The term heart diseases is used as an umbrella term for all those disorders which affect heart and blood vessels supplying blood to heart. It is also quite possible that a person may suffer from more than one heart disease at a time. Heart keeps on beating for entire life and keeps sending impure blood to the lungs for purification. Similarly, it collects purified blood and pumps it to every body part. It is responsible to supply essential nutrients and oxygen through blood, hence, heart diseases can yield serious circumstances.
Different Types of Heart Diseases
Diseases of Heart Chambers
Human heart consists of four chambers and if any of these gets affected, the capacity of blood pumping of heart may be reduced. Common heart diseases of this type include pulmonary heart disease or congestive heart failure. In the congestive heart disease, the heart may not be able to receive enough blood or may not be able to pump it to the body or both.
In heart failure, the blood flow to and from the heart is affected. It can also be a result of other heart problems like heart attack or cardiac arrest.
Diseases of Arteries and Veins
Diseases of arteries and veins, or cardiovascular diseases, are caused by plaque deposition in the vessels which hampers blood supply to heart. With age, fats deposition on walls of blood vessels increase. The fatty acids also release some chemicals, making the walls sticky, and hence attracting substances like proteins and inflammatory cells from blood. They combine to form plaque and hence thicken the walls of the vessels, a condition called atherosclerosis. Insufficient blood supply to heart may result in heart attack or chest pain. Coronary heart disease is in fact the atherosclerosis of coronary artery which supplies oxygenated blood to heart.
Diseases of Valve
Valves control the flow of blood between four chambers of heart. In case of any problem, they may get stiff, hence affecting proper blood transfer. The blood accumulating behind valves puts pressure on them and may lead to congestive heart failure and angina. Tricuspid stenosis, mitral stenosis and mitral valve prolapse are the heart diseases related to valves.
Diseases of Electrical System
Arrythmias is a term used for heart diseases affecting electrical system of heart. Electrical impulses are responsible to carry out heartbeats. If they are not received properly by heart, it may cause the heart to beat too fast (tachycardia) or too slow (bradycardia). Sinus tachycardia, sinus bradycardia, atrial flutter and ventricular tachycardia etc are the diseases of this category.
Diseases of the Lining
The inner lining of heart is called endocardium, and the large bag of membrane that encloses the heart is called pericardium. A heart disease can arise if any one of them gets affected e.g. endocarttitis is a heart disease involving inflammation of endocardium and it affects the valves. Similarly, pericarditis arises due to inflammation of pericardium.
Congenital Heart Diseases
Though, age and lifestyle are most common factors behind heart diseases, but some can also be acquired. These congenital heart diseases can affect any part of the heart, like valves, muscles or vessels. They mostly involve an abnormality in septum, called ventricular septal defect (VSD), and trial septal defect (ASD). Pulmonic stenosis, coarctation of the aorta and the tricuspid atresia are some other common heart diseases of this category.
Other Heart Diseases
Malignant or benign cardiac tumor, hypertensive heart disease characterized by high blood pressure, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and heart failure are some other common heart diseases.
The key elements to avoid heart diseases are to maintain proper diet and regular exercise.