Cardiovascular Conditions

Cardiovascular conditions affect the main aspects of your circulatory system, including your pericardial sac, heart valves, blood flow supply, and heart rhythm. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these conditions are the leading cause of death in the United States, impacting an estimated one million lives each year. 

Although symptoms widely vary depending on factors like age, sex, and root cause, the most common ones include:

  • Chest pain and pressure
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Dizziness, fainting, or fatigue
  • Pain or cramps while walking 
  • Skin discoloration (red or blue) on your legs
  • Swollen legs 

Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Conditions

Certain lifestyle habits significantly increase the risk of developing a cardiovascular condition. These can include:

  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • High levels of stress
  • Heavy drinking
  • Lack of enough exercise
  • Diabetes

A family history of heart disease is also a major risk factor for developing heart problems. 

Types of Cardiovascular Conditions

Some of the most common types of conditions that affect the heart and blood vessels are coronary heart disease, heart rhythm disorders, heart valve disease, and pericardial disease. 

Coronary Heart Disease

Coronary heart disease occurs when your heart’s blood supply becomes blocked due to fatty substance build-up in the coronary arteries. In the initial stages of this condition, visible symptoms may not appear. 

With time, however, the blood supply can become significantly blocked, leading to symptoms such as shortness of breath, fatigue, and chest pain. In critical cases, it could potentially lead to a heart attack. 

Heart Rhythm Disorders

Heart rhythm disorders happen when the electrical impulses in charge of pumping the heart stop working properly. Although symptoms don’t always appear, these may include the following:

  • Chest pain
  • Fainting
  • Dizziness
  • Chest fluttering

Common treatments for heart rhythm disorders may range from medication management and pacemaker implantation to minimally invasive surgery.

Heart Valve Disease

The tricuspid, pulmonary, mitral, and aortic valves allow blood to flow from the heart to the rest of the body. Heart valve disease is when one or more of these valves become damaged, leading to blood flow issues and symptoms like:

  • Heart murmurs
  • Chest pain
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Irregular heartbeat

Pericardial Disease

The pericardium is the sac that encloses the heart and vessels. It helps the heart stay in the proper position, prevents it from overfilling with blood, and protects it from being damaged due to chest infections. 

Pericardial disease is often characterized by the following symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Discomfort while lying down
  • Chest pain 
  • Lightheadedness 
  • Swelling in the abdomen or legs

Treating Cardiovascular Conditions

The best way to manage a cardiovascular condition will vary depending on the type of disease and its symptoms. Treatment plans may range from conservative options like lifestyle changes to medication or surgical procedures.

Lifestyle Changes

Lifestyle choices significantly decrease the risk of developing cardiovascular conditions and help manage existing symptoms. These changes include but are not limited to:

  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Avoiding high sodium intake
  • Exercising regularly
  • Reducing your stress level
  • Avoiding all tobacco products, including cigarettes and vaping
  • Managing your cholesterol and blood pressure
  • Managing your diabetes

Medication

Medications can help improve blocked arteries when non-invasive measures are not enough. Some of the most common types of drugs used to treat cardiovascular conditions include:

  • Cholesterol drugs: These help reduce plaque build-up in the arteries while lowering bad cholesterol. 
  • Aspirin: A low dose may be recommended to prevent heart attack since it helps thin the blood and dissolve blood clots. 
  • Beta-blockers: These slow the heart rate and help lower blood pressure.

Surgical Procedures

When a blocked artery does not improve through conservative treatments or medication, a surgical procedure may be suggested. 

A coronary angioplasty, for example, is done by guiding a thin tube through the narrowed part of the heart artery. A tiny balloon is then inflated to help unclog the blocked artery, leading to enhanced blood flow. 

Access Quality Cardiovascular Care in Florida

Relying on Twin Lakes Heart Center means trusting over three decades of cardiovascular care expertise. 

We are committed to offering the best in cardiovascular care in Florida through a preventative, patient-centered approach. For same-day appointments or inquiries, please get in touch through our contact form or call us at 561-241-4210

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