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Heart muscle disease

How Does Your Heart Work

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Cannot Replicate Nature Exactly

Men of science try to replicate the heart and its function; somehow mechanical hearts do not seem to stand the test of time. Heart transplants have come a very long way in the last 20-years, and there are now more successful organ transplants than there are failures as seen when heart transplants first emerged on the medical scene. The heart is the largest and strongest muscle in your body.

The Largest Muscle in the Human Body

Did you know that it takes, two pumps for the heart to work, one positioned on the left side and one on the right side?

If it were not for the heart and its function, all the rest of your vital organs could not do their job or live without the oxygen-rich blood the heart circulates throughout your body, while one chamber of your heart squeezes the other chamber relaxes in sequence.

The Left Chamber

The role of the left heart chamber or pump is to receive blood from the lungs full of precious oxygen and deliver it through the arteries to all parts of the body. Nutrients accompany this oxygen-rich blood to feed vital organs.

The Right Chamber

The function of the right chamber of the heart (pump) is to receive used blood from your body and deliver it back to the lungs. This second process is responsible for ridding the body of carbon dioxide and picking up new freshly oxygenated blood.

Four Valves

Each chamber of the heart has two valves, four valves altogether. These valves control the blood flow into and out of the heart chambers. These valves help to monitor the amount of blood to and from the lungs. Another job of these heart valves is to keep blood always flowing forward, never backward. Once these valves open to let blood out of the chamber, they close so that the blood does not seep back into the heart.

It is vital that your heart works like a good precision timepiece as your body relies upon the constant pumping action of the heart in its remarkable job of supplying your body with oxygen.

An Unparalleled Electrical System

The heart does not just consist of two pumps; the heart offers you so much more, such as its electrical system prompting the chamber into a synchronized movement. The heart’s electrical impulses control your heart rhythm. This heart rate is what medical professionals listen to when they want to see or hear the rhythm of your heart if the doctor orders an EKG. This rhythm controls how fast your heart beats.

As long as your heart stays healthy, the normal heart rate and rhythm keep going. If the electrical impulses mess up, it causes your heart not to beat in an even pattern, causing the heart to beat too fast, too slow, or it may present an irregular beat.

Health issues cause a heart pattern to beat irregularly, such as,

  • A Viral Infection
  • Diabetes
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Heavy Alcohol Consumption
  • Narrowed arteries
  • Malfunctioning Heart Valves
  • Congenital Heart Defect

Keep Your Heart Healthy

  • Eat healthily, read food labels, be aware of hidden sugars and sodium in food choices.
  • Stay active and develop an exercise plan right for you.
  • Stay within your healthy adult body weight. If overweight, lose the pounds.
  • Quit smoking and do not breathe secondhand smoke
  • Cut alcohol consumption to a minimum
  • Make sure to monitor your cholesterol levels. Work with your doctor
  • Remove all stress from your life that you can remove. The stress you cannot remove, you must learn how to cope with in a healthy way.

 

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Understanding Heart Disease

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Heart disease is a very serious problem in the United States. Each year, over 600,000 people die of heart disease each year. It is the leading cause of death in men and women. Because heart disease is such a serious problem, it is important that you know what causes the disease and ways that you can prevent it.

What is Heart Disease

There are a few types of heart disease and if not caught in time, they can be fatal. The types of heart disease include:

  • Heart attack
  • Irregular heart rhythm (Arrhythmia)
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Heart valve disease
  • Sudden cardiac death
  • Congenital heart failure
  • Enlarged heart (Cardiomegaly)
  • Heart muscle disease
  • Dilated Cardiomyopathy
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
  • Restrictive Cardiomyopathy
  • Pericarditis
  • Pericardial effusion
  • Marfan Syndrome
  • Heart murmurs

What are the Symptoms of Heart Disease

The symptoms of heart disease can differ, depending on the type that you are suffering from. Overall, however, most of the symptoms are alike, making it difficult to tell what is wrong unless you see a doctor. Also, it is important to understand that heart disease can present very differently in men than in women. Some of the most common symptoms of a heart attack include:

  • Heart palpitations (A fluttering or flip flopping in your chest. You could also feel as though you are skipping heartbeats.)
  • A strong pounding feeling in the chest
  • Pain, pressure, or tightening in the chest
  • Shortness of breath
  • Extreme weakness or fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Excessive sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting

Risk Factors for Heart Disease

There are certain risk factors that make it more likely for one person to suffer from heart disease than another person. These risk factors include:

  • Sex (Males are more likely to develop heart disease than females)
  • Old age
  • Family history of heart disease
  • Post-menopausal women
  • Race (Mexican-Americans, African-Americans, and American Indians are more likely to develop heart disease than Caucasians)
  • Smokers and tobacco product users
  • Individuals with high blood pressure (hypertension)
  • High LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and low LDL (good cholesterol)
  • People who are physically inactive
  • Obesity (and individual who is 20 percent over their ideal weight)
  • Excessive drinking
  • Recreational drug use
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Uncontrolled stress
  • Uncontrolled anger

How To Lower the Risk of Developing Heart Disease

If you have a risk factor for developing heart disease, there are a few things that you can do and changes that you can make to reduce your risk. Some of these include:

  • Quit smoking: Smokers have more than twice the risk of developing heart disease than non-smokers.
  • Improve your cholesterol levels: You can improve your cholesterol levels by changing your diet. If that doesn’t work, your doctor can prescribe medication.
  • Control your blood pressure: You can control your blood pressure through diet, exercise, and weight management. If necessary, your doctor can prescribe medication.
  • Keep your diabetes under control.
  • Achieve a healthy weight through diet and exercise.
  • Become more active by walking or exercising.
  • Eat a heart-healthy diet, low in salt, cholesterol, trans fat, saturated fat, and refined sugars. Introduce more fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains to your diet.
  • Manage your stress and anger: Poorly controlled stress and anger can be treated with relaxation techniques, such as yoga, meditation, and massage. You can also try to manage your time better and set realistic goals to reduce your stress. An anger management class can help you control your anger.
  • Quit drinking: Seek professional help if necessary.
  • Quit doing recreational drugs; Seek professional help if necessary.

Heart disease is a leading killer in the United States. If you know the risk factors for heart disease, you can start trying to make changes to live a healthier life.

 

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