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Heart disease is defined as a condition in which the heart's inner lining of blood vessels is served damage that can impede the function of transportation of oxygen and nutrition of the heart to other cells and organ in the body. Everyday, more than 2,000 Americans die as a result of heart diseases. Approximately 60 million Americans have heart disease.
Believe or not, 1 in 4 women in US dies from the heart diseases and coronary heart disease (CHD) is the most common type of heart disease in women and men.
What is coronary heart disease
Coronary heart disease is a result of plague build up in the inner lining wall of the arteries, by mostly cholesterol, fat and other minerals. In a prolonged period of time, these build up can block and impeded the inner lining wall, leading to the narrower blood flow to the muscles of the heart. In some case, the rupture of plague can cause blood clots blocking the flow of blood to the blood muscle, causing heart attack.
What is coronary microvascular disease (MVD)
Instead of affects the arteries, coronary microvascular disease (MVD) affects the heart's smallest coronary arteries. according to findings from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s (NHLBI) Women’s Ischemia Syndrome Evaluation (WISE) study, In women with this condition, called coronary microvascular syndrome, plaque accumulates in very small arteries of the heart, causing narrowing, reduced oxygen flow to the heart, and pain that can be similar to that of people with blocked arteries, but the plaque does not show up when physicians use standard tests. As a result, many women go undiagnosed.
Women and Heart Disease (Coronary Microvascular Disease (MVD))
1. Leg cramps during walking
Leg cramps during exercise might be caused by dehydration. It is important to drink a lot of fluid during exercise. Leg cramps occur when the muscle suddenly and forcefully contracts. The most common muscles to contract in this manner are muscles that cross two joints. Leg cramps during walking might be an indication of heart disease caused by arteries in your leg being clogged up by cholesterol as a result of not enough oxygen being delivered to the cells in your leg. If this symptom persists, please consult with your doctor.
2. Chest pain
Chest pain is caused by blood vessels in the heart temporarily blocked up or by inadequate oxygen supply to the heart muscle or coronary . The persistence of chest pain would be an early indication of heart diseases.
3. Shortness of breath
Shortness of breath (dyspnea) is the major symptom of the left ventricular insufficiency. People with shortness of breath are four times more likely to die from a heart disease related cause than individuals without any symptoms.
People see sparkling zigzag lines or loss of vision before a migraine attack may be at particular risk of future cardiovascular problems. Generally headaches do not cause heart diseases but a sudden, explosive onset of great pain might be.
Dizziness can have many causes including low blood count, low iron in the blood stream and other blood disorders, dehydration, and viral illnesses. Since there are many different conditions that can produce these symptoms, anybody experiencing episodes of severe headaches or dizziness ought to be checked by your doctor.
Palpitations is an extremely common symptom of heart disease. Palpitations are skips in the heart beats and irregular heart beats.
7. Loss of consciousness
It is a common symptom, most people pass out at least once in their lives. However, sometimes loss of consciousness indicates a dangerous or even life-threatening condition such as heart disease so when loss of consciousness occurs it is important to figure out the cause.
Causes and risk factors
1. Diet high in saturated and trans fat
Diet high in saturated and trans fat increases the risk of cholesterol build up in the arteries and accumulated in very small arteries of the heart, causing narrowing, reduced oxygen flow to the heart.
2. High blood pressure
Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries to regulate the blow flow for transporting oxygen and nutrients to the body's cell and organs. if plague build-up over prolong period of time, it can narrow the arteries and very small arteries of the heart, causing high blood pressure that can lead to heart disease.
Diabetes can increase diabetes-related fatty material deposite in the walls of coronary arteries as a result od prolonged period of high blood glucose in the blood stream. According to the article of Diabetes Overview by National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (NDIC) indicated that women who have not gone through menopause usually have less risk of heart disease than men of the same age. But women of all ages with diabetes have an increased risk of heart disease because diabetes cancels out the protective effects of being a woman in her child-bearing years.
4. Insulin resistance
In a study of Relationship of glucose tolerance and plasma insulin to the incidence of coronary heart disease by Pyorala K. 1979 researcher found that hyperinsulinemia is a predictor of coronary artery disease (CAD).
5. Central waist Obesity
Abdominal fat accumulated to the central waist area can increase the production of bad cholesterol, causing plague deposited on the inner lining of blood vessel walls.
The decreased levels of estrogen due to aging are associated with increased risk of coronary microvascular disease.
7. Lack of physical exercise
In astudy of studied 223 children -- 123 boys and 100 girls -- with an average age of 9.8 years, assessing their physical activity levels over four days from a team of researchers from Sweden and Denmark found that children who were more physically active had a lower composite risk factor score for cardiovascular disease (CVD) than the children with lower amounts of moderate to vigorous physical activity and vigorous physical activity.
8. Family history
Increased risk of developing the disease if one of the direct family member have the disease
Inherited heart muscle diseases may increase the risk of coronary microvascular disease (MVD).
Cigarette contains high amount of harmful chemical substances attacked to the arterial wall, causing plague build-up, hardening the arterial wall that can lead to coronary microvascular disease.
A. How to avoid
1. Stop smoking
2. Reduce intake of saturated and trans fat
3. Moderate exercise
4. Diabetes controlled
5. Life style change
6. Eating a health diet (see over 100 Healthy Foods List)
1. Fresh water algae
Fresh water algae contains chlorophyII-rich foods that is a powerful antioxidant for protection of build up of free radicals and restoring DNA of damaged cells. It also contains high amounts of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids that can help to maintain normal blood pressure as well as cholesterol levels. Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids also inhibit blood clotting that causes the blockage of arteries and heart diseases.
2. Onions and garlic
Garlic and onions contain high amounts of sulfur compounds that not only help to improve circulation of blood but also help to keep your platelets from clumping together. Daily consumption of both garlic and onions help to keep blood pressure and cholesterol levels in healthy range. Be sure to talk to your doctor if you are taking any blood thinner medicines.
3. Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds contain high amounts of unsaturated fat and vitamin E. Unsaturated fat helps to prevent clots of arteries and lower cholesterol levels. Vitamin E, and the antioxidants beta varotene on the other hand stops bad cholesterol LDL from building up in the arteries, decreasing the risk of heart attacks.
4. Vegetables and fruits
Vegetable and fruits contain high amounts vitamins A, E, C and B. Vitamin E, the antioxidants beta carotene and vitamin C help to strengthen your small blood vessels and thins your blood so it can flow smoothly in result of lowering the risk of heart disease and strokes. Plums, tomatoes, and watercress are the best choices.
5. See over 100 Healthy Foods List), Etc.
C. Nutritional supplements
L-Arginine helps to increase the production of nitric oxide in our body, this has an anti-angina and anti-stress effect upon the arteries enabling the muscles in the arterial walls to relax. L-Arginine also helps to prevent the build up of plaque on the arterial walls. L- Arginne taken either orally or intravenously has been found to prevent and reverse atherosclerosis, improving the functional status of heart failure and increasing blood flow in heart disease patients.
2. L- Carnitine
L-Carnitine working with vitamin E will help the body to recover quickly from fatigue. L-Carnitine helps the body convert fatty acids into energy, which is used primarily for muscular activities throughout the body. When working with vitamin E, L-carnitine will help the body to recover quickly from fatigue and combat heart diseases.
Lecithin supplies the body with needed inositol, choline and phosphatidyl choline that help to maintain healthy arteries. Lecithin also helps to reduce plaque in the arteries, lower blood pressure and ameliorate angina pectoris.
Niacin a B3 vitamin, helps decreases blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides which may reduce the risk of atherosclerosis. Niacin can only be taken under medical supervision because of it's side effects.
Selenium deficiency will cause increase in high blood pressure.
Taurine is an amino acid that acts as an antioxidant helping to fortify cardiac contraction and enhance the outflow of blood from the heart. Intake of taurine will reduce the risk of congestive heart failure and arteriosclerosis.
7. Calcium and potassium
Calcium and potassium deficiency may result in heart palpitation.
Magnesium helps to improve blood circulation by permitting the muscles in the arterial wall to rest.
Lutein is one of the carotenoids, yellow and orange pigments found in many fruits and vegetables. Lutein supplementation has already been proven in helping prevent muscular degeneration, the most common cause of irreversible blindness in the elderly. Study shows that increased dietary intake of lutein may protect against the development of early atherosclerosis. It also helps explain why diets rich in fruits and vegetables are associated with reduced risk of heart disease.
1. Flax seeds
Flax seeds contain high amounts of alpha-linoenic acid that helps to lower high blood pressure and the risk of stroke. Eating too much flax seeds will cause gas to build up if you are not used to it.
2. Ginkgo biloba
Ginkgo biloba helps to to make blood less sticky and prevents blood clotting and stroke. Unlike aspirin, Ginkgo biloba will not cause upset stomach and internal bleeding. Also, Ginkgo biloba can improve blood circulation. Be sure not to take Ginkgo seeds because they are toxic and can cause seizures.
Cayenne stimulates blood flow, and strengthens the heart's metabolism. It also helps to improve blood circulation as well as the digestive and immune systems. Cayenne contains high amounts of beta-carotene, cobalt, essential fatty acids, niacin and zinc that helps circulatory stimulation, blood purification, detoxification and fatigue.
Mistletoe can stimulate the heartbeat and increase cardiac output. It can help to relieve heart strain, stimulate circulation, and lower blood pressure. Do not overdose and eat mistletoe berriea, because it is toxic.
5. Hawthorn berry
Hawthorn berry contains high amount of flavonoids that help to provide direct nourishment to the heart as well as dilate the coronary arteries.
Bugleweeds help to alleviate heart palpitation and high blood pressure. Study shows that bugleweeds act chiefly on the blood vessels, and is especially useful in plethoric and inflammatory states, particularly internal inflammations, and cardiac diseases.
Motherwort can be used in secure cardiac electrical rhythm. Be sure to talk to your doctor before taking motherwort supplements.
Tansy is used to help heart palpitations and also helps to improve blood circulation.
Remember that herbs help to lower high blood pressure and cholesterol levels will also help to prevent heart diseases and stroke.
F. Chinese herbs
1. Nu zhen zi (privet fruit):
Nu zhen zi is the ying kidney and liver tonic that is the significant immune enhancement agent. Nu zhen zi also helps ying deficiency such as dizziness, floater, weak knee and enhancing heart blood.
2. Hong hua (safflower):
Hong hua is one of the Chinese herbs that have been used to break up blood stagnation and improve blood circulation. It is also used to unblock uterine stagnation.
3. Ru xiang (frankincense)
Ru xiang is used for thousand of years in treating joint pain, alleviating chest pain as well as breaking up blood stagnation and improving blood flow to the heart.
4. Mao yao (myzzh)
Mao yao contain elements that help to break up stagnation of blood resulting in improved blood circulation in our body.
5. Fu ling (poria)
Fu ling is a fungus that helps to enhance the immune system's ability to fight off viruses. It is used in Chinese medication for heart calming and palpitation smoothing.
6. Yin yang hou horney (goat weed)
Goat weed helps to lower high blood pressure and heart calming.
7. Du zhong (rubber tree bark)
Du zhong is consider the primary herb used to increase the yang function in the body resulting in benefits of the heart.
There are many more Chinese herbs that can help to lower bad cholesterol levels and high blood pressure as well as preventing and curing heart diseases such as Xian Fu, Wu Wei Zhi, and Da Zhao.
Treatments in conventional medicine
The main goal of the treatment is to reduce the risk factors which have contributed to the diseases
1. Improve cholesterol levels
Medine statins are the types of drugs used to lower cholesterol levels by inhibiting the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase, which plays a central role in the regulation of the production of cholesterol by the liver.
2. Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors (captopril, enalapril, lisinopril, and ramipril)
Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors are a group of drugs used to inhibit the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) is a hormone system that regulates blood pressure and water balance.
3. Beta blockers
A study of beta Blockade after myocardial infarction: systematic review and meta regression analysis" by Freemantle N, Cleland J, Young P, Mason J, Harrison J (June 1999), researchers ofund that β Blockers are effective in long term secondary prevention after myocardial infarction, but they are underused in such cases and lead to avoidable mortality and morbidity.
In other study of "Beta blockers in hypertension" by Cruickshank JM (August 2010), researcher found that β blockers, at least in non-smokers (70% of whole), have been shown to reduce the risk of myocardial infarction by about 35—50% in men (MRC mild hypertension, IPPPSH, MAPHY studies). Also, as Webb and colleagues indicate, the risks of myocardial infarction and heart failure are related to the difference and not the variation in SBP, and the most effective way to lower SBP in younger or middle-aged people with hypertension is via β1 blockade (bisoprolol)
to lower blood pressure and decrease the heart's workload.
4. Aspirin, copy frommy previous article "Heart Diseases---Aspirin: Friend or Foe ?"
a. Aspirin indeed helps your blood from clotting. If you suffer any bleeding, taking aspirin will make bleeding harder to stop. Study show that aspirin might increase the bleeding complication. If you are taking any blood thinner medication or you have an ulcer, please consult with your doctor before taking aspirin. For people suffering from hemorrhages (this is the loss of blood from the circulatory system or internal bleeding taking aspirin) they would do more harm than good.
b. Aspirin increases the risk of bleeding and hemorrhagic strokes that are caused by blood vessels bursting in or around your brain. Therefore do not assume that taking an aspirin a day would do no harm. Please consult with with your doctor before starting aspirin therapy.
c. Study shows that aspirin does not work well with people with high cholesterol levels. People with cholesterol levels over 220 respond poorly to aspirin therapy. Therefore, if your cholesterol level is over 220 you might need to find some other therapy to lower the risk of heart diseases.
Aspirin also causes some side affects such as heartburn, indigestion and mild-to-moderate abdominal or stomach cramps.
Nitroglycerin is also used medically as a vasodilator to treat heart conditions, such as angina and chronic heart failure by relaxing the blood vessels, improving blood flow to the heart muscle, etc..
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