Heart Disease Definition
Heart disease is a condition when the heart has a disorder. The form of the disorder itself varies, it can be a disorder of the heart’s blood vessels, heart valves, or heart muscle. Heart disease can also be caused by an infection or birth defect.
The heart is a muscle that is divided into four chambers. Two spaces are located at the top, namely the right and left atriums. While two more chambers are located at the bottom, namely the right and left ventricles. Between the right and left chambers, there is a muscle wall (septum) that prevents oxygen-rich blood from mixing with oxygen-poor blood.
The heart also has valves that regulate blood flow between the atria and ventricles. These valves will open and close alternately according to the heart rate.
The main function of the heart is to flow oxygen-rich blood to all parts of the body. If all organs of the body have used oxygen, oxygen-poor blood will return to the heart, then return to the lungs to be filled with oxygen.
Once enriched with oxygen in the lungs, blood will return to the heart to flow throughout the body. Some of the oxygen-rich blood will also be flowed to the heart itself through coronary blood vessels that envelop all parts of the heart. The circulatory cycle occurs repeatedly.
The heart also has two membranes called pericardium. Its function is to protect the heart, keep the heart in place, and prevent injury due to friction when it beats.
Heart Disease Types
Cardiovascular disease consists of many types, including:
Atherosclerosis is plaque buildup of cholesterol in the heart vessels and mild inflammation of those vessels.
Coronary heart disease.
Blockage of one or more arterial blood vessels caused by plaque accumulation. As a result, blood flow is not smooth.
Arrhythmia is heart abnormalities characterized by an abnormal beat or rhythm, where your heart rate may be too fast, too slow, too early, or irregular.
Congenital heart defects.
The condition of the heart structure is not perfect when a person is still in the womb.
An infection that affects the inner membranes of the heart chambers and valves (endocardium). People who have congenital heart disease and have a history of other heart disorders are at high risk of developing this condition.
Heart valve disease.
Damage to the heart valves due to narrowing (stenosis), leakage (regurgitation or insufficiency), or incomplete closure (prolapse).
Heart Disease Symptoms
Some of the symptoms of heart disease, among others:
- Coronary heart disease, the main symptom is chest pain, which can be accompanied by shortness of breath, pain that radiates to the left arm, or to the jaw.
- Congenital heart disease, symptoms can be tightness and look blue when crying or breastfeeding, swelling around the eyes and in the legs, and weight does not increase.
- Heart infection (endocarditis), symptoms in the form of fever, irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, swelling of the stomach or legs, and coughing.
- Heart failure, symptoms in the form of shortness of breath that gets heavier when on the move, shortness of breath that gets heavier when lying down, swollen limbs, and an enlarged stomach.
- Arrhythmia, symptoms that can arise in the form of heart palpitations, discomfort in the chest, shortness of breath, sensation of floating, even to fainting.
7 Things that can cause heart disease
Heart Disease Diagnosis
To ensure the presence of heart problems, there are several examinations needed, depending on the type of heart disease. In general, the examination to confirm the diagnosis of heart disease is:
- Electrocardiogram (EKG), which is an examination to see the flow of electricity and heart rhythm. This examination is done by attaching several leads (shaped like a clamp) to the patient’s body. ECG is the most common examination performed on those suspected of having a heart disorder.
- Echocardiography, which is an examination to see the inside of the heart, the function of the heart pump, and the function of the heart valves. This examination is mainly done on those who are suspected of heart failure, congenital heart disease, and heart valve abnormalities.
- Treadmill test, which is a heart rhythm examination that is done while the patient does physical activity (treadmill). This examination is generally done to detect early coronary heart disease.
- Angiography, which is a heart examination that is done by inserting a ‘camera’ into the heart’s blood vessels to see the blockage in the heart’s blood vessels.
16 Cure For Heart Disease