Heart diseases can pop up anywhere, anytime, like acute coronary syndrome . The heart has an awesome job to do, never wavering, never stopping, it’s a wonder nothing goes wrong with it every time. In some people though, things can go wrong and when it does it can cause disaster. Just like a house, things can go wrong with every system of the heart too.
What is heart disease, but a combination of preventable and genetic causes. Underlying it all is a monster. A monster that lurks quietly in the body is what causes heart disease. This monster likes to be anonymous, it doesn't want you to know its name. Revealing the monster and exposing it for what it is will allow us to know how to prevent heart disease.
Cardiomyopathy is a term that is used to describe a collection of heart diseases that usually end up in heart failure. They are usually inherited by your parents and thus are not preventable. Early diagnosis and treatment is key to effective long term treatment and survival.
Heart diseases come in all shapes and sizes like congested heart failure . The heart has a system of nodes made with clumps of cells. These nodes start the electrical system of contraction and it is channeled down the heart until every cardiac cell is touched. Sometimes you can have problems where the signal gets stuck starting at the SA node goes to the AV node and back round and round it goes where it stops nobody knows. This type of problem is usually seen as SVT (supraventricular Tachycardia). Since medicine is all Latin if you can speak Latin you already know all the terms. Breaking it down Supra- means above and ventricular means ventricles Tachy means fast and cardia means heart. So putting together “Above ventricles fast heart” which means the signal that originates above the heart is freaking fast, usually seen at 150 to 175 b.p.m.
Sometimes the electrical system has a kink in it somewhere. It’s easier to think of electricity as flowing water and the wires as pipes. If you kink a garden hose, water does not flow out the other end. It is the same as electricity if you kink an electrical wire the flow of electrons gets cut off and you get no electricity. The heart is no different, get a kink either by damage or chemical and the flow of electricity gets cut off. The heart below the signal has to fend for itself and beat without the signal from above. Good thing that it does that too, whew! These problems are known as 1st degree AV block, 2nd degree AV block and 3rd degree AV block (complete heart block).
Other electrical problems may include a feed back loop, like feed back from a microphone that is too close to the amp. You may have noticed it at someones wedding or a rock concert with that awful high pitched squeal. Feed back loops in the heart cause the heart to beat erratically like in the long QT syndrome . Think of the arteries and veins of the heart as plumbing in a house. If a pipe in your house gets clogged you call the plumber. He comes in with the roto-rooter and unclogs the pipes. Well you guessed it when your heart has a clog it’s called a heart attack which is caused by CAD (coronary artery disease), you hopefully don’t call a plumber but a cardiologist. Well you wouldn’t call a cardiologist until you’re seen by an emergency physician. Less than 3 hours from the onset of symptoms the doctor can give you a drug to bust the clot wide open and rekindling the circulation. The heart that was once lost is now saved. Some heart diseases are brought about by our own neglect or brought about by other means out of our control, genetics.
Sometimes just passing out can be a symptom of heart diseases like if your heart gets to low and cannot maintain a blood pressure you pass out. However every time you pass out does not necessarily mean your heart is in trouble it just means that your blood pressure just suddenly dropped, due to stress and heat. This condition is known as vasovagal which is the blood vessels just suddenly all open up, dropping the blood pressure, the cure is laying flat. Which your body makes you do by making you pass out. Amazing!Return from Heart Diseases to Heart Disease and Prevention Home page