What is Heart Disease

What is Heart Disease

Heart disease remains the leading cause of death in our nation. While some cases of heart disease may have a family history behind them, there is so much that we can do to prevent heart disease in the future.  A basic understanding of heart disease is a good place to start.

Coronary Heart Disease
When the small blood vessels of the heart become clogged it causes narrowing of these blood vessels.  Plaque will build up and cause what is known as hardening of the arteries.   When fatty materials begin to deposit into the arteries it becomes difficult for blood and oxygen to reach the heart through those pathways. The end result is that the heart cannot receive vital blood and oxygen and a heart attack may occur.

While many factors such as family history go into coronary heart disease, there are also ways to prevent or diminish the chances of this illness.  Since heart disease is the number one cause of death in both women and men, learning as much as you can about preventative measures is a wise and healthy choice.

Symptoms
Some symptoms that you should be aware of when it comes to the health of your heart may be noticeable, while other symptoms are more subtle.  In either case, if you have any kind of symptom, a visit with your doctor is imperative.

Shortness of breath
Shortness of breath could develop from anything from heart disease to asthma. If you are short of breath do not hesitate to visit your physician.  You may be able to ward off something more serious in the future.  Do not take it for granted that you are just getting on in years. Visit your doctor.

Dizziness or fainting
Dizziness or fainting is a symptom that something is amiss in your body.  If you have both dizziness and fainting and shortness of breath this warrants an immediate visit to your physician.  Do not put it off!

Pressure
Pressure associated with heart disease is a tell tale sign of something wrong. Pressure in your chest or in your arm, neck and shoulders could be indicative of heart disease.

Fatigue
Sometimes we view fatigue as something that will go away on its own. However, if you have fatigue it could be your body warning you that something is going wrong somewhere down the road.  You may be able to ward it off if you act early enough and consult your doctor.

Visiting Your Doctor
If you have any or all of the symptoms listed above a regular check-up will not hurt you.  It is better to say something and be wrong than to be right and say nothing.
Your doctor has many ways of evaluating you:

– An electrocardiogram
– An echocardiogram
– A Heart stress test
– A Heart CT Scan

These are just a few of the many diagnostic tests available.

Once the tests are complete your physician can properly treat your particular situation.  However, as with any other disease, it is important to act early to prevent a worsening of your health situation.

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