Tips for maintaining a healthy "heart"

Health News

26 Oct 2023

Tips for maintaining a healthy "heart"

      The heart is a vital organ in the body and works continuously, beating and pumping blood to nourish our bodies, even when we are asleep or when other organs are at rest. Therefore, it's essential to nurture and maintain a strong and healthy heart.

Conditions Affecting the Heart :
  • Coronary Artery Disease, such as coronary heart disease
  • Arrhythmias (heart rhythm disorders)
  • Congenital Heart Defects
  • Heart Valve Disease or Leakage
  • Cardiomyopathies (diseases of the heart muscle)
  • Heart Infections
  • Diseases of the Pericardium (the sac around the heart)

How does heart disease manifest ? The symptoms of heart disease depend on the type of heart condition.

Symptoms of Coronary Artery Disease :
  • Chest pain or discomfort: Often described as tightness, heaviness, squeezing, or pressure in the chest. Pain may radiate to the arms, shoulders, or left arm and can be triggered or worsened by physical activity.
  • Easily fatigued and short of breath.
  • Difficulty lying flat.
  • Swelling.
  • Irregular heartbeat.
  • Fainting or near-fainting episodes.

Symptoms of Heart Arrhythmias :

      Heart arrhythmias can cause the heart to beat too fast, too slow, or irregularly, leading to symptoms such as :

  • Heart palpitations.
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Shortness of breath and exertional dyspnea.
  • Lightheadedness.
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting (syncope)
Symptoms of Congenital Heart Defects :
      Symptoms of congenital heart defects are often noticed soon after birth or in early childhood and may include :
  • Pale gray or bluish skin color.
  • Swelling in the legs, abdomen, or around the eyes.
  • Rapid breathing.
  • Poor weight gain.
  • Clubbing of the fingers.

Symptoms of Cardiomyopathies :

      Early stages of cardiomyopathies may not show symptoms, but as the condition progresses, symptoms may include:

  • Breathlessness during activity or at rest.
  • Swelling in the legs, ankles, and feet.
  • Fatigue.
  • Difficulty lying flat.
  • Irregular heartbeats.
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness.

Symptoms of Heart Infections :

      Endocarditis, an infection of the heart's inner lining, can have signs and symptoms such as :

  • Fever.
  • Rapid breathing.
  • Fatigue.
  • Swelling in the legs or abdomen.
  • Chest pain.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Dry cough.
  • Skin rash or small spots on the skin.

Symptoms of Valvular Heart Disease :

      Valves in the heart ensure one-way blood flow. Conditions affecting heart valves may cause symptoms like :

  • Fatigue.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Irregular heartbeat.
  • Swelling in the feet or ankles.
  • Chest discomfort.
  • Fainting episodes.

Tips for Maintaining a Strong and Healthy Heart :

  • Diet : Consume heart-healthy foods, reduce high-fat and highly seasoned foods, and avoid foods high in saturated fats. Include plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins like poultry or fish.
  • Quit smoking and limit alcohol : consumption.
  • Control weight and manage chronic conditions : like high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol.
  • Manage stress : through relaxation techniques like meditation or yoga.
  • Engage in regular exercise : for at least 30 minutes a day to reduce the risk of heart disease and improve circulation.



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