The heart is found in the chest, it is the hollow muscular organ that pumps blood therefore keeping it moving inside the circulatory system; it does it by dilating and contracting 24×7 on a continuous basis. The human heart has four chambers with two atria and ventricles respectively. The heart receives blood from the main arteries and pushes it through the veins located all over the body. Diseases affecting the heart and its normal functioning are collectively known as heart disease or cardiac diseases; they can be hereditary, congenital or can also be the result of an unhealthy diet and lifestyle. Heart disease is categorized as acquired heart disease, where you get it much later in life or congenital heart diseases that affects newborns. There are three common types of heart disease; bad heart rhythms, where the heart beats either too fast or too slow due to poor electrical activity affecting blood flow and circulation.
The second common heart disease is congestive heart failure where either abnormal valves or weak and sick muscles don’t allow the heart to pump at a normal pace affecting the blood flow. Then there is coronary artery disease in which the blood vessels moving blood through the heart have some form of malfunction, if they are blocked or are too small, blood won’t flow through them. Without a sufficient flow of blood the heart becomes sick or weak and cannot work at the normal rate. Any disease can be identified by related symptoms which show up almost immediately or over time. Heart attacks, congestive heart failure of coronary artery disease require separate treatments but may have similar symptoms. The signs of heart failure involve chest pains or angina; this is a pressure, discomfort, aching, burning squeezing and heaviness in the chest area. It is quite often misdiagnosed as heartburn and indigestion. It also involves breathing difficulties, dizziness and weakness, sweating, nausea, irregular or hastened heartbeats.
This pain and discomfort associated with angina can also be felt in the jaw, arms, neck, throat, back and shoulders. Other signs of heart failure may indicate an oncoming heart attack; here you also experience angina and the pain it causes in the chest like pressure, heaviness, breathing difficulties which can also be felt in the arms, jaw, back and shoulders. You can also experience choking, nausea, dizziness, breathing difficulties and irregular heartbeats. The symptoms of a heart attack normally last around thirty minutes or so and are not easily alleviated through medications or rest. Atrial fibrillation and arrhythmias also have similar symptoms. Learning to identify signs of heart failure is important, if you experience any or all of these symptoms you should contact a doctor for a diagnosis.
Coronary heart disease is a specific type of heart disease; in this situation, the coronary arteries get blocked with a waxy substance known as plaque causing a lot of problems as these arteries carry blood and oxygen to the heart muscles. This waxy build up is termed as atherosclerosis. Plaque builds up over time and forms blood clots when ruptured. Coronary heart disease is the most common heart problem and is the number one cause of heart related death in the US. The symptoms are similar to heart attacks, arrhythmias and are treatable through medications, surgeries and lifestyle changes. Coronary heart disease results in heart attacks as there is a limited supply of oxygen rich blood, the heart muscles that don’t receive oxygen eventually weaken and die.