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Heart Disease
By
Lakshmi Jaisimha

Heart diseases are pretty common these days. Almost 2 of every 6 people suffer from some sort of heart disease in their whole lifetime.
 

It is thus essential to take care of your heart with all your might. After all, your heart is what pumps for you to stay alive. 


The most common cause of heart disease is a blockage in your coronary arteries. They might just go narrow. Also, the heart might not pump blood properly, which may lead to its failure.


While most people encounter heart diseases at a later stage in life, some are born with it. We'll discuss these types of heart diseases, and heart disease causes along with much more in this article. So, keep reading!
 

The Three Most Common Heart Disease Types
 

1. Coronary Artery Disease or Ischemic Heart Disease

If you are fat and you have a heart disease, it is more likely CAD i.e., coronary artery disease. 

Causes

The disease is caused due to fat which deposits in your arteries which blocks them.
 

People mostly above the age of 50 are more vulnerable to this disease. However, this age is lowering down day by day with the rise in lifestyle diseases. 


Obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, stress, smoking, are some causes. So, if you have any of these in your life, you must be cautious.

 

Symptoms

  • Some pain or a sensation of pressure in the chest 
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Heart attack

 

Treatment


The best solution against coronary artery disease is a lifestyle change. Incorporating more exercise, healthy meals, and calming meditation sessions in your daily life is one great way.
 

If the cause in your case is high cholesterol, you can take medicines to lower that. You can also reduce high blood pressure with beta-blockers. 


If your blood is thick and may lead to blood clots blocking your arteries, you can try blood thinners. However, make sure you do consult an expert doctor before taking any of these things.

 

2. Congenital Heart Disease


Congenital heart disease is due to an abnormality that occurs in the heart before a child even takes birth.

 

Causes

Problems during pregnancy, such as Maternal obesity, diabetes, or mother's habit of consuming alcohol and tobacco, can be a significant factor.

The heart disease may also be because of genetic reasons, or the child may develop a chromosomal abnormality.

 

Symptoms

  • The condition of cyanosis wherein the child develops blueish skin, nails and lips.
  • Swelling of organs or tissues. This swelling may be visible around the eyes, legs, or tummy.
  • Newborns show poor growth and low birth weight.
  • They may have an irregular heartbeat.
     

There’s not much we can do to prevent this disease. But pregnant women should ensure they do not indulge in smoking or drinking. Plus, they should keep their blood sugar levels in control. 


To manage this disease, anticoagulants (used to prevent blood clots) may prove very useful, especially if you are someone living all your life with congenital heart disease.

 

3. Rheumatic Heart Disease


This disease is a rare one which results in rheumatic fever. The fever causes inflammation in the heart and damages your heart valves. While it can happen at any age, it mostly happens to children of around 5 to 15 years of age.
 

The reason behind can be a genetic predisposition, or you may get attacked by a streptococcal bacteria. This bacteria is highly contagious and is known to affect the throat, heart valves, and some other organs of the body. 


Symptoms

  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling of feet, wrists, ankles and abdomen
  • Chest pain
  • Sudden weight gain
  • Fainting and dizziness
     

Prevention

All you need to do to prevent rheumatic fever is to avoid exposure to the Streptococcal bacteria. You can do this by maintaining healthy hygiene habits and by practising social distancing. 

In case, you do get exposed to the bacteria, make sure it is diagnosed and treated in the early stages so as to avoid further damage.
 

Treatment

When diagnosed with Strep in early conditions, you can manage it with antibiotics such as Penicillin. You can also choose to have anti-inflammatory drugs to ease the inflammation or steroids, in case the drugs don’t work on you. If the rheumatic fever affects your heart valves, you might need a Valve repair surgery as well. 

 

What You Must Measure

The growing rate of heart diseases in our country highlights why you need to be cautious about your heart. For this, you must get yourself checked regularly. Following are the factors that matter most.
 

1. Your heart rate 
 

  • Here’s what you should do regularly to check your heart rate.
  • Sit back and relax.
  • Feel your pulse by placing the index finger and middle finger on the inner wrist of your arm.
  • Count the number of taps you feel in 10 seconds and multiply the number with 6.
  • This count defines your heart rate, and it should be between 60-100 beats per minute.
     

2. Your blood pressure


You may have a blood pressure machine at home or may get it checked in a nearby clinic. But make sure to get it checked regularly. For a healthy person, it should be around 80 - 120.

 

3. Your cholesterol levels 


Cholesterol is of two types. One is termed good, and the other is termed bad. You must make sure you have a sufficient amount of good cholesterol and less of the bad. 
 

For this, you will have to get them checked regularly. Measure them and improve your diet and exercise routine to make sure the levels are okay.


Heart Disease Prevention - What You Can Do to Avoid the Trouble
 

  • Try living a stress-free life: 

You can try activities like meditation. If you are a part of Emoha, you can also experience some fun and lively activities with us on MOH TV. Our objective with it is to bring like-minded people of your age who can have fun together and get rid of any sort of stress.

 

  • Quick smoking and drinking alcohol: 


The composition of tobacco and alcohol is such that they promote cell-damage and reduce your immunity while bringing along the damage to your lungs, liver or other organs of the body. So, cutting them off your intake would be the best thing you can do for your heart.

 

  • Don't forget to go for regular heart check-ups: 


If the reports aren’t okay, you might need to get surgeries like a bypass for your heart disease treatment.

 

  • Exercise consistently: 

With every extra kilo of fat you have in your body you are also increasing a similar amount of pressure on your heart. This isn’t good in the long term. Plus, obesity can bring along other problems like high cholesterol and diabetes, which are other causes of heart diseases. 
 

So, make sure you maintain a healthy weight by exercising regularly. If you are underweight, exercise will help you build some muscle and increase your overall strength and immunity. 
 

What’s more? Exercise also helps release endorphins in the bloodstream. These are happiness hormones which means it’s superb to keep stress at bay. 

 

  • Follow a nutrient-rich diet: 

Try consuming more fruits and vegetables. Meat and other heavy food might not be a great choice. Add nourishing herbs and spices to your meals. For example, you can add more tulsi, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, and black pepper. The antioxidants in all these will prevent cell damage in the body and make your heart healthier. 
 

Also, stay away from foods without any goodness and especially those that affect the heart. These include:


Stuff like pizzas, chips, pasta and burgers along with canned products, usually have more fat. They increase your cholesterol level, which is one of the principal causes of heart diseases.
The same applies to foods that contain sugar, maida and meat. Also, stay away from adding things like butter, cheese and cream to your meals for the sake of taste as these have high amounts of fat that can be harmful to you. 

 

What to Do - Facing a Heart Attack When You Are Alone

Try informing someone nearby - your neighbour, security guard or anyone around. 

If you have the Emoha app, you can use the emergency alarm button which sends a notification to your family members.

If possible, dial the Emoha toll-free number 1800-123-44-5555, so that we can come to your rescue. You can also call your Elder Relationship Manager at Emoha.

Take a 300-325 mg of Aspirin tablet and chew in the mouth. Don't swallow it directly. You can ask your doctor beforehand if it's safe for you to consume.

If you are allergic to Aspirin, then you can place Tri-nitro glycerin under your tongue. Make sure to ask your doctor about this too much before such an emergency arises.

Lie down and relax. Take deep breaths and try to relax until you reach medical assistance.

If anyone is nearby tell them beforehand to perform CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) when you go unconscious. 


The Bottom Line

Heart diseases are on the rise, and you must take care of yourself in order to avoid or manage them before things get worse. 
 

For this, we told you about the different types of heart diseases, their causes, heart disease symptoms and methods of prevention. Get well acquainted with all this information. 
 

Verify that you don’t have any symptoms of heart disease. If you do have any, get in touch with your doctor. Ask him/her any questions you might have. Make sure you do this while you are healthy as you would not get the time in an emergency like a heart attack.
 

Apart from this, take care of your diet, avoid foods that are bad for the heart and add in the good ones. Work out regularly. Even 10 minutes of stretches are better than not doing anything. Try getting walks if yoga or gym is not your thing.
 

Also, stay in touch with those around you, so that they can be there for your rescue during emergencies.
 

Remember that we at Emoha are always there for you at the toll-free number 1800-123-44-5555.
 

For now, let’s just be grateful for being healthy enough to read this article. 
 

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