Heart Problems : Diagnosis, Preventive Measures and Treatment

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Parts of the Heart and Anatomy

Heart Rhythm Problems

Working of the Heart:

Our heart works as a pump and supplies blood to all organs of the body. For the heart to function, it requires energy. To provide energy, there are two nodes in the right atrium namely synoatrial node (SA node) and atrioventricular node (AV node). From these nodes, electrical impulses are generated continuously.

The electrical impulses generated in the SA node are transmitted from right atrium to the left atrium and the two atria get closed. The blood flows to the ventricles then and the AV node generates electric impulses so that the ventricles get closed.

This process occurs rhythmically and continuously in a disciplined manner and pumps blood to the arteries. But sometimes due to various probems, the rhythmic activity will be lost and there will be change in heart rate. There will be abnormal electric activity in the heart. This condition is called as arrythmias.

Due to this, the heart rate may decrease and this condition is called as bradycardia or the heart rate may even increase in some cases and this condition called as tachycardia.

The following problems may arise due to decrease in blood flow

  • If blood flow decreases, the sufficient amount of blood will not reach the brain.
  • There will be difficulty in the breathing.
  • Pulse rate will be very low.
  • Person feels weak and tired.

The following problems may arise due to increase in blood flow

  • Heart beat will be faster and may feel tensed.
  • Blood will not be supplied to all organs of the body as the heart is inefficient, due to which asthma may occur.
  • Pain may also be felt in the heart slightly.
  • Head may be felt light and there will be fainting sensation.
  • Palpitations occur.

Various Confirmatory Tests used for Heart Diagnosis

  • ECG (Electrocardiography) – Electrodes are connected to the chest and heart rate is monitored.
  • Echo Stress test – Ultrasound waves are used for this test. Structure of the heart is studied by this test.
  • Holter Test – This is a special test performed to know the functioning of the heart for 24 hours.
  • Electrophysiology Test – This Test records the electrical activity and the electrical pathways of the heart.

Heart Treatment

If the heart rate decreases, pacemaker is kept under the skin on the chest. Pacemakers may be single chambered, double chambered or triple chambered. If heart rate increases beta blockers are given.

ICD (Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator)

If the heart beats rapidly, it sometimes leads to its stoppage. At such times, a shock is given to start the heart beat. It is possible only in hospitals. ICD is used to generate shock when not in hospitals by detecting the dangerous impulse and the heart beat is controlled again.

Radio Frequency Ablation

It is used to destroy abnormal electrical pathways in the heart tissue. The electrode is placed into the heart through a vein.

Preventive Measures from getting Heart Problems :

  • Smoking should be stopped.
  • Should not sit at same place continuously.
  • Balanced diet should be taken.
  • Care should be taken to prevent increase in the cholesterol levels.
  • Blood Pressure should be maintained.
  • Increase in weight should be controlled.
  • Exercise should be done regularly.
  • Diabetes should be kept under control.
  • Sufficient sleep is necessary.
  • Stress should be reduced.

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