It’s important to know… What are heart and vascular diseases?
What is the circulatory system?
- The cardiovascular system is defined by the difference in the diameter of the blood vessels; the heart, which promotes blood;
- Blood flows through the vessels, albeit at different speeds, but continuously, resulting in nutrients for organs, tissues, and cells.
What are circulatory system diseases?
It is a group of heart and blood vessel diseases consisting of the following:
- Hypertension (high blood pressure);
- Ischaemic heart disease (heart attack);
- Heart failure
- cerebrovascular disease (stroke);
- Peripheral vessel diseases, etc.
Source: (World Health Organization)
What is high blood pressure (hypertension)?
What is normal blood pressure? Normal systolic (“upper”) blood pressure < 140 mm Tg. Diastolic (“lower”) arterial pressure < 90 mmT.t.s. The normal arterial pressure level is independent of sex and age.
Hypertension is a stable increase of systolic («top») arterial pressure more and equals 140 mm.rt.s. Diastolic («lower») arterial pressure – more and equal to 90 mm. rt.
The determination of arterial pressure is performed by a medical device -a tonometer.
Causes of hypertension and factors contributing to it are:
excessive intake of table salt, sedentary lifestyle, excess body weight or obesity, smoking and excessive consumption of alcohol, disturbance of the body’s water and salt balance, Elevated cholesterol, stress, etc.
The presence of diabetes mellitus or kidney disease also increases the risk of hypertension and contributes to its occurrence.
Some drugs, including those that are often taken without a doctor’s prescription (such as headaches, snot drops, etc.) can increase blood pressure. Some herbal-based drugs can also increase blood pressure.
Most people with hypertension show no symptoms, so they call her a “silent killer”. Sometimes hypertension causes symptoms such as headache, shortness of breath, dizziness, chest pain, heart palpitations, and nosebleeds, but this does not always happen.
Why is high blood pressure dangerous?
The higher the blood pressure, the higher the risk of damage to the heart or blood vessels in the main organs such as the heart, brain, or kidneys.
Hypertension is one of the most important preventable causes of heart disease and vascular disease in the world.
Uncontrolled hypertension can lead to heart attacks, enlarged hearts, and eventually heart failure. Blood vessels may develop dilatations (aneurysms) and vulnerabilities that make them more likely to clog and rupture. Blood pressure can lead to cerebral hemorrhage and stroke. Hypertension can also lead to kidney failure, blindness, and cognitive impairment («dementia»).
What do you do for hypertension?
For some people, a lifestyle change is enough to normalize blood pressure – stop using tobacco, switch to healthy eating, engage in regular physical activity, and avoid d harmful drinking. Reducing salt consumption can also help.
For others, such changes are not enough and they need drugs to control blood pressure.
Adults can support treatment by complying with medical regulations and monitoring their health, primarily by continuously monitoring their blood pressure levels.
People with high blood pressure who also have high blood sugar, high blood cholesterol, or kidney problems are at increased risk of heart attack and stroke. That’s why it’s important to check your blood sugar, your cholesterol, your urine protein.
What is arrhythmia?
The operation of the heart is regulated by its own electrical system. It generates impulses on the «command» of which the heart muscle is reduced. A healthy person, as a rule, does not feel a heartbeat, does not perceive its rhythm.
As a rule, the number of cardiac reductions in peace is between 60 and 80 per minute. This number may vary depending on many factors: during rest the rhythm decreases, during physical activity increases.
Heart rate disorder
If the electrical function of the heart system is impaired, a cardiac rhythm defect – arrhythmia – occurs.
The causes may be congenital anomalies or structural changes of the conducting heart system for various diseases, as well as vegetative, hormonal or electrolytic disorders during intoxication and exposure to certain drugs.
An arrhythmia is a change in the frequency, sequence, or periodicity of heart contractions. At the appearance of arrhythmias there is a clear feeling of «interruption», «freezing», «upheaval» of the heart or a sharp nerythmic heartbeat. Arrhythmias can also be accompanied by shortness of breath, dizziness, loss of consciousness.
Not all arrhythmias are safe. For example, atrial fibrillation («atrial fibrillation») can contribute to blood accumulation in the heart and the appearance of clots. When blood clots move, they can get into the brain, where they can get stuck in the narrow artery of the brain, causing a blockage in the blood flow and thus a stroke. Up to 20 per cent of strokes can be caused by atrial fibrillation.
A lot of people don’t know they have arrhythmic heart cramps. If you’re concerned about that, your doctor can easily verify it by listening to your heartbeat. If necessary, your doctor may order an electrocardiogram. If you have an arrhythmic cardiac contraction, drugs (such as warfarin or in some cases aspirin) can significantly reduce the risk of strokes. Sometimes the arrhythmic cardiac decline can be returned to normal with medication or special medical procedures. In order to determine what arrhythmia is when the symptoms described appear, it is necessary to see a doctor.
What is ischemic heart disease?
Ischemic heart disease (IBS) is a disease that combines angina, myocardial infarction, and atherosclerotic cardiosclerosis. The IBS is developing due to insufficient blood supply to the coronary arteries of the heart due to the narrowing of their enlightenment.
Ischaemic heart disease is one of the most common diseases in the world today.
Reasons for IBS
The main reason is the development of atherosclerosis.
Atherosclerosis is a complex pathological process in blood vessel walls that has been developing over the years. In the case of atherosclerosis, fat and cholesterol are deposited inside the clearance in the walls of medium and large blood vessels (arteries). These deposits (plaques) make the internal surface of the blood vessels irregular and narrow the gap between the vessels, obstructing the blood flow. As a result, blood vessels also become less elastic. Over time, the plaque may rupture, leading to the formation of a clot. A clot can cause both a heart attack and a stroke.
The drivers of atherosclerosis are called risk factors and include:
Behavioral risk factors:
- Tobacco use.
- Lack of physical activity.
- Unhealthy diet (lots of salt, fat and calories).
- Harmful use of alcohol.
Metabolic risk factors:
- High blood pressure (hypertension).
- Increased blood sugar (diabetes).
- Increased levels of lipids in the blood (e.g., cholesterol).
- Overweight and obesity.
Other risk factors:
- Poverty and low educational status.
- Advanced age.
- Hereditary (genetic) predisposition.
- Psychological factors (e.g., stress, depression).
- Other risk factors (e.g., excessive homocysteine).
Thus, IBS is a disease that progresses very slowly. And it is very important to identify the disease in its early stages of development.
If the blood vessels in the heart are only partially blocked and the blood flow in the heart is reduced but not stopped, it can cause pain in the chest called angina. A person may experience pain or an unpleasant sensation in the centre of the chest, which lasts for several minutes. It is often caused by physical activity and is reduced by rest. It can also be caused by extreme anxiety, stress or excessive heat or cold. Pain can spread to the hands, back, jaw, neck and abdomen. People with angina are at increased risk of heart attack.
People with angina should control the pain in their chest. Angina can increase if the pain in the chest:
- lasts longer than usual;
- Combined with shortness of breath or with accelerated or arrhythmic heartbeat;
- It occurs under reduced physical stress or stress.
What do you do if you have a heart attack?
Stop what you’re doing and rest until the pain wears off. Your doctor can prescribe special therapy and recommend putting the pill under your tongue or using the spray to relieve the unpleasant sensation. If it doesn’t help, call an ambulance.
You must follow your doctor’s instructions.
What is heart failure?
Heart failure occurs when the heart cannot fill with sufficient blood or pump enough blood throughout the body. Because of the reduced blood flow, the body can’t function properly. The body accumulates water due to the weak cardiac function of blood pumping.
The most common cause of heart failure is damage to the muscles of the heart as a result of a previous heart attack.
Early signs of heart failure often appear after physical work. As the disease worsens, symptoms become longer. These include:
- Shortness of breath or shortness of breath while walking, climbing stairs or in peace;
- Fatigue and weakness;
- Swelling of the ankles, feet, legs or abdomen;
- Weight gain from water storage;
- A cough, especially at night or in a lying position, including blood, foaming sputum (saliva).
Who is at risk for heart failure?
People who have suffered one or more heart attacks are most at risk. Risk increases in people over 65 years of age. People at risk may also have:
- High blood pressure
- Abnormal heart valves
- congenital heart defect
What do you do if you suspect heart failure?
Get in touch with your doctor as soon as possible. Don’t wait for the symptoms to go away. Even if they pass quickly, they can be a warning sign of a serious illness. Sometimes heart failure begins suddenly with the onset of severe shortness of breath. This is the result of the accumulation of water in the lungs and requires immediate treatment.