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The harsh effects of drinking alcohol on your healthy have not been unknown. It affects your brain, liver, heart and majorly your overall health. Let’s understand how it harms the health of your heart. Long-term alcohol abuse puts you at a greater risk of suffering from heart problems.
How alcohol damages your cardiovascular health?
Your heart pumps blood throughout the body. The blood delivers various nutrients and other substances to your body parts, including alcohol. The alcohol is then absorbed directly into your bloodstream.
Alcohol causes temporary increase in heart rate
Studies have shown that drinking alcohol on regular basis can lead to tachycardia (increased heart rate due to problems in the electrical signals that produce a heartbeat). And, ultimately it can cause a heart attack or stroke.
Alcohol raises your blood pressure
Consumption of alcohol increases your blood pressure (BP), which puts more strain on the heart muscle. This as a result can lead to hardening and thickening of the arteries, which increases your risk of heart attack and stroke. On other hand, studies have found that reduced alcohol intake can lower blood pressure.
Alcohol causes irregular heartbeat
In medical terms irregular heartbeat is called as arrhythmia. It can happen due to changes in the heart's electrical system. A few common arrhythmias include the heart beating too slowly (bradycardia), or too fast (tachycardia). No matter whichever form of arrhythmia, you are suffering from, a cardiac arrest or stroke, can be a likely outcome.
So, you must completely avoid alcohol intake for not only keeping your heart in good shape but for your overall well-being too.
Congestive heart failure (CHF) is defined as a chronic condition which affects your heart muscle's ability to pump. Usually, it is referred to as heart failure. It can turn out to be a fatal condition, if the right measures are not taken on time.
There are a few risk factors that increase your chances of suffering from CHF. The most common ones include:
Heart attack: The sudden, unanticipated blockage of the coronary artery and the stoppage of the flow of the blood causes a heart attack. The heart muscles are damaged in such a case and are unable to carry out their normal functioning.
Diseases: Though the term may be generic, most of the ailments which people suffer from tend to manifest themselves by posing a potential threat to the functioning of the heart. High blood pressure, kidney disease, even thyroid can cause congestive heart failure.
Though CHF may not show any symptoms in the early stages, but you will eventually notice the following symptoms as the condition progresses:
CHF can be prevented by making lifestyle changes and regular health check-ups. So never miss your doctor’s appointment and follow his suggestions.
Every year thousands of heart attack cases are reported. With this ever-rising number, it is important to understand the reason behind heart ailments. Atherosclerosis, is one such condition that eventually leads to blockage in an artery.
Let’s first know what is atherosclerosis:
As the arteries start narrowing because of the plaque buildup, it is known as atherosclerosis. It is also referred to as arteriosclerosis, which means that the arteries become very hard. The blood vessels that are responsible for carrying oxygen and the necessary nutrients from the heart to the entire body are the arteries. As you grow older, the cholesterol and the fat starts getting deposited in the arteries, which leads to the formation of plaque. Arteries are lined by the cell layer which is known as the endothelium.
Atherosclerosis starts to develop when there is damage caused to the endothelium. This leads to the lipoproteins of low density getting accumulated in the wall of the artery. These lipoproteins are known as atheroma. The pieces of the plaque may break off, and the flow of blood through the arteries is restricted due to the blood clot. Atherosclerosis may cause stroke, heart attack, heart failure, and peripheral vascular disease if it is not treated properly. This disease can occur in any artery that is located in any of the body parts, which include the kidneys, the legs, or the heart.
How atherosclerosis happens?
Atherosclerosis starts when the arteries located in part of a person’s body become hard and narrow due to the buildup of excess fat in the artery walls. These damages lead to the development of plaque. The plaque starts creating a bump on the wall of the artery. As the disease starts to progress, the bump starts to get bigger. This leads to a blockage. This process goes on throughout the patient’s body, placing his heart at a great risk. This may also lead to stroke or other serious health problems.
Once the disease starts progressing, it may rupture the plaque lining. This causes the LDL cholesterol and the other unwanted substances to spill out in the blood stream. This leads to the blood clot, and the blood clot, in turn, may travel to any other body part, blocking the flow of blood to the nearest organ. The plaque can either stay in the wall of the artery, or it may start growing in the path of the flow of blood.
Cardiomyopathy is a heart muscle disease which makes the blood pumping process harder. The heart muscle gets progressively weak due to a disease. If it is not treated on time, then heart failure or death can be a likely outcome.
Symptoms of cardiomyopathy include:
In the early stages of cardiomyopathy, there might be no obvious symptoms. However, with time as the condition progresses, you might be able to notice the following symptoms:
Discomfort or heaviness in the chest
Feeling breathless with exertion or even at rest
Swelling of the legs, ankles and feet
Cough while lying down
Dizziness and lightheadedness
Cardiomyopathy has been divided into the following types:
- Dilated Cardiomyopathy: This is the most common form. In this condition your heart muscle becomes too weak to pump blood. The heart muscles stretch and become thinner, leading to the four chambers of the heart to expand causing a pathology called an enlarged heart.
- Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: This happens due to genetics. It occurs when the walls of your heart thicken and prevent the flow of blood through the natural pump.
- Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia: This is a rare form of cardiomyopathy. It causes sudden deaths of athletes and happens when fat and fibrous tissues replace muscle in the right ventricle of the heart.
- Restrictive Cardiomyopathy: This is the least common form of the disease. The cause is the stiffening of the ventricles, the part of the blood which receives blood. When these stiffen, the heart doesn’t get enough blood to oxygenate. Scarring of the heart due to heart disease and a heart transplant operation can be a cause of this stiffening.
- Ischemic Cardiomyopathy: Ischemic cardiomyopathy is caused due to coronary artery disease which causes blood vessels supplying blood to the heart to become narrow. The heart doesn’t get enough oxygen and a person can die due to a heart attack.
The risk of cardiomyopathy can be reduced by living a heart-healthy lifestyle. So, consult with your doctor and seek guidance on what to do and what to avoid.
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A few signs can be quite helpful in early detection of a damaged kidney such as foamy urine, loss of appetite, muscular cramps, among others.
People suffering from hypertension are often surrounded by many myths. But, how much truth do these myths hold? Know some real facts about hypertension.
There are a few silent signs of diabetes that are easy-to-miss like an increase in bathroom breaks, feeling tired more often, blurry vision etc.
To keep your heart healthy, staying active and exercising are a must. Exercising can stop or slow the development of diabetes, increase good cholesterol level, among others.