Heart Disease

heart

What is Heart Disease?

The function of the heart is to circulate oxygenated blood to all the organs of the body and collect de-oxygenated blood from these organs and send it to the lungs for purification. Three major coronary arteries supply blood to the heart. When, due to some reason, mostly due to blockages in one ore more of these arteries, the blood supply is inadequate or the supply gets blocked, one gets chest pain called “angina pectoris”. There are several consequences of varying degree from mild heart attack to death. This in general is called heart disease. Although heart attack is an event that may last for minutes to hours, the cause and consequences both are long term.

What causes heart disease?

There are several things called risk factors which together and independently contribute to heart disease

Heredity (Heart disease may be “in the blood” of your family)

  1. Sedentary lifestyle (Watching more TV, playing less, no exercise)
  2. Diabetes
  3. Hypertension
  4. High blood cholesterol
  5. Wrong diet (High saturated and tran-sfat, high calorie, low fiber food) (Go to our Composition of different fats and oils page)
  6. Obesity
  7. Age
  8. Smoking
Progress Of HeartAttack

It can be seen from the diagram above that heart attack is an event for which there is a requirement of a very long term (chronic) process taking several years or decades and more than half a dozen risk factors

What are the symptoms of a heart attack?

In some cases chest pain or angina pectoris is a major symptom which is due to narrowing of coronary arteries caused by development of atherosclerosis.

In other cases people don’t have symptoms until the plaque ruptures and results in any of the following symptoms:

  1. sharp chest pain on the left-hand side of the chest, which may spread down the left arm
  2. often pain may spread towards both the arms, stomach or ear.
  3. Breathing may be troublesome
  4. There may be a feeling of constriction around the throat
  5. The person may feel highly dizzy with pain or even may faint.