Find out about heart conditions
All around us people are going about their daily life with heart related diseases effecting them in some way you just won’t realise, on average 160,000 people die from heart related disease making Coronary Heart Disease the number one killer. This is why it is so important to raise awareness for heart related disease because at some point in your life it will affect you, weather it is a family member, friend or even yourself that suffers from it.
The main different types of heart disease
*All Information below is provided by the British Heart Foundation click here to find out more
Coronary Heart Disease
This condition, known as atherosclerosis, is caused by the build-up of fatty material called atheroma inside the artery walls. In time, your arteries may become so narrow that they cannot deliver enough oxygen-rich blood to your heart. The pain and discomfort you may feel as a result is called angina. If a piece of atheroma breaks off it may cause a blood clot (blockage) to form. If it blocks your coronary artery and cuts off the supply of oxygen-rich blood to your heart muscle, your heart may become permanently damaged. This is known as a heart attack.
Angina often feels like a heaviness or tightness in your chest, and this may spread to your arms, neck, jaw, back or stomach as well. Some people describe a feeling of severe tightness, while others say it’s more of a dull ache. Some people experience shortness of breath too.
What causes angina?
Angina is usually caused by coronary heart disease. When the arteries that supply your heart muscle with blood and oxygen become narrowed, the blood supply to your heart muscle is restricted. This can cause the symptoms of angina. Angina symptoms are often brought on by physical activity, an emotional upset, cold weather or after a meal. The episodes usually subside after a few minutes.
A heart attack happens when there is a sudden loss of blood flow to a part of your heart muscle. Most heart attacks are caused by coronary heart disease.
The signs of a heart attack
Heart attack symptoms vary from one person to another. The most common signs of a heart attack are:
– Chest Pain: tightness, heaviness, pain or burning feeling in your chest
– Pain in the arms, neck, jaw, back or stomach. For some people the pain or tightness is severe, while other people just feel uncomfortable
– Feeling light-headed
– Becoming short of breath
– Feeling nauseous or vomiting
Abnormal Heart Rhythm
An abnormal heart rhythm, sometimes called an arrhythmia, means your heart is beating too fast, too slow, or with an irregular pattern. Your heart has an electrical system that tells it when to beat and push blood around the body. If there is a problem with this system you may experience an abnormal heart rhythm.
What causes arrhythmia?
There are lots of reasons why you may have a different heart rhythm. Common reasons are:
– The electrical impulses are coming from another part of the heart and not the sinus mode
– The electrical impulses are coming from the sinus node, but going to the lower chambers of the heart by an unusual path.
Inherited Heart Condition
Inherited heart conditions, also known as genetic heart conditions or inherited cardiac conditions (ICC), are passed on through families. They can affect people of any age and can be life-threatening. It’s possible to have a faulty gene that can lead to a heart condition, yet never develop any signs of symptoms of the condition itself. If this happens, you can still pass the faulty gene on and there’s no way of knowing how it may affect your child, even if they do inherit the same faulty gene.
Congenital Heart Disease
Congenital heart disease means a heart condition or defect that develops in the womb, before a baby is born. There are many different types of congenital heart disease. For example, a baby’s heart valves may not be properly formed or there may be holes between the chambers of their heart.
What causes congenital heart disease?
In most cases, something has gone wrong in the early development of the foetus. Some heart conditions are due to faulty genes or chromosomes. But often we don’t understand why the baby’s heart hasn’t developed normally. If there’s a family history of congenital heart disease, the mother has diabetes during pregnancy, or the mother has taken certain medications while pregnant (anticoagulants or antiepileptic’s) a baby may be at slightly higher risk of congenital heart disease.