Skipping a heartbeat or racing of the heart is a very routine event in literature and usually, leads towards a happy ending. But in reality an abnormal heartbeat, if too fast to too slow, is not normal and particularly, its repeated occurrence of the same happens without a medical review, things might be just opposite of a happy ending. That is why any irregularities of the heart beat should be considered as a cardiac emergency and medical opinion and care must be sought.
Having a cardiac arrhythmia or more commonly known as irregular heartbeats and cardiac dysrhythmia is a cluster of medical conditions in which the individual experience irregular heartbeat. The normal heartbeat is calculated in terms of a number of beats in a minute. The normal range between 70 to 85 and it varies between genders. A heartbeat of 70 to 72 beats for men and 78 to 82 for women is considered as ideal. However, it does not alarm any major cardiac abnormality as long as the heartbeat ranges from 60 to 100.
A cardiac arrhythmia is of two types, either due to being too slow or too fast. Tachycardia is the condition when the heart beats too rapidly, more than 100 beats in a minute. Bradycardia is the condition when the heart beats too slowly, less than 60 beats in a minute.
Having any pre-existing heart disease, misbalance of electrolytes such as potassium or sodium in the bloodstream, an injury from a previous heart attack, change in cardiac muscle, are all the medical risk factor for having an irregular heartbeat. Being stressed, emotional or adrenalin rush might also cause an irregularity in the heartbeat but these factors are not likely to onset a cardiac arrhythmia.
Though several cardiac arrhythmias are not serious, and limits to symptoms of the same such as shortness of breath, passing out, lightheadedness, palpitation and chest pain for a small period of time. Some of them, however, can lead to complications like heart failure and stroke and can prove fatal, particularly the ones that occur repeatedly.
Thus, in case the patient is an aged individual or experiencing the same for more than a couple of time, he or she is advised to consider this as a cardiac emergency and is recommended to seek medical treatment on time. In order to keep track of the same, the use of heart monitor or pulse indicator is advised as well.
Practice makes one perfect, but habit plays a crucial role in shaping our lives as well. What done once in a while, if becomes a habit, creates a series of complications. Today we will decode 5 habits that will change your heart forever. It will literally restore your heart to its former health and will keep cardiac emergencies at bay.
So, let’s begin the countdown
1. Take good care of your dental health
Though it may sound very irrelevant, but healthy teeth and gums will help you to have an overall healthy self, that includes your heart as well. It has been found that those having periodontal diseases are at more risk of having heart ailments too. The bacteria that causes gum diseases can travel through the bloodstream and causes complications to the heart as well.
To keep it at bay, brush and floss your teeth regularly.
2. Avoid trans-fat at all cost
It is often not possible (or even recommended) to completely eliminate the fat from the diet, but be sure to watch out for the hidden trans-fat in the everyday grocery list. Trans-fat can clog your arteries, which leads to rising of the bad cholesterol and lowering of the good cholesterol in the bloodstream.
Before buying snacks such as fries and crisps, read the label, ensure it has 0% trans-fat.
3. Have adequate sleep
One factor that often skips our mind is the quality and quantity of sleep we have. Insufficient sleep has been linked with the pressure build-up and inflammation in the heart. Special care should be practiced in case you are dealing with loud snoring and sleep apnea, as these might be an early sign for arrhythmias.
Have a sound sleep for six to eight hours a day to keep your body relaxed and disease free.
4. Avert any second hand smoke
Though sharing has been encouraged since childhood to imprint healthy social and emotional impact, sharing second hand smoke can bring catastrophic results. Even if you are not smoking directly, being present on the site or with the person can harm your heart directly by building up plaque in the bloodstream. It can lead to a cardiac emergency.
Avoid hanging out with people who are chain smokers and be firm about your resolution.
5. Increase mobility while sitting or travelling for hours
Sitting idle for long hours at a stretch can be extremely harmful for your health. This is more likely to happen if you are either involved in sitting jobs or often travel to long distance for it. Immobilization for long hours can cause deep vein thrombosis blood clot in the blood vessels.
Try to take a short break every couple of hours during the work and move around to mobilize your muscles.
There are many diseases that give quality time for diagnosis and treatment. On the other hand, there are some diseases that need immediate medical attention. According to the doctors practicing in the ILS Hospitals, two of the most encountered medical emergencies are – heart attack and stroke. These diseases are very closely related, as both occur due to blocked arteries, but they are not the same thing.
Perceiving the symptoms in time is very crucial for saving a life.
So what actually happens during the two?
- Heart attack– When the coronary artery (the blood vessel that supplies blood to the heart) narrows to a limit when the blood flow gets restricted or blocked completely, it initiates a heart attack. The plague or cholesterol build up are the main causes for the same.
- Stroke– When the carotid artery (the blood vessel that carries blood to the brain) bursts or gets blocked, it causes a stroke.
It is mainly of two types.
a. Ischemic stroke (the most encountered one) occurs when the blood supply to the brain cuts off due to blockage or plaque buildup.
b. Hemorrhagic stroke, in which the blood vessel bursts and releases in the nearby tissues.
What are the symptoms?
The onset of the symptoms can be very rapid, usually without any prior warning. Some of their symptoms are similar while the rest is quite different. It varies significantly based on the severity of its occurrence, age, gender and the overall health condition.
Symptoms of Heart Attack
- Chest congestion or pressure that can spread to neck, jaws, back and arms
- Pain in the upper abdominal cavity
- Fatigue and nausea
- Excessive sweating
Symptoms of Stroke
- Numb sensation on one side of the body (usually left side), especially face
- Difficulty seeing, speaking/ understanding
- Sharp headache
- Loss of balance and body coordination
The Risk Factors
Since both the conditions are related to blocked arteries, they share several common risk factors such as-
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Family history
High blood pressure is closely related to both of these diseases. The prime reason is persistent high blood pressure that exerts force on the blood vessel, which in turn strains them. This results in its rigidity and thus causes poor circulation, leading to heart attack and stroke.
The doctors operating in ILS Hospitals primarily gather family history and personal medical history as it plays a crucial role in it.
A possible stroke can be diagnosed by carrying out a CT scan, which can depict the area of poor blood circulation or rupture and bleeding. Depending upon the situation, an MRI can also be advised.
A possible heart attack can be diagnosed by an electrocardiogram, which evaluates the health of the heart muscles.
According to Cardiologist, on an average, about 303,000 newborns die within 4 weeks post detection, as a result of congenital diseases. Congenital diseases are present due to some medical deformities during the time of birth. Congenital disease can cause long term disability, which may have adverse effects on survival and development. Several times it remains unclear regarding the exact cause of this congenital defects.
Here are the 3 most common congenital defects a baby may suffer from:
1. Congenital Heart Disorder
It is the medical condition in which there exists a problem in the heart structure since the time of birth. Its symptoms may either be absent or may vary from mild discomfort to life-threatening condition such as heart failure. It can be distinguished by presence of bluish skin, low birth weight and fatigue.
The exact cause for congenital heart disease often remains unknown. Mother’s infected with Rubella during the period of pregnancy may act as a contributing factor for the same. Additional factors during pregnancy such as consumption of alcohol or tobacco or some specific medication may also play a significant role for the same.
2. Down Syndrome
This medical condition is also called Trisomy 21, in which a third copy of chromosome number 21 present alters the genetic makeup. It affects adversely on the physical growth and mental development. It can be characterized by observing delayed growth and moderate intellectual disabilities. A grown up individual suffering from down syndrome possess an average IQ of 50, which is equivalent to mental age of a child of eight years old.
The possibility of having down-syndrome is associated with the mother’s age. The risk of suffering from it is about 3 percent for pregnant woman with age more than 45, this risk minimizes to 0.1 percent in case the woman is 20 years
3. Cleft lip and Cleft palate
Also called orofacial cleft, this is a class of defects that include either cleft lip, cleft palate or both. In a cleft lip, an opening may stretch till nose. It may be present either on one side, both sides or in the middle. In a cleft palate, an opening exist between the roof of mouth and nose. These conditions arise when joining of tissues does not occur effectively.
According to ENT Specialists of ILS Hospitals, if this condition is left untreated, it can interfere with feeding, speech and hearing function. It also causes persistent ear infection. Consumption of alcohol or tobacco or even obesity during pregnancy has been associated with this group of diseases.
Every year, 29th September is celebrated as World Heart Day. It aims to increase awareness amongst the people regarding heart diseases and its treatment.
Heart diseases in India is becoming epidemic. As per latest statistics, near about 30 million heart patients reside in India and about two lakh cardiovascular surgeries in India takes place every year. Out of 30 millions, 14 millions lives in urban areas, whereas rest 16 million lives in rural area. This outburst of cardiovascular diseases are due to several reasons, such as aging, food habit and lifestyle.
There are several types of cardiovascular diseases in and the most common one is coronary artery diseases it is also called ischemic heart diseases. This occurs due to blockage in blood vessels build up by plaque. These are a group of conditions which results in anigma (both stable and unstable), heart attack and sudden cardiac death.
How does it occur?
There are mainly two kinds of blood vessels, veins carry oxygenated blood from body to heart and arteries which carry oxygenated blood from heart to body. The arteries are thinner in cross section and elastic and smooth in nature. After developing plagues on the lining of arteries, the blood flow gets disrupted. Also, it make the inner surface sticky and attracts lipoproteins, inflammatory cells and calcium etc. Altogether they mix and sticks to the blood vessels making it thinner by growing inward.
Ultimately new blood vessels may develop around the blockage to supply the blood to heart. This process may get hampered by hyper-stress or vigorous exercise. In case the plaque bursts, and the blood clot block the blood supply of heart, the patient suffers heart attack. If the blood vessel to brain is blocked then the patient suffers ischemic stroke. If a blood vessel bursts within the brain, the patient suffers hemorrhagic stroke.
What are the Symptoms?
The most common symptoms are heartburn, loss of consciousness, heaviness, irregular heartbeat, weakness, nausea, sweating, chest discomfort, which may extend up to other body parts such as neck, jaw, shoulder and back. The severity of symptoms may increase during exercise or emotional stress.
How it can be Diagnosed?
It can be diagnosed by using ECG (Electrocardiogram), EKG (Echocardiogram), CT scans and several others. These procedure enables the doctor to evaluate the condition of the patient and provide suitable cardiovascular surgeries in India.
What Preventive measures to take?
One can reduce the chances of being susceptible to coronary artery diseases by following a healthy diet combined with regular exercise and not consuming any toxic substance such as cigarette and alcohol. In certain cases, medication for high blood pressure and cholesterol may be prescribed by the doctor.
The graph of people suffering from heart diseases is growing everyday. The number of lives being claimed by cardiovascular diseases are more than all forms of cancer combined. The symptoms of cardiovascular diseases vary from person to person and mostly gets ignored by several people.
Medical crisis can come any minute without a prior notification; especially cardiovascular emergencies. Cardiovascular emergencies can be fatal due to delay, if not recognized immediately. Jotting down emergency number may come handy while dealing with a medical emergency.
With growing cases of health complications, cardiac emergency can arise out of nowhere. The event is so uncertain that patient hardly gets a chance to communicate his discomfort to the nearby people. However, if you ever happen to be in a situation where Cardiac Emergency in Kolkata is required; make sure you are ready to act instantly because the golden hours matter!
Cardiac arrhythmia is a group of medical conditions, in which the heartbeat becomes either too fast or too slow. The normal heartbeat rate is between 60 to 90. If the heartbeat falls below 60, it is called bradycardia and if it raises above 100, it is called tachycardia.