Different Types of Heart Disease
Different types of heart disease exist. The human heart is a complex structure with several components all of which can degenerate and dysfunction.
The heart is a hollow, muscular organ about the size of your fist. This organ pumps blood through a loop-like network of blood vessels that starts at the heart, spreading throughout the body and reconnecting back to the organ itself.
Heart disease or cardiopathy is a somewhat generic term that refers to diseases of all the different parts of this blood-pumping organ and its blood vessels. This will include health problems with the lining, valves and muscles.
We can identify these different sections as:
- Heart valves
- Heart chambers
- Electrical system
- Heart muscle itself
- Linings of the heart
- Coronary arteries and coronary veins
Different Types of Heart Disease - Congestive Heart Failure
The heart is too weakened or damaged to beat effectively. Since there’s a lack of control over the flow of blood, a buildup of fluids can occur.
SYSTOLIC HEART FAILURE happens when the heart loses its ability to pump blood effectively.
DIASTOLIC HEART FAILURE occurs when the heart becomes too stiffened and thus unable to relax or rest.
Different Types Of Heart Disease - Valvular Heart Disease
The heart has four valves - mitral and aortic on the left side, and tricuspid and pulmonary on the right side. They function like gates to control the direction and quantity of blood flow. When these valves become diseased, blood flow is affected. Damaged or weakened valves are also vulnerable to infections, called endocarditis.
ENDOCARDITIS is a valve disorder. The endocardium is a membrane lining the inside of the valves. Bacterial infections can damage the endocardium thus causing endocarditis.
Different Types of Heart Disease - Cardiomyopathy
This term means "heart muscle disease" and is a deterioration of the functioning of the actual heart muscle itself - myocardium. Cardiomyopathy puts you at a high risk for arrhythmia and/or sudden cardiac death.
EXTRINSIC CARDIOMYOPATHY: The primary pathology is outside the heart muscle itself. Most cardiomyopathies are extrinsic, because ischemia is the most common cause.
DILATED CARDIOMYOPATHY: Occurs when the heart muscle is weakened. The heart chambers dilate to allow the release of more blood with each beat. Excessive alcohol consumption, coronary artery disease and myocarditis are some causes.
HYPERTROPHIC CARDIOMYOPATHY: The heart muscle is so thick that it limits the amount of blood the ventricular chamber can contain and pump. This can lead to irregular heartbeats or rhythms – arrhythmia, and sudden death.
RESTRICTIVE CARDIOMYOPATHY: is the rarest of the cardiomyopathies.
Electrical System Disease
Forms of electrical system disease include: heart block, long QT syndrome, tachycardia, atrial flutter, and ventricular fibrillation. Arrhythmias are problems that can cause fast, slow, or irregular heartbeats, that is, any disruption from a normal heart rhythm.
Different Types Of Heart Disease - Cardiovascular Diseases
High blood cholesterol, smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and a sedentary lifestyle can all contribute to the occurrence of the following forms of cardiovascular disease.
Coronary Heart Disease (or Coronary Artery Disease)
The term coronary implies the supplying or draining of blood to and from the heart.
A sufficient deposition of plaque can accumulate on the inner walls of your arteries thereby narrowing them and reducing blood supply to the heart. This defines the disease known as atherosclerosis and paves the way for coronary heart (artery) disease.
The heart is no longer receiving an adequate supply of oxygenated blood into itself to re-circulate throughout the body. You then can experience angina - chest pain - and heart attacks.
It is the number one cause of heart attacks – myocardial infarction. In severe cases, coronary artery disease can lead to sudden death without prior warning.
Whenever the heart is undergoing an insufficient supply of blood, you can experience pains or discomforts in the chest area, referred to as angina.
A blood clot can restrict the flow of blood to the brain. More and more brain cells starve for oxygen and thus die. Or there may be bleeding in the brain arising from a broken blood vessel. These can cause a stroke.
High Blood Pressure - Hypertension
Most people would not associate hypertension as a likely candidate in a listing of different types of heart disease.
Blood pressure is the force exerted on arterial walls as pumped blood circulates throughout the body. Whenever the heart has to overwork – increased pressure on the walls of arteries - to move blood through the bodily system, aneurysms (bulging of artery) and eventual heart failure can occur.
Mitral Valve Prolapse
The mitral valve is mildly abnormal. This valve ensures a continual forward flow of blood during each heart beat.
This form of heart disease occurs when the blood supply to the wall of the heart is insufficient. Ischemia means a lowered and therefore insufficient supply of blood. Angina becomes a symptom of myocardial ischemia.
Viral infections usually are the cause of inflammation of the heart muscle. Fever, minor chest pain, joint pain and an abnormally rapid heart rate are indications and symptoms of myocarditis.
Congenital Heart Disease
These are usually defects that develop before birth. There can be an obstruction of blood flow in the heart or in surrounding vessels. Or the blood can be flowing in an incorrect pattern through the heart. A baby’s heart can have developmental defects such as a single ventricle instead of two.
The above represents the most common different types of heart disease that plague us. Your heart does not need to degenerate into these conditions. A healthy eating diet and lifestyle can reverse disease and maintain vibrant health.
Reference sources for information on different types of heart disease:
Disclaimer: The advice given here is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information for educational purposes only. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified health care provider. All the content of this website is based upon the opinions, experiences and research of Keith F Gittens – Keithos, unless otherwise noted and is not intended as medical advice.
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