Heart disease is a term that refers to any disorder of the heart. Diseases under heart disease include coronary artery disease, arrhythmias and congenital heart defects. The term cardiovascular disease generally refers to a condition that involves the blood vessels which leads to heart attack, chest pain or stroke.
Types of Heart Diseases
- Congenital heart disease– the heart problems that a person is born with such as septal defects
- Arrhythmia– irregularities in the rhythm of pulsation of the heart such as tachycardia, tachyarrhythmia, bradycardia, etc.
- Coronary artery disease– a disease of the blood vessels of the heart
- Dilated cardiomyopathy– The heart chambers become dilated as a result of heart muscle weakness and cannot pump blood properly.
- Myocardial infarction– loss of blood supply to heart muscles.
- Heart failure– heart failure occurs when the heart does not pump blood around the body efficiently.
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy– is a genetic disorder in which the wall of the left ventricle thickens, making it harder for blood to be pumped out of the heart.
- Mitral regurgitation– this occurs when the mitral valve in the heart does not close tightly enough.
- Mitral valve prolapse– The valve between the left atrium and left ventricle does not fully close
- Pulmonary stenosis– narrowing or closure of the pulmonary valve.
The common symptoms of heart disease include chest pain or angina, breathlessness, and heart palpitations. Heart diseases may result in heart attack and heart failure when left untreated. The signs of a heart attack are similar to angina but they can also occur during rest and tend to be more severe. Other signs are breathlessness, dizziness, profuse sweating, nausea and vomiting. Some heart conditions do not present with any symptoms at all, especially in older adults and individuals with diabetes.
Heart disease is caused by any damage to the heart, or the coronary arteries, or due to a poor supply of nutrients and oxygen to the heart. Some heart diseases, such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, are genetic and some are congenital.
Some of the risk factors for heart disease are:
- Old age
- Hereditary conditions
- High blood pressure and cholesterol
- Smoking and alcohol
- Overweight and obesity
- Some heart diseases, such as congenital and genetic conditions may not be preventable but other types can be prevented by taking the following measures:
- Eat a balanced diet. A low-fat, high-fibre food with fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grain, and less amount of salt and sugar in the diet.
- Exercise regularly. This will strengthen the heart and circulatory system, reduce cholesterol, and maintain blood pressure.
- Avoid smoking as it is a major risk factor for heart and cardiovascular conditions.
- Reduce the intake of alcohol.
- Manage other health conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes as they eventually affect the heart.
Homeopathic medicines for heart diseases
Aurum metallicum: Heart failure after valvular lesions. Heart feels loose on walking. Sensations as if the heart stopped beating for two or three seconds, immediately followed by tumultuous rebound with sinking at the epigastrium. Oppression at the heart. Pulse rapid, feeble and irregular. Blood pressure high.
Digitalis purpurea: It is an excellent remedy for heart failure with an irregular heartbeat. Sensation as if the heart would stop beating if moved, must hold the breath and keep still. Pulse full, irregular, very slow and weak, intermitting every third, fifth, or seventh beat. Weak heart. The least movement causes violent palpitations. Frequent stitches in the heart.
Strophanthus: It is best for heart failure with oedema of the legs. The heart’s action is weak, rapid, and irregular, due to muscular debility and insufficiency. Pulse rapid, alternating with slow, weak, small irregular.
Crataegus: It is a heart tonic. Heart muscles seem flabby, and worn out. Heart weakness with oppression, stitches and insomnia. Extreme dyspnea on least exertion without much increase of pulse. Heart dilated, first sound weak. Incompetent valves, valvular murmurs.
Cardus marianus: Effective for heart failure with liver complaints. Pain pressure and stitches in the region of the heart, oppression on deep breathing.
Naja tripudians: Heart failure with weakness and valvular disorders. Visible palpitations. Damaged heart after infectious diseases.
Laurocerasus: It is best for heart failure with pain in the region of the heart. There is clutching at the heart and palpitations. Pulse weak, variable, slow or irregular. Urine is retained, suppressed involuntarily with palpitations and suffocations and fainting.