Heart Disease

Topics: Heart, Artery, Atherosclerosis, Blood / Pages: 5 (1178 words) / Published: Oct 4th, 2016
Heart disease, strokes and high blood pressure

The heart:
Our heart is a vital organ; it is a super muscle which constantly pumps our blood around our body at a rate of 40 to 100 beats per minute for a lifetime. It never tires.
The heart has two sides which are separated and each side has two chambers. Valves make sure blood can only flow in one direction. The right side receives de-oxygenated blood from the body through the vena cava and pumps it through the pulmonary artery to the lungs, and the left side receives the oxygenated blood from the lungs through the pulmonary vein and pumps it into the aorta to be distributed all over the body bringing oxygen and glucose to cells who need it for respiration. A natural pacemaker made of nerve
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Cholesterol causes the inner lining of the arteries to become clogged with plaque, which hardens, then the arteries become narrower and the blood pressure rises, additionally people might use stimulants like nicotine (smokers) or drink much coffee which causes cholesterol levels to go up and the heart to pump faster, also many people are obese and have low fitness levels which puts strain on their hearts.

People might not know they suffer from high blood pressure, as there are not necessarily any signs or symptoms. Blood pressure can easily be measured at home with a wrist type automatic blood pressure monitor available to the general public, or by your doctor.

When blood pressure is constantly high it puts a lot of strain on artery walls and this might become a problem. An aneurism (balloon like swelling on an artery) could form and it could rupture and cause a bleeding (haemorrhage) or a clot could form and block an artery. When this happens tissue will be starved of oxygen and will die (infarct). This is a problem for organs; it could happen to a lung, spleen or other organ. When it happens in the brain it is called a stroke which could cause death, or -if it is a smaller stroke- a TIA (transient ischaemic attack) and this might further cause vascular dementia and/or Alzheimer’s
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X-ray cameras may move around your chest and take pictures. You may be given a mild sedative through the IV as well as other fluids and medications.

There are medical procedures to open narrowed or blocked blood vessels:
• Balloon angioplasty is a procedure where a specially designed catheter with a small balloon tip is guided to the point of narrowing or blockage in the artery. Then the balloon is inflated to compress the plaque against the artery wall and stretch the artery open so the blood flow to the heart is increased.
• Stent placement. A coronary artery stent is a small, metal mesh tube that expands inside a coronary artery. A stent is usually placed during or immediately after angioplasty.
• Open-heart surgery may be done to perform a coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) this may be necessary for people with coronary heart disease which occurs when the blood vessels that provide blood and oxygen for the heart muscle become narrow and hard. This is often called ‘hardening of the arteries’
• A heart transplant or cardiac transplant is a surgical transplant procedure performed on patients with end-stage heart failure or severe coronary artery disease when all other medical or surgical treatments have

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