Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in posts
Search in pages

HEART HEALTH

A healthy human heart beats about 2.5 billion times over the
average lifetime. The heart is a muscular organ, which pumps
blood through the blood vessels of the circulatory system. Blood supplies
our organs with oxygen and nutrients, and helps in the removal
of metabolic wastes.

Heart Health

According to centre of disease control there are various health conditions which can lead to heart disease. Some major contributory factors are genetics, age, poor lifestyle, age and family history. Genetics, age and family history are the factors which cannot be controlled. However, one can adopt a good lifestyle and can choose to eat a healthy diet to prevent heart diseases.

Risk factors causing heart diseases:

Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)

High blood pressure is one of the prime risk factors for heart disease. It is a medical condition resulting due to an excessive pressure of blood in arteries and other blood vessels. Hypertension is regarded as the one of the prime causes of major heart conditions like heart attack.

High blood pressure is also referred to as “silent killer”, as most of the people do not observe the symptoms of high blood pressure. However, high blood pressure can be controlled with a right diet, medication and a healthy life style.
 
High Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a fat-like, waxy thin, substance which is naturally produced by liver. However, consuming foods rich in saturated fats can lead to high cholesterol levels in our blood. The excess cholesterol gets deposited in the walls of the arteries which leads to their narrowing, thereby leading to major heart diseases like atherosclerosis and heart attack.

Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus another major risk factor of heart disease. The body needs sugar for providing energy and in normal circumstances pancreas produces enough insulin for the sugar to get utilized. However, in diabetes either no insulin or less insulin is produced by the body leading to sugar accumulation in the blood.

Major Heart Diseases

Angina

Angina is also known as chest pain or discomfort caused when the heart muscle is devoid of enough oxygen-rich blood. Angina patients may experience heaviness or tightness in the chest which can even radiate to arms, neck, jaw, back or stomach. Angina is an alarming condition of a major heart disease and should not be ignored.

Management of Angina

Treatment for angina not only reduces the symptoms but also minimizes the risk for heart attack and death.

Treatment options include:

  • Modifications in the lifestyle such as quitting smoking, managing weight, eating right, keeping stress at bay, and controlling diabetes
  • Taking medications like calcium channel blockers, satins (as prescribed by doctor)
  • Treatment like stenting, coronary artery bypass (depending what doctor opts for)
  • Cardiac rehabilitation post cardiac procedure which aims for physical fitness, minimize cardiac symptoms, and improves the overall health, and lowers the risk for heart problems in the future

Aortic Stenosis

Aortic stenosis is one of the most prevalent and most severe valve diseases of the heart which occurs due to obstruction of blood flow across the aortic valve. Affected patients may suffer from complications like chest pain, fainting, and heart failure which might lead to shortness of breath. This condition could be genetic or age related.

Management of Aortic Stenosis

Treatment for aortic stenosis depends on symptoms and the extent of the disease.

Mild disease may not require any treatment; however, a regular ECG is done by the doctor to forecast any complication. In severe cases the treatment includes:

  • Replacing the aortic valve: Aortic valve replacement is the only effective treatment for severe aortic stenosis.
  • Medications: There is no specific medication for this condition, however blood pressure is controlled to prevent further complications.

Atherosclerosis

Atherosclerosis is a disease in which plaque builds up inside the arteries, which eventually causes blockage and limiting the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your organs. It is one of the prime causes of heart attacks, strokes, and peripheral vascular disease together called cardiovascular disease.

Management of Atherosclerosis

Lifestyle management-Eating a healthy diet

A healthy diet is primarily a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low in refined carbohydrates, saturated, trans fats, and sodium.

Some simple ways are to switch from white to whole-grain bread, eating fruits and vegetables rather than refined food items, using olive oil instead of solid fats like butter, and reducing sugar and sugar substitutes to a greater extent.

  • Quit smoking– According to the Mayo Clinic- for  heavy smoker, quitting is the single most effective way to stop atherosclerosis from getting worse and reduce risk of complications
  • Maintain healthy weight– obese individuals are more prone to heart disease. Hence, a person should try to maintain a healthy weight.
  • Manage Stress– Keep the body relaxed; try deep breathing, meditation, and yoga to keep stress at bay. .
  • Medications and Surgery– Doctor may prescribe medication like cholesterol medication, anti-platelet medication, and calcium channel blockers. Surgery includes angioplasty, endarterectomy and bypass grafting

Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation (also referred to as AFib or AF) is the most common type of abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia) which can cause complications like blood clots, stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications.

Management of Atrial Fibrillation

The atrial fibrillation treatment depends on how long the patient has had atrial fibrillation, acuteness of symptoms and the underlying cause of atrial fibrillation. Generally, the treatment goals for atrial fibrillation are to:

  • Reset the rhythm or control the rate
  • Prevent blood clots
  • Decrease the risk of strokes

Tips for Healthy Heart

  • Abstaining from smoking
  • Managing blood cholesterol
  • Controlling High Blood pressure
  • Keeping a check on diabetes
  • Exercising and being physically active
  • Maintaining weight
  • Eating nutritious diet
  • Consuming less salt and sugar
  • Keeping stress at bay

Sources:

Heart Health Support Groups

These inspiring stories of those who have overcome Diabetes will keep you motivated

SINUSITIS

It’s Symptoms And Solutions

Human body consists of many sinuses. The sinuses are a well
jointed system of hollow cavities in the skull. Mainly, the sinuses are
present around the nose and eyes. Humans have four sets/pairs
of sinuses, which lie behind the bones of the face.

Sinusitis

Sinusitis by Famhealth
  • Sinuses around the cheekbones are called maxillary sinuses (the biggest).
  • Frontal sinuses are located in the low-center of your forehead
  • Ethmoid sinuses are located in between the eyes.
  • Sinuses in bones behind the nose are sphenoid sinuses.

Sinusitis is a disease and in known as an inflammation or swelling the sinuses. Air is present in healthy sinuses, but whenever these sinuses become clogged with fluid, germs can grow and cause an infection.

  • Allergies, bacteria or a virus are the main causes leading to sinusitis.
  • It is a self-limiting condition, but at times medical attention is needed.
  • Chronic sinusitis lasts for more than 12 weeks.

Sinusitis can be acute or chronic. It can result from various causative agents such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, allergies, or even an autoimmune reaction.

It is an uncomfortable and painful condition and usually heals without medical intervention. But, if it not healing on its own and the symptoms last more than 7 to 10 days one should see the doctor.

Symptoms

Symptoms usually depend on the duration and severity of the infection.

Mostly people who have more than two symptoms are categorized under acute sinusitis. At times sinusitis is associated with thick, green or yellow nasal discharge along with facial pain and pressure.

Below are some of the major symptoms:

  • Blockage of the nose
  • Usually a nasal discharge
  • Person is unable to smell
  • congestion
  • cough

Aggravated sinusitis has below symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Foul-smelling breath
  • A general tiredness and weakness
  • Dental pain
  • Headache

If these symptoms continue for 12 weeks or longer one must visit a doctor, as it could be chronic sinusitis

What are the causes of sinusitis?

Sinus is mainly caused as a result of fluid accumulation in the sinuses. This harbors germs.

  • Viruses:90 percent of sinusitis in adults is caused due to viral infection
  • Bacteria: 1 out of 10 cases in adults is caused by bacteria
  • Pollutants: Chemicals or irritants propels the mucous growth
  • Fungi: When sinus are infected by fungi it is called as allergic fungal sinusitis (AFS),

What increases the chances of sinusitis?

  • A history of respiratory tract infections, such as the common cold
  • Inflammation caused due to nasal polyps, or small growths
  • A compromised immunity in a person due to some health condition or some kinds of treatment
  • Allergy to dust, pollen, and animal hair
  •  Deviated nasal septum

What are the types of sinusitis?

Sinusitis is primarily of two types and how soon it recovers is dependent on the type of sinusitis.

  • Acute sinusitis: This lasts up to 4 weeks and is the most common type.
  • Chronic sinusitis: Symptoms lasts, or reverses, after 12 weeks. Surgery might be needed to cure it

Diagnosis

 A doctor usually carries out a physical examination to check a person suffering from sinusitis. ENT specialist may insert an endoscope into the nose, which provides a detailed image. In cases of persistent or severe sinusitis, a CT scan may be needed.

Treatment

Treatment options depend on the duration of sinusitis

Treatment of acute sinusitis:

Most acute cases heal without any treatment.

A nasal spray may relieve symptoms. In case if one does not recover, home remedies and over-the-counter (OTC) medications can be used to relieve symptoms. Antibiotics are the treatment of choice as bacterial sinusitis mostly has a bacterial nature. However, it is important to visit a doctor under below mentioned situations:

  • Symptoms lasting for more than 7 to 10 days.
  • Fever which shoots upto 101.5° Fahrenheit.
  • Persistent Headache.
  • Difficulty in vision
  • Person is unable to recover even after the medicines.

Chronic sinusitis

Mostly chronic sinusitis does not have a bacterial nature, so antibiotics are unlikely to resolve symptoms. A fungal infection can be treated with antifungal drugs.

In allergic sinusitis, treating allergies with shots or reducing and avoiding exposure to allergens can minimize the infection.

Surgery

If sinusitis is caused by deviated septum surgery is usually recommended. Surgery may also be advised if there are polyps, or if the sinusitis has resisted all other treatments.

Functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS) is the surgical procedure used for treatment and septoplasty is used in case of deviated nasal septum. Treatment may still be required following surgery to prevent the return of sinusitis.

Surgery should always be the last option for treating sinusitis in children.

Prevention

The following steps may help prevent sinusitis:

  • Maintain good hand hygiene.
  • Avoid smoking.
  • On time vaccination.
  • Refrain from people infected with cold and other respiratory infections.
  • Use air conditioning units to prevent mold and dust from collecting.

Sources:

https://medlineplus.gov/sinusitis.html

https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000647.htm

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0072669/

https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/sinusitis