Causes of Heart Disease

| April 28, 2013
Causes of Heart Disease

Any condition affecting the health of your heart is a Heart Disease. There are many types of heart disease; some of them are preventable and curable, while some are difficult to deal with. 

In any cardiovascular disease, the entire circulatory system gets affected, while only the heart gets affected in heart diseases. 

Central of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that 1 in every 4 deaths occur because of heart diseases in the US. Hence, it is a leading death cause in the United States.

Types of Heart Diseases

As we know, heart diseases are the leading cause of death. So, taking care of your heart becomes are very important. By understanding the major types of diseases, you can also know how to prevent those. So, what are the 4 types of heart diseases? Let us know: 

#1. Coronary Heart Disease (CHD)

Also known as Coronary Artery Disease, it is among the most common type of heart disease. When plaque starts growing on the walls of coronary arteries, CHD happens. It happens because this plaque limits the flow of blood inside the heart’s muscles. This heart disease can also lead to a heart attack. 

Symptoms of CHD

Angina is the main symptom associated with CHD. Angina refers to pain that feels like squeezing or pressure in the shoulders, chest, neck, arms, or back. The patient may also feel indigestion because of angina. Activities may make this pain worse and will be relieved if the patient has rested. 

Risk factors of CHD

The risk factors of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) may include: 

  • Low HDL cholesterol
  • High LDL cholesterol
  • High Blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Family history of Coronary Heart Disease
  • Post-menopausal phase in women
  • Obesity
  • Age more than 45 years

Causes of Heart Diseases

#2. Arrhythmia

Electric impulses coming from specific areas help your heartbeat and pump properly. The term “arrhythmia” refers to any kind of change in normal electrical impulses of the heart. This disease can make your heartbeat irregular, too slow, or too fast. It may result in several symptoms. 

Symptoms of Arrhythmia

A patient may feel fluttering in the chest. Or besides fluttering, there may be a feeling like he/she is skipping a beat. Chest pain can also occur at times.

Risk Factors of Arrhythmia

The risk factors of Arrhythmia include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Hyperthyroidism 
  • Hypothyroidism 
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Excessive intake of alcohol or caffeine 
  • Drug abuse
  • Genetics
  • Electrolyte imbalance 
#3. Heart Valve Disease

A human heart has 4 valves. All four valves work in coordination to pump blood only in the right direction. When one or more of these valves has any complication and does not work correctly, this condition occurs.

Symptoms of Heart Valve Disease

The symptoms of this disease may include shortness of breath, a heart murmur (can only be observed by a physician with a stethoscope), swelling in legs, ankles, or feet, fatigue, etc. 

Risk factors of Heart Valve Disease

The risk factors of Heart Valve Disease include:

  • Older age
  • Other heart issues like heart attack
  • Endocarditis (An infection of the endocardium, which is the inner lining of chambers of the heart and heart valves)
  • Rheumatic fever
  • High blood pressure
  • Any kind of radiation therapy near the chest
  • Smoking
#4. Heart failure

This condition occurs if the heart’s ability to pump does not meet the general requirements for oxygen and blood needed by the entire body. It may weaken the heart muscles too. Conditions that are associated with heart failure are a prior heart attack, CHD, abnormal heart valves, heart muscle diseases, uncontrolled hypertension, etc. 

Symptoms of Heart Failure

Symptoms are almost as same as in the case of Heart Valve Disease. These symptoms include

  • Trouble breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Elevated neck veins
  • Fatigue
  • Fluid building in feet, ankles, legs, etc.
Risk Factors of Heart Failure

The risk factors for this condition are:

  • Coronary heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart attack
  • Diabetes
  • Some diabetes or other medications
  • Valvular heart disease
  • Alcohol 
  • Tobacco
  • Obesity

What foods should be avoided to prevent Heart Disease?

It is such a common question of almost everyone. There is a long list of foods that may become one of the causes of heart diseases. So, here we are, providing a list of foods that may increase heart disease risk.

  • Processed meats like bacon, sausage, etc.
  • Packaged snacks like potato chips
  • Dessert
  • A lot of protein
  • Fast food
  • Energy drinks
  • Added salt
  • Coconut oil
  • Saturated fats, or trans fat
  • Sodium containing foods

These are foods you should avoid or take in minimal amounts to prevent heart diseases.

What foods can prevent or decrease the risk of Heart Disease? 

After talking about what to eat for a healthy heart, it is time to know some foods to prevent heart diseases. Here, we are giving a list of foods you should include in your diet to lower your heart disease risk. 

  • Plenty of vegetables and fruits
  • Whole grains rich in fiber
  • Fish

Irrespective of age, anybody can have benefited from developing a healthy diet.

When to See a Doctor?

Seek emergency care if you come across any of the given signs or symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Fainting
  • Chest pain

If you feel like having a heart attack, call 911 or your known medical care professional to seek help. If you got the symptoms early, then you can treat thecauses of heart diseases too. So, talk about your concerns for heart health to your doctor.

To Sum Up

Heart diseases are very dangerous, but you can prevent them for sure in many cases. Everybody should maintain a healthier lifestyle to promote better heart health. But people who are at increased risk of having heart diseases should take proper precautions.  You can prevent heart diseases by developing the following habits:

  • Make a routine of exercising at least 4 times a week
  • Try and maintain a healthy diet.
  • Keep a healthy weight maintained.
  • Reduce the amount of stress.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Go for a check-up regularly and detect the risk factors, if any.
  • Know about the warning signals of heart diseases like stroke, heart attack, etc. 

Living a healthier lifestyle than today is one of the most beneficial ways to prevent heart diseases. Knowing the causes of heart diseases, you must know what you can do for a healthy heart. Make your healthy lifestyle and avoid heart diseases the topmost priority, irrespective of your age group.