What Is Heart Disease
Heart disease, also known as coronary heart disease, is the basic type of heart disease. This is actually a disorder that affects the blood vessels located in the heart and results in heart attack. Heart attacks happen when the artery is clogged which means that the supply with nutrients and oxygen to the heart is stopped. It is good to point out that heart disease is just one of the many types of cardiovascular diseases.
Heart health is crucial for the overall health because our heart is directly linked to the proper work of almost all systems. In order to prevent deterioration of heart health, you must learn more about heart disease and some other cardiovascular disorders and diseases. That’s why we will mention two other diseases that are very frequent in modern people.
Coronary artery disease occurs as a result of damage or illness of the major blood vessels that transport nutrients, oxygen and blood to the heart. These major blood vessels are known as coronary arteries. It is good to know that coronary artery disease develops very slowly and regular checkups can help you identify it before the negative consequences kick in.
Congenital heart disease is another common type of heart disease that is related to heart health problems that occurred with the patient’s birth. Some people are born with holes in their heart or other more serious problems. Those who are suffering from congenital heart disease must visit their doctor’s office on a regular basis.
Now that you know more about heart disease and some other types of heart-related health problems, we can continue with the heart disease symptoms.
Heart Disease Symptoms
Most people relate heart disease to senior citizens that are checking their chest for any problems with the heart. But, this is only one of the results of having heart disease and that’s heart attack. It is crucial to understand that heart disease and heart attacks are different things. As we have already mentioned, there are many different types of heart disease and they can affect people of all ages.
However, there are some general symptoms of cardiovascular disease. For instance, chest pain (angina) is a very frequent symptom of heart disease. People suffering from heart disease often feel discomfort in the cardiovascular system. There are also people who feel squeezing sensation or feeling of tightness and pressure in the breastbone area. This pain can spread to the stomach, neck and upper back. Those who have trouble breathing even after they’ve finished some simple physical task might be witnessing the first symptoms of heart disease.
It is interesting that women usually have different symptoms compared to men. For instance, women may experience jaw pain, nausea, fainting, vomiting, dizziness, cold sweats and back pain. Unfortunately, most women find it very difficult to determine whether they are suffering from heart disease or not. Only a good cardiology specialist can notice these symptoms after a thorough examination.
Numbness, odd pain or weakness felt in the legs and arms are typical symptoms for atherosclerosis. Irregular heartbeats (slow, fast or simply irregular), dizziness and chest pain are symptoms of arrhythmia. Cardiomyopathy is characterized with fatigue, shortness of breath and bloating. Congenital heart disease comes with symptoms like fatigue, shortness of breath swelling in the legs and arms.
Open Heart Surgery
Open heart surgery is a type of surgery in which the patient’s chest is opened and surgery is performed on the heart arteries, valves, muscle or any other part of this organ. Thanks to modern technology and the breakthroughs in the field of medicine, the term open heart surgery is becoming less clear because doctors no longer have to cut the chest wide open.
On the other hand, there is another type of surgery that can help people suffering from heart problems and that’s bypass surgery. Bypass surgery is performed in cases of blockage of the coronary arteries. The main goal is to allow proper supply with blood. The surgeons create a completely new route (known as bypass) to avoid the blockage and supply the necessary amount of oxygen and blood.
In case the coronary arteries are blocked or just narrowed, doctors can also use coronary angioplasty. Angioplasty refers to a specially designed balloon that is place in the artery in order to stretch it. This procedure was practiced in the past. Modern hospitals use special wire-mesh tubes known as cardiac stent.
How to Prevent Heart Disease
There are many ways in which you can prevent heart disease. Regular exercise, quitting smoking, limiting alcohol consumption is advised by all doctors. However, what most of them recommend is following a heart healthy diet. Healthy food will help you avoid heart disease and many other disorders. Take food that is rich in fresh veggies and fruit. Prevent high blood pressure by taking foods that contain only a small amount of cholesterol and fat and have high fiber content.
Heart Healthy Diet after Open Heart Surgery
A diet specially designed for heart patients is a term used to describe a specific diet program created for individuals who are recovering from a bypass surgery or have experienced a heart attack. Creating a diet like this can be very complicated. These patients have special diet charts that must be practiced for a long period of time on a regular basis. So, the diet chart for heart patients must contain nutritious, healthy and tasty food besides the regular heart healthy foods.
Heart Healthy Diet Food List
1. Fruits and Vegetables
Fresh, raw veggies and fruits are definitely the best natural source of minerals and vitamins and few other types of nutrients. In addition, some doctors allow patients to eat frozen, dry or canned fruits and veggies. You should also do some research and find specific types of fruits and vegetables good for the cardiovascular health. Of course, patients should avoid foods that are packed with cream, sugar and salt.
Whole grains are rich in fiber and few other types of nutrients. Grains can boost your heart health. Foods based on wheat make one of the best options when it comes to whole grain foods. Some of these foods include cereal rich in fiber, wheat bread, whole grain pasta, oatmeal, buckwheat, brown rice and flaxseed. Keep in mind that there are some foods that include seeds and grains, but they are not very nutritive. There are also some foods that heart patients should avoid like white bread, butter popcorn, cakes, egg noodles and snacks rich in fat.
3. Herbs and Spices
Those who are experiencing heart problems must lower the intake of salt. So, if you want to make the food tastier without salt, you should include herbs and spices in your meals. Remember that there are some sauces like soy sauce and tomato ketchup that can do more harm than good when it comes to heart patients. The good news is that the vast majority of herbs and spices are healthy and risk-free.
Prior to creating a heart healthy diet for post-surgery heart patients, it is crucial to seek advice from a doctor. The same goes for heart patients that are preparing for a surgery.