The job of the coronary artery is to supply fresh, oxygenated blood to the heart. When a patient has been diagnosed with coronary artery disease, their coronary artery has been gummed up with plaque restricting the flow of fresh blood into the heart. This decreased flow of blood can cause chest pains and shortness of breath and if the artery becomes completely blocked it may result in a heart attack.
Congestive Heart Failure
Contrary to the name, congestive heart failure doesn’t refer to a heart that has completely failed, but to a heart that isn’t working as efficiently as it once had. In patients with congestive heart failure, a weakened heart is no longer able to pump blood into and out of the heart as it should. This may cause the heart to stretch to hold more blood or cause the heart muscles to stiffen. When this happens the kidneys begin to retain fluids which can build up in your extremities, lungs or other organs.
Patients with arrhythmia suffer from an abnormal heart rhythm. This rhythm can be too fast, too slow, or just irregular. Abnormal heart rhythms are a result of an electrical misfire in the heart and are often congenital, meaning the patient is born with that particular heart defect.
Congenital Heart Disease
A congenital heart condition is one a patient has from birth. There are many different congenital heart conditions, some of which are due to specific physical abnormalities to the heart tissue. While congenital heart conditions are not due specifically to a patient’s lifestyle like some other cases of heart disease, it’s still equally as important to maintain a healthy diet, regular excise, and remain under the care of a cardiologist.
Heart disease is an umbrella of serious heart conditions, some that can be avoided with a healthy lifestyle, and some that happen before our birth. Whichever form of cardiovascular disease you find yourself with, it’s important to commit to making healthy lifestyle changes and get yourself into the care of a cardiologist you can trust. If you’d like more information about your specific heart condition or would like to meet with one of our doctors, contact us today.