The heart is a muscular organ that is placed centrally to your circulatory system. This fist-sized organ pumps blood to all the parts of the body and beats around 100,000 times in a day.
Through regular contraction and extraction, about 2,000 gallons of blood is reached to all the parts of the body in a day. This is made possible, with the help of a well-organized network of different types of elastic blood vessels such as veins, arteries, and capillaries.
Structure of the Heart
- The heart is placed exactly below the rib cage, between the lungs and left of the breastbone or sternum.
- It is made of muscles. When the strong muscular walls squeeze the blood is pumped.
- Coronary arteries are present at the surface of your heart and these arteries supply blood rich in oxygen to the muscles of the heart.
- Three major blood vessels enter the heart. These are the pulmonary veins, the superior vena, and the inferior vena.
- The aorta and the pulmonary artery exit the heart and provide blood rich in oxygen to all parts of the body.
- Inside of the heart is hollow and is divided into four chambers.
- It is divided by a muscular wall-septum into right and left side and these two sides are further divided into top and bottom chambers known as atria and ventricles respectively.
Working of the Heart
The heart is controlled by an electrical system and the working is carried out by using electrical signals. These signals play a significant role in the contraction of the walls of the hearts.
- When the contraction occurs, blood is pumped into the circulatory system.
- There are two valves in your heart chambers: Inlet valves, outlet valves, and these valves direct the proper flow of the blood.
- Perfect working of the heart is crucial for your health and almost everything that goes within your body has some association with the heart.
- If the heart stops, the blood will stop moving throughout the body.
- The blood provides nutrients and oxygen to all the organs so that they can perform their functions well.
- The blood also reaches the waste in the form of carbon dioxide to the lungs from where it is exhaled out.
- When the organs fail to get the blood in the required amount they weaken and the total working of your body is disrupted.
- This whole process is effectively carried out and the blood is reached to each and every part of the body by the blood vessels.
Note: The system of arteries, capillaries, and veins in total is quite vast and runs over 60,000 miles, equivalent to making around to the whole world more than two times.
Precautions to Prevent Heart Disease
Nowadays heart diseases have become very common. 1 in 100 are affected with one or the other heart diseases and they will be usually in search of Best Cardiologist in Hyderabad or any other city depending upon the location they are in. But one must take care of their health either before or after they are affected by the disease.
These top 35 heart care tips for healthy heart will protect from any heart disease and also helps in curing the heart disease. One must follow these following tips to lead a healthy life. At least a few tips must be added to their daily routine and make it as a habit gradually.
Heart disease is certainly one of the major causes of death, especially among the young generations. Apart from certain genetic factors, the other reasons that cause heart disease can be controlled and you can very well prolong or stop the occurrence of this disease. Find out how:
Quit Smoking or Use of Tobacco:Smoking can develop heart disease as the carbon monoxide given out during smoking, replaces the oxygen in the blood thereby raising your hypertension and heart rate. This forces your heart to work faster to provide the required amount of oxygen leading to stroke or heart attack. Giving up smoking or tobacco is the best way to reduce the risk of getting heart disease.
Note: An encouraging fact for the smokers is that once they stop smoking their risk of getting heart disease drops almost equal to non-smokers who have given up smoking since last five years.
Workout for 30 minutes:Exercise is the best way to increase the capacity of your heart to pump fresh oxygen-rich blood. When good lifestyle changes and regular physical exercise is combined the result is simply awesome. What you get is a good healthy heart with a reduced risk of heart disease. Apart from regular exercise units such as yoga or aerobics, you should also try to remain physically active all day and perform simple tasks such as housekeeping, gardening, walking up the stairs and more.
Eating Healthy:This is very important to reduce heart disease risk. Experts suggest two heart-healthy diet plans- The Mediterranean diet and Stop hypertension-eating plan (DASH):
- Your diet should be rich in vegetables, whole grains, and fruits.
- Low-fat protein sources such as beans and particular types of fish can help reduce the chances of heart disease
- You must limit intake of the certain type of fats such as polyunsaturated, saturated, trans fat and monounsaturated fats.
- Make sure that you avoid the sources rich in saturated fats such as dairy products, red meat, palm and coconut oils.
- Also, you should avoid eating trans fat foods such as deep-fried fast foods, packaged snack foods, crackers, bakery products, and margarine.
- Include healthy fats that are derived from plant sources such as olive oil, olives, nuts, avocados as these lower the bad cholesterol level.
- Eating more servings of vegetables, fruits and certain fish such as mackerel and salmon reduce heart disease risk.
Note: Oil bottles that carry the word hydrogenated indicate that the oil contains trans fat.
Healthy WeightCarrying more weight especially around your middle area poses great risk of heart related diseases and other health problems such as high cholesterol, diabetes and high blood pressure Depending upon your height and age you need to calculate your BMI (Body Mass Index) and accordingly ensure that your weight is normal so that such diseases are kept at bay.
Sound SleepDeprivation of sleep can cause serious harm to health in the end and lower your working capacity. Moreover, it can also lead to obesity, heart attack and depression. That is why you should make sound sleep a top priority in life and schedule proper sleeping and waking up the pattern. In case you are suffering from insomnia or obstructive sleep apnea you should use CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) device to keep your airway open so that you can sleep soundly.
Note: Use of CPAP device is known to lower the heart disease risk.
Get regular health screeningsTo prevent heart disease, it is important that you conduct certain treatment once you cross the forties and after every couple of years thereon. You need to check your cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and diabetes on regular basis to avoid the risk of heart disease. Some of the suggested health screenings for the purpose include:
- Cardiac calcium scoring
- Carotid Intimal Medial Thickness Test
- High-sensitivity C - reactive protein Test
- Advanced Lipid Profile Test and Lipoprotein (a)Test
- A1C Blood Glucose Test
- Genetic Tests
- Stress Echocardiography
Tests to Diagnose Heart Diseases
Specialized tests are recommended for diagnosing different types of heart diseases. Some of them are discussed in detail below:
Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)
- ECG test is recommended to record the electrical activity of the heart.
- It is conducted by attaching small electrode patches to the skin of your legs, arms, and chests. It can be recommended as a routine test or even to test heart-related problems.
- The test is painless, inexpensive, safe and quick and doctors use it to assess heart rhythm, diagnose ischemia, heart attack or any abnormalities.
- Small radiation is used to develop an image of chest bones, lungs, and heart. Doctors use this film chest x-ray to
- Diagnose cardiac and lung diseases
- Check the chest structures such as lungs, bones, and heart
- To evaluate the perfect location for placing devices such as defibrillators, tube or pacemakers
Head-Up Tilt Table Test
- Patients suffering from fainting spells are usually recommended this test to find the reason behind such occurrence.
- During this test, the patient is made to lie quietly on a bed and then it is tilted at various angles in between 30 to 60 degrees for a particular period.
- During this tilting activity, different machines are engaged to monitor oxygen level, heart's electrical impulses and blood pressure.
- The process is carried out in specialized room-electrophysiology lab or EP.
- This test is carried out by using ultrasound for evaluating the heart valves and muscles.
- An echocardiogram is especially recommended to assess the complete functioning of the heart, determine the exact type of heart disease, check out the progress of disease related to heart disease and to evaluate how effective the surgical or medical treatments have been on the patient.
- Cardiac catheterization is also known as a coronary angiogram and is a type of invasive imaging procedure.
- During this procedure, the doctors can clearly see how well the heart is receiving blood from the blood vessels.
- A long and narrow tube-like catheter is inserted into the leg or arm blood vessel and from there on guided to the heart with the help of a dedicated x-ray machine.
- A contrast dye is injected using a catheter tube due to which the X-ray video can clearly show the valves, heart chambers, and coronary arteries.
- This procedure is used to confirm or evaluate heart disease like heart valve disease, a disease of the aorta or coronary artery disease and to determine the function of heart muscle.
- It is a preliminary test used to determine the requirement for the further mode of treatment such as bypass surgery or interventional procedure.
- Electrophysiology or EP testing is carried out to find out the reason behind abnormal heart rhythm and determine a proper mode of treatment.
- During this test, the electrical pathways and electrical activity of the heart are recorded.
Coronary CT Angiography
- CTA is a computed tomography angiography and is a noninvasive type of heart imaging test.
- It provides 3D, high-resolution images of the blood vessels and the heart and helps to determine the presence of plaque or calcium and fatty deposits that usually grow inside the coronary arteries.
- In angiography, contrast dye of iodine is passed on inside the body by injecting IV into the arm of a patient so that improved images are obtained during the procedure.
- Sometimes special medication that stabilizes the heart rate of the patient is also injected through IV to obtain improved imaging results.
- Scanning is carried out using a special detector. The latest technology makes use of multislice scanning or multidetector and is also known as dual source CT.
- Myocardial biopsy, cardiac biopsy, and heart biopsy are similar invasive tests carried out to detect the heart disease.
- The procedure makes use of bioptome, which is a type of very small catheter having a grasping device attached to its end.
- This bioptome is used to get a small tissue piece of the heart muscle and is sent to a laboratory for analysis.
- This procedure is requested to evaluate rejection after heart transplant surgery, to detect cardiac disorders or to pinpoint a particular heart disease.
- Also known as pericardial tap, during this invasive procedure you need a catheter and a needle for removing fluid from within the sac and also around the heart region.
- This fluid is used for testing signs of inflammation, infection, cancer or the presence of blood.
- The procedure is usually recommended to treat emergency conditions such as cardiac tamponade, which is a life-threatening fluid buildup that surrounds the heart and affects the heart's ability to pump blood.
- Magnetic resonance imaging or MRI testing is advised for evaluating the function of the heart's structures and its anatomies such as pericardium, major vessels, lungs, and heart.
- In this procedure, radio-frequency waves and large magnets are used for producing the picture of internal structures of the body.
- It is specifically advised to diagnose different serious diseases such as cardiac tumors, cardiomyopathy, pericardial disease, coronary artery disease, congenital heart disease, and heart valve disease.
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