The cardiovascular system in your body consists of the heart as well as blood vessels. These play an important role in the transport of oxygen and various essential nutrients to different organs and tissues in your body. However, the components of your cardiovascular system are easily prone to different diseases that are called cardiovascular diseases. These diseases have an adverse effect on individual as well as public well-being globally.
What is Cardiovascular Disease?
Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) can be defined as a range of disorders in your heart as well as blood vessels. The term CVD covers different diseases that can be a result of various factors such as lifestyle choices, underlying health conditions, genetic predisposition, and so on. Each type of CVD can have an entirely different set of risks, symptoms and complications.
Different Types of Cardiovascular Diseases
Now that you have learnt about cardiovascular disease meaning, it is crucial to know about the different kinds of CVD to be able to seek proper treatment. Some of the common types of CVD include:
1. Arrhythmia or Abnormal Heart Rhythm
Arrhythmia, also known as irregular heartbeat or abnormal heart rhythm, is when your heart either beats too fast or too slow. Ideally, your heart should beat about 60-100 times per minute. In cases of arrhythmia, the electrical signals that control your heartbeat are disrupted, thereby causing an irregular pattern. The severity varies from harmless to life-threatening. Common arrhythmia symptoms include palpitations, chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, etc.
2. Congenital Heart Disease
Congenital Heart Disease, also commonly known as CHD, is a set of abnormalities that may be present in your heart at the time of birth. It is a condition that does not allow proper circulation of blood in the body, and affects nearly a cent of new-borns worldwide. Their causes are often unknown. Generally, medical professionals state maternal conditions, environmental factors and certain genetic factors as their causes.
3. Coronary Artery Disease
There may be situations when there is a build-up of plaque in your arteries that hinders efficient flow of oxygen and nutrients. This leads to the hardening of arteries, also known as atherosclerosis. Common risk factors that result in the build-up of this plaque include high cholesterol level, diabetes, obesity, hypertension, family history, sedentary lifestyle, etc.
4. Heart Failure
Congestive heart failure is a condition where your heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet your body's requirement.The heart loses its ability to contract or expand properly, leading to improper blood circulation, further resulting in build-up of fluid. Coronary Artery Disease, High blood pressure, diabetes, obesity are some of the most common causes of heart failure.
5. Cardiomyopathies (Heart Muscle Disease)
Cardiomyopathies result in functional or structural heart muscle abnormalities, and can simply be termed as a condition of enlarged heart. Without proper treatment, this type of cardiovascular disease causes other conditions like arrhythmias or heart failure. Metabolic diseases, infections, diabetes, etc. can be some of the leading factors of heart muscle disease.
6. Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism
Deep vein thrombosis is a condition wherein there is a formation of blood clots in your deep veins, mostly in your legs. When these blood clots travel to your lungs through your bloodstream, they can cause a blockage in blood flow, leading to a condition called pulmonary embolism. Genetics and family history play an important role when it comes to the risk of developing deep vein thrombosis. Other risk factors may include prolonged sitting, birth control pills, pregnancy, and so on.
Also known as cerebrovascular accident (CVA), stroke is a condition that deprives the tissue in your brain of nutrients and oxygen. It occurs due to an interrupted supply of blood to a part or the whole of your brain. It has a severe effect on an individual’s cognitive as well as physical functions, and may even lead to brain cell damage or death.
These were some of the most common heart diseases known to humankind. Some of the other heart diseases may also include:
- Pericardial disease
- Vascular disease
- Heart valve disease
- Peripheral vascular disease
- Rheumatic heart disease
Treatment of Cardiovascular Diseases
Cardiovascular disease treatment includes a comprehensive plan based on the variety of symptoms faced by you as well as the type of disease from which you suffer. Common aspects of the same may include:
- Surgeries or procedures (including stents, invasive heart surgery, cardioversion, open-heart surgery, or ablations)
- Monitored rehabilitation of your cardiovascular system
- Lifestyle changes including diet, workout routine, tobacco usage, and so on
The treatment can help reduce cardiovascular disease symptoms related to a particular type, alleviate the risk of it getting worse, and prevent further complications.
It is crucial that you work on the prevention of these diseases altogether. This may not entirely safeguard you from cardiovascular diseases but can significantly help reduce the risk of developing the same.
Staying informed and prioritizing the health of your heart is the best thing you can do to lead a fulfilling life. You can focus on the maintenance of a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet, proper exercise, stress management, and other suitable choices. To rule out any potential causes or for early identification of major cardiovascular diseases, you can get periodic tests and check-ups done.
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