Cardiovascular problems

The cardiovascular system

The main components of the cardiovascular system are the heart and the blood vessels. It distributes blood and thanks to this system, blood circulates all over the body and supplies carries fresh oxygen to your lungs and nutrients to your body's tissues. Moreover, blood also remove waste products, such as carbon dioxide and others.
supply oxygen to vital life-sustaining areas of the body like the brain, the heart itself, and other vital organs. If oxygen doesn't arrive the tissue or organ will die.

What are cardiovascular diseases?

Cardiovascular diseases, in other words CVDs are a group of disorders of the heart and blood vessels and include:
- Coronary heart disease (heart attacks) – disease of the blood vessels supplying the heart muscle
- Stroke - disease of the blood vessels supplying the brain
- Angina - pain from insufficient oxygen reaching the heart
- Cerebrovascular disease - disease of the blood vessels supplying the brain
- Peripheral arterial disease or atherosclerosis – disease of blood vessels supplying the arms and legs
- Hypertension- raised blood pressure
- Rheumatic heart disease – damage to the heart muscle and heart valves from rheumatic   fever, caused by streptococcal bacteria
- Congenital heart disease - malformations of heart structure existing at birth.
- Varicose veins and deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism – blood clots in the leg veins, which can dislodge and move to the heart and lungs.
- Cardiac arrhythmia - an abnormally high or abnormally low heart rate.

Why things go wrong? – causes.

The major causes of cardiovascular diseases is our LIFESTYLE.
Most common -  'modifiable risk factors' - these are things such as:
1. Tobacco use - smokers have twice the risk of heart attack as nonsmokers.
2. Physical inactivity, lack of exercise - People who are sedentary have twice the risk of heart disease as those who are physically active.
3. Unhealthy diet – diet high in fats and low in fiber
Other risk factors include stress, high homocysteine levels (resulting from B vitamin deficiency), high cholesterol levels, and deficiencies in antioxidant, vitamins and minerals. It could be also kidney disorder (which leave extra fluids, sodium, and toxins in the body), obesity, diabetes, birth control pills, pregnancy, excess alcohol, and thyroid and adrenal gland problems.

Heart attacks and strokes are usually caused by a blockage that prevents blood from flowing to the heart or brain. It happens when fatty deposits build-up on the inner walls of the blood vessels that supply the heart or brain. Strokes can also be caused by bleeding from a blood vessel in the brain or from blood clots.
Heart disease begins when cholesterol, fatty material, and calcium build up in the arteries. When this occurs oxygen delivery to the heart is reduced. The reduction in oxygen delivery to the heart can create chest pain, also called angina. All damage to the heart tissues from CVD or from heart surgery will disrupt the natural electrical impulses of the heart and result in cardiac arrhythmia.
High blood pressure has no symptoms, but can cause a sudden stroke or heart attack. Have your blood pressure checked regularly.

What are common symptoms of cardiovascular diseases?

 - Often, there are no symptoms of the cardiovascular disease and a heart attack or stroke may be the first warning of underlying disease.
- Symptoms of a heart attack consist of pain or discomfort in the centre of the chest; pain or discomfort in the arms, the left shoulder, elbows, jaw, or back. Additionally, the person may experience difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath; feeling sick or vomiting; feeling light-headed or faint; breaking into a cold sweat; and becoming pale.
- The most known symptom of a stroke is sudden weakness of the face, arm, or leg, most often on one side of the body. Other symptoms include sudden onset of: numbness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body; confusion, difficulty speaking or understanding speech; difficulty seeing with one or both eyes; difficulty walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination; severe headache with no known cause; and fainting or unconsciousness.

People experiencing these symptoms should seek medical care immediately!!!!

To maintain our cardiovascular health.   

Although heredity is a risk factor for heart disease, other factors can be modified to reduce it. What you eat can reduce your chances of developing heart disease.
Many cardiovascular problems can be eliminated or managed through lifestyle. It is recommended to eat foods containing vitamins B6 and B12 and folic acid (to reduce homocysteine levels); calcium, magnesium, and potassium; the antioxidants such as vitamins A, C, and E, and beta carotene. Helpful supplements include ginkgo biloba, green tea, coenzyme Q10, fish oil, and garlic.
A heart-healthy diet includes lots of whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. Chickpeas, beans, and soy products can help lower your cholesterol as well as olive oil, garlic, and avocados. Nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, and pecans, can boost "good" cholesterol (nuts are high in calories, so limit the amount you eat). Don’t forget about  fish and seafood into your meals a few times a week, which are a great source of Omega 3. Also, try to avoid sweets.
Lower the risk of heart disease with exercise, quitting smoking and by controlling high blood pressure. If you have diabetes, keep blood sugars under control.
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