Know Why Your Heart Beats the Way It Does
You may have heard of the cardiovascular if you have had something to do with the hospital or its staff; nevertheless, do you know what that term means? So, to be sure we are on the same page, the cardiovascular consists of a muscular pump (the heart) and a network of several blood vessels. These vessels are the medium that blood coming from the heart is transported to all parts of the body. It is also through these vessels that blood from the tissues is returned to the heart. The cardiovascular can also be referred to as the circulatory system.
It is located slightly at the left of the breast bone. The heart moves blood energetically through the network of veins and arteries.
The works of the heart include;
- Transportation of oxygen from the lungs to the tissues.
- Transportation of carbon dioxide from the tissues to the lungs where the CO2 is excreted
- Transportation of nutrients (like digested food, electrolytes, and vitamins) from the gastrointestinal tract to all parts of the body.
- Transportation of waste product of cellular metabolism from the tissues to the kidneys and other excretory organs – lungs, guts (bilirubin, etc.), and the skin.
- Transportation of hormones from the endocrine glands where they are formed to their target tissues/organs
- Transportation of heat between the body’s core and its surface, thereby aiding temperature regulation.
- Transportation of blood cells (mainly leucocytes) and chemical factors (immune substances) that defends the body against foreign proteins, infective agents (e.g., viruses. Bacteria and fungi) and abnormal cells, including cancer cells.
A heartbeat is identified by counting the numbers of times your pulse every minute/beat per minute (bpm) during rest. This can be called the resting heart rate. The heartbeat can also be measured using the pulse.
The best location to measure the pulse on your body are;
- The wrist
- The inside of the elbow
- The side of the neck
- The top of the foot
The resting heart rate varies individually, but it is medically suggested to be between 60 to 100 bpm. The lesser your resting heart rate, the healthier you are. A healthy heart should beat with a rhythm consisting of double ‘da-bum’ beats with evenly-spaced timing between them.
Heart disease is a typical term used for heart-related problems and conditions.
Types of Cardiovascular Diseases
This heart condition is also known as an irregular heartbeat. It is the groups of conditions that contribute to your heart’s abnormal beating, whether irregular rhythm, too fast, or too slow. This condition happens when the electrical impulses in your heart do not function properly. It always feels like a racing heart.
The categories of cardiac arrhythmias include;
- Bradycardia – this is a slow heartbeat which falls below 60 beats per minutes
- Tachycardia – This is a fast heartbeat which is above 100 beats per minutes
- Irregular heartbeat – this condition is the vibration of the heart or fluttering
- Early heartbeat – this is the premature contraction of the heart.
Symptoms of Arrhythmias
Breathlessness, Dizziness, Fainting, Fluttering, Chest pain or angina, Lightheadedness, Sudden weakness, Trouble concentrating, Confusion, Finding exercises more difficult than usual, Palpitation and Profuse sweating.
This health condition is also known as atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. This is the buildup of fats, cholesterol, and other substances in and on the artery’s walls, which blocks blood flow. This disease hardens your arteries leading to heart attacks, strokes, and peripherals vascular disease.
Symptoms of Atherosclerosis
There might not be any signs or indications of atherosclerosis until your artery is nearby closed or closed up or until you have a stroke or heart attack. They include; Arrhythmias or irregular heartbeat, pain, or pressure in your upper body; chest, arms, neck, or jaw. Weakness in your arms or legs, shortness of breath, difficulty speaking or understanding someone who’s talking, Paralysis, Kidney failure, High blood pressure, and Sight problem.
This is an acquired or inherited disease of the heart which weakens your heart muscles. It can be inherited from the parent. It is obtained as a result of other heart diseases. This condition makes it difficult for the heart to deliver blood to the rest of the body and may lead to heart failure. It is a progressive heart disease in which your heart is abnormally weakened, thickened, and stiffened.
Symptoms of Cardiomyopathy
Symptoms of cardiomyopathy include breathlessness, swollen legs, bloated stomach, chest pain, abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmias), loss of appetite, fatigue, coughing, weight gain, fast heart rate, and murmur
Congenital Heart Disease
This is an abnormality that develops in your heart before birth. This specifically affects the way blood flows through your heart. The mystic fact about congenital heart disease is that the signs and symptoms are not seen until you are an adult. So a regular checkup is advisable to keep you safe.
Symptoms of Congenital Heart Disease
Arrhythmias, bluish tint on the skin, lips, and fingernails, cyanosis, shortness of breath, tiring quickly upon exertion, swelling of the body tissues or organs, edema, delayed growth, low birth weight, Angina, chest pain, fatigue and so on.
Causes of Congenital Heart Disease
Since it is inherited from parents, researchers are not sure of what causes congenital heart disease but here are some of the reasons;
- Smoking during pregnancy
- Gene (inherited)
- Diabetes during pregnancy
- Drinking alcohol while pregnant
- Illegal drugs during pregnancy.
The pericardium is a thin fibro elastic tissue sac that surrounds your heart. When this happens in one’s body, the health condition is known as the pericardium’s inflammation. The pericardium’s inflammation leads to a clinical syndrome that is characterized by chest pain, angina, or pericardial friction rub.
Symptoms; chest pain, low-grade fever, increased heartbeat, and so on.
Risk Factors for Heart Disease
Heart disease has so many risk factors; some are controllable while some are not. They include;
Age; aging increases the risk of having a weakened or thickened heart muscle and damaged or narrowed arteries.
Certain chemotherapy drugs
The General Causes of Heart Diseases
There are many causes of heart diseases, they include;
- Alcohol abuses
- Diabetes or obesity
- High blood pressure
- Scaring of the heart due to a heart attack
- Hyperthyroidism or an over-reactive thyroid gland
- High cholesterol
- Inflammation like arthritis or lupus
- Certain toxins
- Drinking too much coffee
- Heart surgery
Treatment of Heart Disease
Treatment of heart disease is only necessary if the condition is increasing the risk. Most of the treatment is based on the cause and may include;
- Meditation: drugs used for high cholesterol and high blood pressure can slow or even halt many of the heart’s disease. Medications used for preventing blood clots or to control an irregular heartbeat can also be used. Some of these drugs include; adenosine (adenoid), atropine (atropine), beta-blockers, calcium-channels blocker, digoxin (Digitek, digoxin, Lanoxin), potassium channel blockers, and sodium channel blockers.
- Vagal maneuvers: this method is used to relax your body by affecting your vagus nerves, which helps to control your heartbeat
- Electrical cardioversion: this technique is used if the drugs can’t control uneven heart rhythm. You would be put to sleep and then send an electrical shock to your chest well trigger your heart’s regular rhythm.
- Lifestyle change: knowing the risk factor, causes, and taking care of it can slow or stop some heart diseases. Taking care of risk factors means; healthy diet, exercise, and no smoking. A lifestyle change will lower the risk of heart attack and strokes.
- Peacemaker: this sort of device transmits a small electrical impulse to your heart muscles to keep the safe heart rate. The device includes a pulse generator, a battery house, a tiny computer, and wires that transmit the heart muscles’ impulses.
- Non-surgical procedure: doctors make use of a method called alcohol septal ablation. They inject ethanol through a tube into a small artery in your heart. This alcohol kills cells and shrinks tissues to standard sizes.
- The use of Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents (NSAIDs): they decrease the pain and inflammation in your heart.
- The use of steroids, antibiotics, and colchicine.
- Heart transplant and the implanted device.
Foods That Are Good for The Heart
- Black beans
- Red wine and resveratrol
- Olive oil
- Sweet potatoes
- Low-fat yogurt
- Leafy green vegetables
- Fish oil
- Dark chocolate
- Green tea
Healthy choices keep the heart secure for a very long time. The heart works and changes with age. Your diet plays a vital role in heart health. A particular healthy diet is a compelling dramatic way to reduce heart disease risk factors. Always mind your habits and behaviors towards keeping a healthy heart.