Our American Heart Month newsletter series is focused on raising awareness and promoting heart health. The series will consist of four articles, which will be released once a week throughout the month of February. Each article will cover different aspects of heart health and disease, offering helpful tips and information to encourage readers to prioritize their heart health.
Common Heart Conditions
February 11, 2023
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States, but what is it? Also known as cardiovascular disease, heart disease refers to multiple different conditions including coronary artery disease (CAD), heart attack, and heart failure [1, 2].
CAD is one of the most common forms of heart disease in the US. It is characterized by the buildup of plaque in the arteries, typically from high amounts of cholesterol in the blood. This plaque can narrow blood vessels and restrict blood supply to the heart and other parts of the body.
For this reason, diet plays a key role in preventing and managing heart disease risk. Consuming a diet rich in whole foods and low in processed foods can make a big impact. In addition, you can choose supplements, such as Bergamot BPF, to promote healthy cholesterol levels and preserve arterial elasticity.
Unfortunately for many, CAD symptoms often begin with a heart attack or angina pain from the narrowed arteries. A heart attack occurs when blood flow to the heart is blocked. This is often due to a clot from plaque that has broken off in the arteries and becomes lodged, blocking blood flow. Common symptoms of a heart attack include pain in the arm or shoulder area, chest pain, and shortness of breath .
Heart failure is another common form of heart disease that involves the progressive weakening of the heart muscle and its ability to efficiently pump blood through the body. Common symptoms of heart failure include shortness of breath, weakness/fatigue, swelling in the lower extremities, fluid buildup in the abdominal area, rapid heart rate, lack of appetite, chest pain, and rapid fluid retention .
Congestive heart failure is a form of heart failure that causes blood flow to back up resulting in fluid that leaks through the capillaries, which are your smallest blood vessels. This fluid accumulates in the lungs, resulting in shortness of breath .
Other types of heart disease include arrhythmias, heart valve diseases, cardiomyopathy, congenital heart disease, and pericardium. Signs and symptoms of heart disease will vary depending on the type. Most heart diseases cause shortness of breath, chest pain, and swelling. Congenital heart disease can cause cyanosis due to low oxygen .
If you notice feelings of chest pain, shortness of breath, or experience episodes of fainting, be sure to contact your doctor or healthcare provider for an evaluation. Depending on the type, heart disease caught early can be reversed. Many forms of heart disease can be well managed with medication and lifestyle changes.
-  https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm
-  https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/about.htm
-  https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/coronary_ad.htm
-  https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-failure/symptoms-causes/syc-20373142
-  https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/heart-failure/what-is-heart-failure
-  https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/24129-heart-disease