Chronic Heart Disease
Definition of Chronic Heart Disease
Chronic heart Disease may be defined as a disease that progressively causes deterioration of the heart and its functioning. Heart disease is widespread worldwide and has been estimated to be the leading cause of death in the United States and other western countries. It has been deduced that lowering bad cholesterol levels and controlling pre-existing conditions such as hypertension and diabetes may lower an individual’s risk of developing chronic heart disease. It is important when affected by chronic heart disease to seek medical assessment and treatment, in some cases emergency care may be vital. It is not unusual to suffer from chronic heart disease yet be oblivious to it because of the time it may take for symptoms to materialize. It is therefore imperative that people of an advanced age be routinely screened for possible heart disease. Earlier diagnosis can ensure longevity and a better quality of life.
Causes of Chronic Heart Disease
In some cases the direct cause of the disease may not be established. Some causes may include an infection that infiltrates the bloodstream that induces damage to the heart or having a genetic imperfection. Additionally, having one or more risk factors for developing the disease will likely increase the odds that an individual will develop the disease over time. The risk factors commonly associated with chronic heart disease may include but may not necessarily be limited to:
- Leading an extremely stressful lifestyle.
- Having high levels of bad cholesterol and or low levels of good cholesterol
- Not performing the necessary amount of physical activity to maintain heart function especially exercise.
- Being obese or being greatly overweight
- Having a family history of the disease which may indicate a genetic predisposition to developing the disease.
- Being afflicted by hypertension or high blood pressure
- Being menopausal
- Smoking, especially when done in excess.
- Being diabetic
- Being of advanced age or being forty years or older
Symptoms of Chronic Heart Disease
It is possible to be asymptomatic or experience no symptoms in the earlier stages of the disease. It is also not uncommon for the symptoms to be similar to other conditions. It is therefore important to receive medical assessment to eliminate any other causes of the associated symptoms. The symptoms may likely include:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. This symptom manifests in most kinds of heart conditions and pulmonary disorders. It will be exacerbated by exercise or when lying flat.
- Fatigue or feeling exhausted will often interfere will regular activities and may be more pronounced in the day time.
- Chest pains or Angina pectoris will generally begin in the chest area and may possibly migrate to other areas including the upper abdomen, shoulder blades, left arm, neck and jaw. It is often described as a stabbing pain or exaggerated pressure within the chest.
- Syncope or fainting occasionally.
- It is also likely to experience some nausea, vomiting fever and chills if an infection is present as an underlying cause of the disease.
- Having bouts of dizziness and lightheadedness
- Experiencing oedema or swelling of the legs.
- Having heart palpations which can be described as the sudden realization of the beating heart, usually it is accompanied by the sensation that the heart is perpetually “skipping a beat”.
- Experiencing irregular heart beats
Treatment of Chronic Heart Disease
The treatment will involve the administering of medication for example antianginal drugs to limit angina. It may also include surgery for example heart bypass surgery or heart transplant in severe circumstances. It will undoubtedly require the monitoring and controlling of other pre-existing conditions like high cholesterol, diabetes and high blood pressure.
A great portion of the treatment will necessitate alterations in lifestyle that may improve the chances of longevity. This will include the performing of moderate physical activity, the elimination of smoking and maintaining an ideal body weight among other strategies that may be employed.
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