Heart disorders can be caused due to several risk factors including unhealthy diet, less physical activity, smoking, alcohol and many others. If you are suffering from any heart disease, the common symptoms are irregular heartbeat, chest pain, fatigue, etc. It is important to treat these cardiovascular issues or even better prevent them by taking lifestyle correction measures as heart related problems can even prove to be fatal. There are many heart conditions that can be life threatening, thus prevention steps should be taken at a young age.
World Heart day is celebrated annually on 29th September to spread awareness about cardiovascular diseases. This annual event was initiated by the World Heart Federation. This year's theme is exploring the power of digital health to bring more awareness, prevention and management of heart problems in the world. To honor World Heart Day 2021, Onlymyhealth editorial team talked to Dr. Sunil Kumar Wadhwa, Principal Consultant – Cardiology, Max Hospital Gurugram, about the heart disorders that are life threatening and some ways to prevent them.
Life threatening heart disorders
According to Dr. Sunil, here are 6 life threatening heart disorders:
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If a person has arrythmia, his heart beats in an irregular rhythm. Normally, the heart beats in a steady rhythm, about 60 to 100 times each minute, which means around 100,000 times each day. If your heart is not beating in this rhythm and the heartbeat is irregular, you might be suffering from a heart disorder called arrythmia. Arrhythmia which is also called dysrhythmia can make your heartbeat either too slow or too fast. This heart disorder can be life threatening and one should visit the doctor immediately if he is having an irregular heartbeat.
The heart muscle gets affected in cardiomyopathy and this condition is also called enlarged heart. People who have this heart disorder have unusually huge and stiff hearts. Their hearts are not able to pump enough blood as they should. If early treatment is not given, cardiomyopathies can get worse. This can lead to heart failure and irregular heart rhythms as well.
3. Congenital heart disease
Congenital heart disease or CHD is a life threatening heart disorder which happens mostly before birth, affecting one or more parts of the heart or blood vessels. It is usually genetics and can be life threatening for a person. It cannot be reversed but managed or treated with different methods. In this condition, the heart of the baby is defected right from birth only.
4. Congenital artery disease
Congenital artery disease or CAD is when there is plaque build up in the arteries, which can harden them and make it difficult to transport oxygen and nutrients. The hardening is also called atherosclerosis. It is important to take regular health checkups and prevention measures to manage this heart disorder.
5. Heart attack
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If a person is having a heart attack, it is because the blood flow gets restricted. Usually, a part of the heart muscle gets damaged which can lead to blocked blood flow. If the blockage is not much, then the heart will eventually get enough blood, oxygen, and nutrients. However, in some cases the blockage is severe and thus irreversible. It is important to rush to the emergency room if someone is having a heart attack. The main symptoms of a heart attack are heavy pressure, fainting, shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat and nausea.
6. Heart failure
Heart failure happens if an individual's heart is not pumping the required amount of blood as per your body. A lot of people believe that a person dies or their heart stops working after heart failure but this is not the actual case. Heart failure basically means that the heart is not squeezing properly. It mostly does not happen suddenly but can gradually worsen over time.
How to prevent life threatening heart disorders?
As per Dr. Sunil, here are some prevention tips for life threatening heart disorders:
1. Regular health checkups
Regular health checkups can play a major role in preventing many heart disorders. After the doctor examines your body, it is also important to follow his advice from lifestyle changes to any required tests. Regular health checkups help in determining your health status and specifically heart health.
2. Avoid smoking and alcohol
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Smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol can have a negative impact on your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, thus bad heart health. To prevent any heart disorder to be fatal, you should avoid smoking as much as possible because it can lead to artery damage. You can talk to an expert about ways to quit the habit of drinking alcohol and smoking.
3. Healthy diet
A healthy diet consists of healthy fats, protein and fiber. It is beneficial to consume all essential nutrients everyday. From green vegetables to fruits, you can balance your diet with heart friendly foods and prevent many life threatening heart conditions. One should avoid processed meats and fried food to avoid diet as a risk factor for cardiovascular problems.
4. Regular exercise
Regular exercise and heart health have a strong relationship. If you even work out for atleast 30 minutes daily, it will be good for your cardiovascular health. You can indulge in any form of exercise including yoga, pilates, aerobic exercises, brisk walking, running, etc. Daily physical activity is necessary to protect yourself from any heart disease.
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