heart & circulation image

Balanced Bites For Heart & Circulatory Health

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Being Heart Health Month in September in South Africa it seemed apt to discuss Balanced Bites For Optimum Heart & Circulatory Health.

The Function of the Heart & Circulatory System

Your heart is one amazing organ. It continuously pumps oxygen and nutrient-rich blood throughout your body to sustain life.

This fist-sized powerhouse beats (expands and contracts) 100,000 times per day, pumping five or six quarts of blood each minute, or about 2,000 gallons per day.

The importance of optimum heart & circulatory health cannot be understated. Blood flows continuously through your body’s blood vessels.

Your heart is the pump that makes it all possible.

Anatomy Of The Heart & Circulatory System

anatomy of heart image

There are 3 main types of blood vessels:

  • Arteries – They begin with the aorta, the large artery leaving the heart. Arteries carry oxygen-rich blood away from the heart to all of the body’s tissues.
  • Capillaries – These are small, thin blood vessels that connect the arteries and the veins.
  • Veins – These are blood vessels that take blood back to the heart; this blood lacks oxygen (oxygen-poor) and is rich in waste products that are to be excreted or removed from the body.

There are 4 heart valves and they are:

  • Mitral valve
  • Tricuspid valve
  • Aortic valve
  • Pulmonic valve (also called pulmonary valve)

The heart valves work the same way as one-way valves in the plumbing of your home. They prevent blood from flowing in the wrong direction.

How The Heart & Circulatory System Work

Cardiovascular Disease & Conditions

Abnormal Heart Rhythms

With your heart beating 100,000 times each day. Sometimes your heart gets out of rhythm. Your doctor calls an irregular or abnormal heartbeat an arrhythmia.

An arrhythmia (also called a dysrhythmia) can bring on an uneven heartbeat or a heartbeat that is either too slow or too fast.

Aortic Disease & Marfan Syndrome

The aorta is the large artery that leaves your heart. Aortic disease can affect parts of the Aorta and raises the chance of things like:

  • Atherosclerosis (hardened arteries)
  • High blood pressure
  • Aneurysm
Cardiomyopathies

This effects the heart muscle. They’re sometimes simply called enlarged heart. People with these conditions have hearts that are unusually big, thick, or stiff. Their hearts can’t pump blood as well as they should.

Cardiomyopathy may sometimes run in families, but it can also be caused by:

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Metabolic diseases
  • Infections
Congenital Heart Disease

This is a problem in one or more parts of the heart or blood vessels. It happens before birth.

About 8 out of every 1,000 children may present with it. They may have symptoms at birth, but some people may not present with symptoms until childhood or even adulthood.

Coronary Artery Disease

You may hear this called CAD. It’s when plaque builds up and hardens the arteries that give your heart vital oxygen and nutrients. That hardening is also called atherosclerosis.

Deep Vein Thrombosis & Pulmonary Embolism

This is diseases of the heart muscle. They’re sometimes simply called enlarged heart. People with these conditions have hearts that are unusually big, thick, or stiff. Their hearts can’t pump blood as well as they should.

Cardiomyopathy may sometimes run in families, but it can also be caused by:

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Metabolic diseases
  • Infections
Heart Failure

This term can be scary. It doesn’t mean your heart has “failed,” or stopped working.

It means your heart doesn’t pump as strongly as it should.

This will cause your body to hold in salt and water, which will give you swelling and shortness of breath.

The number of people diagnosed with heart failure is projected to rise 46% by 2030, according to the American Heart Association.

Pericarditis

This condition is rare and means the lining surrounding your heart is inflamed. An infection often causes this.

Heart Valve Disease

Your valves sit at the exit of each of your four heart chambers. They keep blood flowing through your heart.
Sometimes, there are problems with these valves. Examples of heart valve problems include:

  • Aortic stenosis –Your aortic valve narrows. It slows blood flow from your heart to the rest of your body.
  • Mitral valve insufficiency – Your mitral valve doesn’t close tightly enough. This causes blood to leak backward, leading to fluid backup in the lungs.
  • Mitral valve prolapse – The valve between your left upper and left lower chambers doesn’t close right.
Rheumatic Heart Disease

This happens when rheumatic fever, an inflammatory disease that’s most common in children, damages your heart valves.
Rheumatic fever starts with a possible untreated strep throat and can affect many parts of your child’s body.

Other Vascular Disease

Your circulatory system is made up of the vessels that carry blood to every part of your body.


Vascular disease includes any condition that affects your circulatory system. These include diseases of the arteries that go to your legs (peripheral vascular disease) and slow blood flow to your brain, causing strokes.

Strokes

Strokes happen when something slows or blocks blood flow to your brain.

Your brain can’t get the oxygen and nutrients it needs, and brain cells start to die. When blood can’t get to the part of your brain that controls a certain function, your body doesn’t work like it should.
A stroke can happen because of:

  • A blocked artery
  • Leaking or burst blood vessel.

It needs immediate treatment to limit brain damage and other complications.

Stroke is the leading cause of disability and one of the top causes of death in the United States.

Balanced Bites For Heart & Circulatory Health

BB for heart image

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. It is important to learn about your heart and understand ways to manage your lifestyle to help prevent it.

If you have any of these cardiovascular diseases or conditions, you can live a healthier, more active life by learning about your disease and taking care of yourself.

Types of cardiovascular disease can have various causes, so it’s important to know the difference.

If you suspect you may have any of the above disorders or conditions. Contact your local Healthcare Practitioner.

Balanced Healing can assist you with a personalised lifestyle plan to optimise your Heart & Circulatory Health.

Contact Sr Bridget Spargo @ 083 653 7470 or Email: b@balancedhealing.co.za to book an appointment.

 

References

Website: https://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/guide/diseases-cardiovascular

Website: https://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/high-cholesterol-healthy-heart

Website: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMBSU-2GK3E

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