Heart conditions are a number one killer today. Our societies suffer from more serious heart conditions than ever before. It crosses all borders, genders and ages. Any condition where your heart doesn’t work properly is a serious one, but some of these can be avoided or even reversed towards a cure.
- Heart Failure
Heart Failure doesn’t mean the heart has failed completely, but it is not working correctly. With heart failure your heart does not pump the blood through your body efficiently. Because your body’s cells are not getting the oxygen rich blood they need you will be short of breath. Everyday activities like walking, climbing stairs etc. will leave you feeling out of breath beyond the normal reaction to these activities. There is no cure for heart failure but there is treatment to keep the disease from progressing.
- Cardiac Arrest or Heart Attack
Cardiac arrest is mistakenly referred to by most non-medical people as a heart attack. It is the sudden stopping of the heart. It is reversible that is the heart can be started again. However this is only if the person suffering the attack gets help within the first few minutes following the cardiac arrest. The heart stops because the electrical impulses that keep it beating stop working. It is sudden without warning.
In comparison a heart attack, also called myocardial infarction, has nothing to do with electrical impulse malfunctions. Instead blood flow has been restricted and heart muscle dies. A person can have a heart attack and live through it as the heart continues to beat although poorly.
- Coronary Artery Disease
This disease also called coronary heart disease is the leading number one cause of death in both men and women in the United States alone. Worldwide it affects multi millions of people. With this condition, atherosclerotic plaque builds up inside the coronary arteries of the heart. These arteries are what take blood to your heart. Once plaque builds up over time in the artery, it hardens. Blood has to try to get through a passageway that becomes smaller and smaller. Eventually, if nothing is done, the artery completely closes resulting in a heart attack.
How to Help Heart Conditions
- Balloon Angioplasty (Medical Balloons)
If you have heard someone use the term “hardening of the arteries” to describe their heart condition then they mean they have coronary artery disease. Doctors use medical balloons to help treat the illness. It is used alone or along with other treatments and procedures according to the doctor. The medical balloon procedure is accomplished by inserting a tube called a catheter into the blocked heart artery; the end of the tube has a small balloon attached. When the balloon is inflated it flattens the plaque against the artery which clears a space for the blood to travel through the blocked artery again. When the procedure is finished the tube and balloon are removed. The procedure might be repeated more than once if plaque builds up again. Medical balloons have been used for this heart procedure for some time now. More recently medical balloons are used for opening arteries in other parts of the body as well.
Most heart disease is preventable, especially the kind that causes plaque buildup. While some heart conditions cannot be cured you can prevent further damage. Or better yet live a healthy lifestyle from early life onward. This includes eating a diet that is low fat with plenty of vegetables and fruits. Limit your fat intake aside from Omega-3 fatty acids which help the heart. Don’t smoke or spend too much time around second hand smoke. Get plenty of exercise and watch your cholesterol level to make sure your diet has been adequate. While these things don’t prevent heart disease in everyone, they go a long way in keeping our hearts healthy and safe in most people.
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This is a post by Ashley Williamson. Ashley is a freelance writer and an occasional guest-blogger interested in health, fodd and sport related topics. When she is not working she likes to travel and do yoga.