Unfortunately, the number of cases related to heart-related diseases in India is on the rise. The situation is so serious that people are suffering from grave issues like heart attacks in their twenties. This is certainly a cause for alarm, and it is high time we start taking our cardiovascular health seriously.
Anyone can fall victim to heart disease. The cardiovascular system is fairly sensitive and plays a very important role in keeping us alive. The heart is responsible for circulating oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. The blood vessels (veins, arteries, capillaries, etc.) help you carry blood to and from your heart to ensure seamless circulation.
If you or your loved ones are facing any heart-related complications, make sure you seek medical help from a trusted heart hospital in your city. For instance, if you are a Ranchi resident, look for the best cardiac hospital in Ranchi to get yourself diagnosed and treated.
To obtain effective cardiac care and take the right preventive measures, it is important to understand what causes heart diseases. This helps you take a step in the right direction and lead a healthy life. Once you understand what causes these diseases, you can improve your health by taking adequate preventive measures.
Before having a look at the causes and preventive measures for heart diseases, let us briefly understand what heart diseases are.
What Is A Heart Disease?
Heart disease is a disease that affects the healthy functioning of your heart. These diseases attack your cardiovascular system and hamper blood circulation. A few major heart diseases include:
- Heart attacks
- Arrhythmia (irregular heartbeats)
- Other blood vessel diseases
- Congenital heart diseases (issues you are born with)
- Heart muscle diseases
- Heart valve diseases
All these diseases affect your heart’s health and take a toll on your well-being. If not treated, heart diseases can be life-threatening. Make sure you reach out to your cardiologist and visit a heart hospital if you experience even minor symptoms of any heart disease.
Symptoms Of Heart Diseases
Most heart diseases can be easily recognized by common symptoms, provided you are alert and aware.
Let us have a look at some of the major symptoms of different types of heart diseases:
Coronary Artery Diseases
Coronary artery diseases are health complications caused due to uneven blood supply to your heart. These diseases affect your blood vessels and can have serious implications if not treated on time.
Here are a few major symptoms of coronary artery disease:
- Chest discomfort
- A squeezing or stabbing chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Pain extending to the jaws, back, upper belly, or neck
- Pain or numbness in legs or arms
Heart arrhythmias are heart diseases that involve irregular heartbeats. These health complications arise due to your heart’s inability to pump your blood evenly.
Here are a few major symptoms of heart arrhythmias:
- Chest discomfort or pain
- Fainting or near-fainting
- A fluttering sensation in the chest
- Tachycardia (racing heartbeat)
- Bradycardia (slow heartbeat)
- Shortness of breath
Congenital Heart Diseases
Congenital heart diseases are the health complications a patient is born with. Most of these diseases can be identified immediately after a child is born.
Here are a few major symptoms of congenital heart disease:
- Blue or pale gray lips or skin
- Shortness of breath while being fed (for infants)
- Poor weight gain
- Swelling in the belly, legs, and around the eyes
Heart Muscle Diseases
Also known as cardiomyopathy, these diseases are caused because of the poor functioning of your heart muscle.
Here are a few major cardiomyopathy symptoms that should prompt you to visit a cardiac hospital for medical care:
- Lightheadedness or fainting
- Shortness of breath while falling asleep or after waking up
- Irregular heartbeats
- Swelling in ankles, feet, and legs
What Are The Causes Of Heart Disease?
Unless they are congenital, most heart diseases arise due to unhealthy lifestyles, eating habits, substance abuse, and lack of exercise. It is always important to lead a healthy life to stay away from heart-related issues.
Here are some of the most common causes of most heart diseases:
While smoking is highly injurious to your lungs, it also affects your heart’s health. Excessive smokers are always at a higher risk of experiencing heart-related complications.
When you smoke, you consume a lot of nicotine and carbon monoxide. These chemicals lead to the formation of plaque in your blood vessels, making them thicker. Thicker blood vessels make it difficult for your heart to pump blood, making it work harder. This makes you susceptible to heart diseases, especially coronary artery diseases and complications arising due to weak heart muscles.
Smoking also increases the risk of blood clots within your arteries, disrupting normal and healthy blood flow to and from your heart.
Cholesterol is important for your body. It is the fat your liver makes from the saturated fat you consume in your diet. While limited and controlled levels of cholesterol ensure your body’s healthy functioning, high cholesterol is risky for your heart.
High cholesterol results in fatty deposits within your blood vessels, making them thicker. This puts additional pressure on your heart to pump and circulate your blood, leading to coronary heart diseases. Make sure you control cholesterol levels in your body by following a healthy diet every day.
High Blood Pressure
Another major cause of heart diseases is high blood pressure. As the name suggests, high blood pressure involves your heart pumping blood with more force. Also known as hypertension, high blood pressure has direct implications on your cardiovascular health, increasing the risk of heart diseases.
High Lipoprotein (a)
Just like cholesterol, lipoprotein (a) is a fat your liver produces. High lipoprotein (a) results in a fatty build-up within your blood vessels, increasing the risk of coronary heart diseases. The amount of lipoprotein (a) you have in your blood is inherited from your parents. It is important to keep these levels in control to ensure a healthy heart.
If you are at risk of a cardiovascular disease, it is advisable to get your lipoprotein (a) levels checked in a cardiac hospital before going ahead with the right treatment.
Lack Of Exercise
It is very important to exercise regularly to ensure a healthy heart and stay away from heart-related complications. If you do not indulge in any physical activity throughout the day, the fatty deposits in your blood vessels increase over time. This makes your arteries thicker and interferes with the smooth blood flow.
Moreover, abstaining from regular exercising may exert undue pressure on your heart, affecting its muscles. This weakens your heart over time and adds insult to injury by making matters worse.
High Blood Sugar (Diabetes)
People suffering from diabetes are more susceptible to heart diseases. High blood sugar in your body tends to thicken your arteries over time, making it difficult for your heart to pump blood. This increases the risk of coronary heart diseases, making your heart weaker.
Thrombosis refers to a blood clot within your veins or arteries. Just like blood clots on the surface of your skin after an injury, it may clot within blood vessels, restricting blood flow therein. If it restricts the flow of blood to your heart, thrombosis may lead to a heart attack.
What Can You Do To Prevent Heart Diseases?
It is rightly said that prevention is better than cure. If you do not want to make frequent visits to a heart hospital in your city, make sure you take the right preventive measures to stay away from the complications discussed above.
Here are a few common ways in which you can prevent heart diseases from taking a toll on your and your loved ones’ lives:
Avoid Smoking And Alcohol Consumption
Both smoking and alcohol consumption have the same effect on your cardiovascular system. While alcohol is often considered a blood thinner, excessive alcohol consumption leads to the thickening of arteries, making your heart work harder to pump blood.
Eat A Healthy Diet
Make sure you cut down on fats and carbohydrates in your diet while consuming healthy food. Also, steer away from sugary carbonated drinks that increase the blood sugar levels in your body.
Spend at least 30 minutes indulging in low-to-moderate intensity workouts every day. Whether you go for a jog, run, or walk, keep your body active by performing physical activities on a daily basis.
Go For Regular Checkups
A lot of heart complications can be averted if a threat is diagnosed at an early stage. Make periodic visits to a cardiac hospital to ensure that your heart is healthy and there is no cause for alarm. If there is any risk for heart disease, take the medications and follow the procedures recommended by your doctor to regain normalcy.
The Final Word
These were some of the major causes of diseases and a few tips regarding what you can do about the same. Please do not wait for the disaster to befall you, and start living a healthy life before it is too late!