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Cardiovascular diseases: what are they and what are the main ones

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Cardiovascular diseases are a set of problems that damage the heart and blood vessels, and that arise with the age, usually related to unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as a diet rich in fat and lack of physical activity, for example. However, cardiovascular diseases can also be diagnosed after birth, as in the case of congenital heart disease.

In addition, cardiovascular diseases can be presented as consequences of infections by viruses, fungi or bacteria, which cause inflammation of the heart, as in the case of endocarditis and myocarditis.

It is important that cardiovascular diseases are duly treated, as in addition to producing uncomfortable symptoms, such as shortness of breath, pain in the pecho or swelling in the body, they are also the main cause of death in the world. Discover 12 symptoms that could indicate problems in the heart.



1. Hypertension

Hypertension is characterized by an increase in blood pressure, usually above 130/80 mmHg, which can influence the good functioning of the heart. This situation can happen due to aging, lack of exercise, weight gain or excessive consumption of salt, for example, however, hypertension can also happen as a result of other situations such as diabetes or kidney disease, for example.

The increase in blood pressure does not normally cause symptoms, but in some cases it can be identified by means of some of them, such as mareo, pain in the head, changes in vision and pain in the pecho, for example.

treatment: it is recommended to have a follow-up of hypertension with a general physician or cardiologist, as it may be necessary to use medication, in addition to a diet low in salt.

It is also important to practice physical activities, avoid smoking, drink at least 2 liters of water a day and check your blood pressure regularly. If the pressure remains high even with the recommended treatment, it is recommended to return to the cardiologist so that a new evaluation and modification of the treatment can be performed.



2. Acute myocardial infarction

The acute myocardial infarction (AMI), the heart attack, is caused by the interruption of the step of blood in the heart, in the majority of cases due to the accumulation of fat in the arteries of the heart. The most characteristic symptom of a heart attack is the intense pain in the breast that can radiate from the arm, but it can also have seas, cold sweating and malaise.

Treatment: In cases of suspected infarction, it is recommended to seek medical help as soon as possible to begin treatment with drugs that prevent clot formation and promote blood flow. In some cases, emergency surgery may even be necessary.

After urgent treatment, it is important to follow the medical guidelines, take the prescribed medication regularly and adopt healthy habits, such as regular physical activity and a diet low in fatty foods and rich in fruits and vegetables.

3. Heart failure

Heart failure is more common in people who have high blood pressure, which can lead to weakening of the heart muscle and, consequently, make it difficult to pump blood to the body. The main symptoms associated with heart failure are progressive tiredness, swelling in the legs and feet, dryness by night and lack of air.

Treatment: It must be indicated by the cardiologist, but it is usually carried out with the use of drugs to reduce pressure, such as Enalapril and Lisinopril, for example, associated with diuretics, such as Furosemide. In addition, the regular practice of exercises is recommended, when they are duly guided by the cardiologist, and to reduce the salt consumption, controlling the pressure and, consequently, avoiding decompensating the heart.

4. Congenital heart disease

Congenital heart diseases are those in which the heart undergoes changes during the development process during pregnancy, which can result in changes in the function of the heart that are present when the baby is born. These heart diseases can be identified in utero, by means of ultrasound and an echocardiogram and can be mild or severe. See what are the main types of congenital heart disease.

Treatment: It varies from agreement to severity, in cases of severe congenital heart disease, it is possible to indicate the performance of surgery or heart transplantation after the first year of life. In the case of mild heart disease, the treatment is carried out with the objective of relieving the symptoms, being able to indicate the use of diuretics and beta-blockers, for example, to regulate the heart rate.

5. Endocarditis

Endocarditis is inflammation of the tissue that covers the heart internally, and is usually caused by an infection, usually by fungi or bacteria. Although the infection is the main cause of endocarditis, this disease can also occur as a consequence of other diseases, such as cancer, rheumatic fever or autoimmune diseases, for example.

Symptoms of endocarditis arise over time, with persistent fever, excessive sweating, paleness, muscle pain, persistent coughing and shortness of breath. In more severe cases, the presence of blood in the urinary tract and weight loss can even be observed.

Treatment: The main form of treatment for endocarditis is the use of antibiotics or antifungals to combat the microorganism responsible for the disease, which must be guided by a cardiologist. In addition, it may be necessary to carry out a change in the affected valve.

6. Cardiac arrhythmias

Cardiac arrhythmia corresponds to an alteration in the heart rate, which can go faster or slower, resulting in symptoms such as tiredness, paleness, pain in the throat, cold sweating and shortness of breath, for example.

Treatment: It varies with the symptoms presented, but it has the objective of regulating the heart barks. In this way, the use of drugs such as Propafenone or Sotalol can be indicated, for example, defibrillation, implantation of pacemakers or the performance of an ablation surgery. Find out how the treatment for cardiac arrhythmia is performed.

It is also important to avoid the consumption of alcohol, drugs and drinks with caffeine, for example, they can change the heart rate, in addition to practicing regular physical illnesses and having a balanced diet.

7. Angina

Angina corresponds to the feeling of heaviness, pain or pressure in the pecho and it generally happens when there is a decrease in the flow of blood in the heart, and which is more common in people over 50 who have high blood pressure, decompensated diabetes, which poses unhealthy lifestyle habits, resulting in the interruption of the blood flow due to the accumulation of grease in the vessels. Know the main types of angina.

Treatment: You should be instructed according to the type of angina, and it may be recommended to rest the use of medications to control symptoms, improve blood flow, regulate blood pressure and prevent clot formation.

8. Myocarditis

Myocarditis is inflammation of the heart muscle that can occur due to infections in the body by a virus or when there is an advanced infection by fungi or bacteria. This inflammation can lead to several symptoms in more serious cases, such as pain in the pecho, irregular heartbeat, excessive tiredness, shortness of breath and swelling in the legs.

Treatment: It is usually resolved when the infection is treated with the use of antibiotics, antifungals or antivirals, without embargo, in case the symptoms of myocarditis remain even after the treatment of the infection. It is important to consult a cardiologist to start the specific treatment, and the use of medications can be recommended to reduce pressure, reduce swelling and control heart barking.

9. Valvulopathies

Valvulopathies, also called heart valve diseases, appear more frequently in men from 65 years old and women from 75 years old and it happens due to the accumulation of calcium in the valves of the heart, making the blood flow difficult to its hardening.

In some cases, the symptoms of valvulopathy may take a long time to manifest, however, some symptoms that may indicate problems with the heart valves are pain in the pecho, breath in the heart, excessive tiredness, shortness of breath and swelling in the piernas and pies , for example.

Treatment: It is carried out according to the valve that is injured and the degree of commitment, being able to indicate the use of diuretic, antiarrhythmic or even drugs, the replacement of the valve by means of a surgery.

Prevention of cardiovascular diseases

Some advice to help prevent the development of cardiovascular diseases are:

  • Quit smoking;
  • Control the blood pressure, the sugar level and the amount of fat in the blood;
  • Have a healthy diet, avoiding grease and eating more vegetables, fruits and cereals;
  • Practice regular physical exercise, for at least 30-60 minutes, 3-5 times a week;
  • Avoid consumption of alcoholic beverages.

In addition, for people who are above their ideal weight, slimming is recommended, since it is proven that the accumulation of fat is very harmful to cardiovascular health.

Find out the guidelines on how to carry out a healthy diet to lose weight.

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Consult a Doctor | Translated by User2937

Content for educational purposes only

The translator user relied on the following text:

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