What is heart disease?
Heart disease is the blanket term for different heart and cardiovascular diseases. One similarity that all different cardiovascular diseases share is that they effect the structure and functioning of the heart. Heart disease is currently the number one cause of death for both sexes in the United States.
What causes heart disease?
There are numerous risk factors and causes that one can associate with heart disease. One cause of heart disease is called Atherosclerosis. This is when your arteries harden, due to your blood vessels becoming more thick because of plaque and fat deposits. This results in a blocking of the arteries, which in turn can cause heart disease. There are also risk factors that could potentially increase the risk for and actually cause heart disease as well. These factors include smoking, having a high blood pressure, having a high cholesterol, being obese, having diabetes, and not doing enough physical activity.
What are the treatments for heart disease?
There are mainly three different types of treatment for heart disease. In the event of a heart attack or failure, the treatments would involve doing CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), using and AED (automated external defibrillator). In the event of treating a weakened or narrowed artery a cardiac stent might be used. A stent is a small tube that is used to open the narrowed artery which in turn reduces chest pain. Stents can also be used for treating a heart attack in addition to strengthening arteries. There are also many different medications which are used to help treat and prevent heart disease. An angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor is a medicine that widens blood vessels which helps to lower blood pressure and increase the amount of blood that your heart pumps. Aspirin, calcium channel blockers, beta-blockers, clot busters, water pills, and vasodilators are all examples of different medications that doctors prescribe their patients who have heart conditions and diseases. Medications are also sometimes used in cases of heart failure as well. This type of medication or treatment is called inotropic therapy. This therapy is typically used in the last stage of heart failure to try and alleviate the sufferer of heart failure symptoms. This therapy is used to make a weakened heart pump more vigorously, or in other words it is used to make the muscle contractions of the heart more forceful. This in turn may also give an increase to the rate of rhythm in the heart as well.
Currently, there is no cure for heart disease in existence. Heart disease is the number one cause of death for both sexes in the United States. For the millions of people suffering from heart disease, it is vital to their overall health to maintain a healthy lifestyle and take extremely good care of their bodies. In order to reduce the risk of heart disease, one must make the necessary lifestyle changes. Making changes to your lifestyle is certainly not an easy task, but if the changes mean the difference between having a healthy heart or not, they are worth the effort.