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Heart Diseases – Types and Treatment Options

Heart disease is a term that describes a wide range of conditions affecting the heart and blood vessels. The term includes congenital heart diseases (problems individuals are born with), arrhythmia (rhythm problems in the heart), coronary artery disease, and diseases that involve blocked blood vessels, which lead to heart attacks, strokes and chest pain. Heart disease treatments aim to offer medical care and try to avoid heart surgery, which often cause physical and emotional trauma for the patients.

Heart Diseases: Symptoms and Diagnosis

Depending on the type of heart disease, symptoms may vary. Blood vessel diseases, which are caused by narrowed or stiffened vessels, prevent the heart and the brain from receiving blood and oxygen. As a consequence individuals experience shortness of breath, chest pain, numbness, coldness and pain in body parts. Very frequently cardiovascular diseases are not diagnosed until the condition gets worse, up to the point when heart attack, stroke, angina or heart failure happen.

For arrhythmia, an abnormal heartbeat, the symptoms include:

  • Fainting
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain

Congenital heart defects show some of the following symptoms:

  • Cyanosis or pale skin color
  • Swelling
  • Poor weight gain
  • Easily tiring during activity

Some heart infections can cause pericarditis, myorcarditis and endocarditis, accompanied by fever, weakness, shortness of breath, swelling, arrhythmia, dry cough, unusual spots.

Valvular heart diseases, which require particular heart disease treatments in the four valves (aortic, mitral, pulmonary and tricuspid) can cause problems in the process of opening and closing the blood flow. Some symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Arrhythmia
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Syncope

Depending on the causes and symptoms of each heart disease, different risk factors and complications may apply to each individual. Among the risk factors we find:

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Family history
  • Smoking and drinking
  • Diet
  • Blood pressure
  • Cholesterol levels
  • Diabetes
  • Obestity
  • Physical inactivity
  • Strees
  • Hygiene

 Heart Disease Treatments

In order to diagnose and opt for the best heart disease treatments, the following tests may be performed:

Heart disease cure can be achieved through lifestyle improvement, heart disease medications and heart surgery.

For cardiovascular diseases, the goal is to open the arteries through:

  • Lifestyle changes – eating low-fat foods, training several days a week and quitting smoking.
  • Heart disease medications – diuretics, beta blockers, blood thinning medications, cholesterol lowering medications.
  • Surgery – coronary artery bypass surgery.

Coronary heart disease treatments involve similar procedures to cardiovascular diseases treatments.

For heart arrhythmia the options are:

  • Vagal maneuvers – holding breath to affect the nervous system
  • Medications – to reduce the episodes
  • Cardioversion
  • Ablation
  • Pacemakers
  • Cardioverters
  • Defibrillators
  • Surgery

Heart defect treatments include:

For cardiomyopathy, the procedure depends on the type of cardiomyopathy, including:

For heart infections such as pericarditis, heart disease medications comprise of antibiotics and heartbeat regulators.

For valvular heart disease, the heart disease cure, besides medications, focuses on ballon valvulplasty and valve repair.

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