What is Cardiovascular Disease?
Your circulatory system, which is also called the cardiovascular system, comprises the heart, veins, arteries and capillaries. It is designed to pump blood to all parts of your body. When this system gets affected, it leads to ailments which can be classified as a cardiovascular disease. Statistics show that these heart diseases have grown to become one of the leading causes of death across the world, compared to any other disease. Thus, it becomes increasingly important to understand it and learn how to prevent it
Symptoms of Cardiovascular Disease
It is critical to be able to understand when someone has a heart disease. The general symptoms for a cardiovascular disease are:
- Pressure or pain in the chest
- Pain or discomfort in the left shoulder, arms, jaws, elbows or the back
- Fatigue and nausea
- Cold sweats
- Shortness of breath
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
While these are the most common symptoms, they are not the only ones. Symptoms of cardiovascular diseases can manifest in several ways throughout the body.
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Types of Cardiovascular Disease
There are several types of heart diseases. They consist of different types of conditions that may or may not occur at the same time. These may also cause other diseases or conditions. More often than not, you may have come across these terms, but may not have known what they were exactly. The following list can help shed some light on the matter:-
- Angina: It is a chest pain that one experiences when there is a lack of blood flow to the heart.
- Arrhythmia: This refers to irregular heartbeat/heart rhythm.
- Cyanotic Congenital heart disease: This is the condition when there is an issue with the structure or functioning of the heart, right from birth. It is characterized by low levels of oxygen in the blood.
- Coronary artery disease: When arteries, the blood vessels that carry oxygenated blood to the heart, are affected, one is said to have coronary artery disease.
- Heart attack: It is the condition caused when the blood flow, and the oxygen supply, to the heart is suddenly blocked.
- Heart failure: This is the name given to the condition where the heart is unable to contract or relax as it is normally supposed to.
- Atrial fibrillation: It is an irregular rhythm of the heart, which can greater the chances of a stroke.
Causes of Cardiovascular Disease
There are numerous causes or risk factors that contribute to cardiovascular disease. Some of the common ones are:
- Hypertension or high blood pressure
- Blocks in the arteries (atherosclerosis)
- Radian therapy
- Physical inactivity
- Poor sleep hygiene
- High blood cholesterol (hyperlipidemia)
- A diet that is rich in fats and carbohydrates
- Excessive consumption of alcohol
- Sleep apnea
- Air pollution
- Reduced lung function like in chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder
Some of these causes may be in our control to prevent, while others may not be. While prevention is better than cure, it is important to always have a safety-net should anything go wrong. Religare Health Insurance offers Heart Mediclaim, a comprehensive mediclaim policy that covers up to 16 heart illnesses. It has numerous benefits for heart disease treatment and is a great way to protect you and your family.
Prevention of Heart Disease
There are several types of cardiovascular diseases that are preventable. Heart disease can be prevented by just making a few adjustments to our lifestyle. It is essential to combat the risk factors by following these steps:
- Quit smoking and lowering the consumption of alcohol: Smoking is one of the key risk factors of heart disease, and a high intake of alcohol also increases the chances of heart disease
- A healthy diet: Reducing the intake of sugar, salt, and saturated fats, and consuming fresh vegetables and fruits is one of the best ways to prevent heart disease
- Avoiding a lifestyle that is devoid of physical activity - about 150 minutes of exercise that is moderate-to-intense is recommended by the American Heart Association
- Managing bodyweight: Research has shown that by just lowering a person’s by 5% to 10%, they can significantly reduce the risk of getting heart disease
Having a sedentary lifestyle and a poor diet may not cause heart disease when a person is young. However, they face the risk of being affected by heart disease in the future as these conditions have effects that are cumulative in nature.