart attack unfortunately, and some people don't even have these common symptoms. Women in fact, often have pain between their shoulder blades on their back but nowhere else when they have a heart attack, and this makes diagnosis difficult sometimes.
Other types of heart disease and problems can include hardening of the arteries. This disease progresses slowly over time, when you haven't been taking care of your health properly. The veins and arteries in our circulatory system are supposed to be flexible, strong, and elastic. Over time however, these veins can start to become thick and lose their elasticity. When this happens, clots and obstructions can form in the arteries, from combinations of cholesterol, plaque, and other debris. These obstructions grow over time to create blockages of the arteries. When blockages occur, depending upon which artery they're blocking, various areas of the body can become non functional. Blood flow may be blocked to the brain for instance, or the heart, or one of the other major organs. Sometimes blood flow is blocked to various muscles or
extremities as well.
High blood pressure is a major contributing factor to heart related problems, as is obesity, diabetes, lack of exercise, and poor eating habits.
When someone has medical problems caused by heart disease and related factors, there are several types of medical treatments which may be used. Which treatments used will depend on the individual condition, specific problems a person has, and what other treatments are currently in use.
The first step in treating heart disease and related health problems is to improve your lifestyle habits. If you smoke cigarettes for instance, you're told to quit immediately. Smoking can damage your arteries, and this damage can lead to the creation of blockages.
Getting regular physical activity is an extremely important part of treatment too, because exercise and activity gets your blood flowing. When your blood flows through your body quickly on a regular basis, it effectively helps clean out your veins and arteries with it's movement. Because the blood flow has increased, it's able to wash away plaque build ups that may have started. If you think of your blood like a river which is constantly flowing, and you know that the river slowly erodes the rocks it washes over in time, you'll understand how this works. Now think of the river during flood season, and that river can sometimes pick up and carry large rocks long distances instead of simply washing over them as it usually does.
The blood flow inside your body is the same way. By exercising, you cause the blood to flow more strongly than normal, and this can help start washing away the build up of materials in your arteries that often cause blockages.
Eating nutritious foods is another part of heart disease treatment, because many people with heart related problems are overweight. Changing the types of foods you eat can help you lose weight, which can help to treat the heart disease problems too. Other food changes usually involve cutting out saturated fats and simple sugars.
There are various types of medications used to treat heart disease and related problems too. Some medications will attempt to reduce the LDL cholesterol levels in your blood and boost the HDL levels. Other medications may thin the blood so that it's not able to clot as well. There are anti-platelet medications which are used too, to prevent clumps forming and blocking the arteries.
Blood pressure medications are also frequently used to help treat and control heart disease related problems, because high blood pressure is often one of the biggest causes for the heart disease conditions.
If you already have a blocked artery, your doctor may choose to treat it with surgery. There are procedures which involve inserting long thin tubes into the blocked area of your artery, and inflating balloons on those tubes to pack the plaque deposits against the artery walls, which opens the blood flow area further.
There are also surgical procedures which can remove fatty deposits, break up clots with drugs, and bypass the clot entirely.
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