Of all the medical problems you could have, heart disease is one of the worst. When you have heart disease, you’re at risk for many different health problems, some of which can be fatal.
At the Vein, Heart, and Vascular Institute, our skilled team can help you determine your risks and reduce your chances of developing heart disease. Dr. Hesham Fakhri is our heart specialist, and he’s ready to help you fight heart disease through lifestyle changes and treatments.
What is heart disease?
Heart disease is a condition that encompasses several varieties of heart problems. This disease is so problematic that it’s the primary cause of death in our country.
Your heart pumps oxygenated blood throughout your body to all of your other organs. Without a properly functioning heart, your body doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to.
With heart disease, your heart doesn't work the way it should, either. There are several different conditions that fall under the category of heart disease, including:
- Coronary artery disease
- Congenital heart defects
An infection in your heart is another form of heart disease that can have undesirable results if it’s not treated properly.
The good news is that you may be able to prevent heart disease by knowing the risk factors and making good lifestyle changes.
Are you at risk?
The first step to preventing heart disease is knowing what your risks are. Dr. Fakhri learns about your daily habits and your family history. Some of the contributing factors of heart disease are controllable, but others are not. Here are some risk factors for developing heart disease:
Your lifestyle plays a huge role in your risk for heart disease. For example, if you’re not very active, your chances of developing heart disease are much higher than someone who’s very active. The same goes for your diet.
Why heart disease is so dangerous
It may seem obvious, but heart disease is dangerous because you need your heart to survive. And the different forms of heart disease affect your body differently, which could lead to such complications as:
A stroke happens when the supply of blood to your brain is cut off, either by a clot or narrowing of your blood vessels. This is a true emergency, because without a good blood supply, your brain tissue begins to die quickly. Many of the factors that contribute to heart disease also contribute to a stroke.
When your heart can’t keep up with supplying enough blood to the rest of your body, you could suffer heart failure. Without the ability to provide your body with the proper blood supply, your heart begins to shut down.
An aneurysm occurs when there is a weakening in one of your arteries that causes the blood to create a bulge in the artery. Because that area is already weak, the extra pressure of the excess blood may cause it to burst. If an aneurysm bursts, you could suffer severe internal bleeding.
This condition is yet another serious complication of heart disease. A heart attack occurs when a clot disrupts the blood flow to one of the vessels in your heart. This can damage the heart muscle itself and destroy some of your heart tissue.
While it’s not always fatal, a heart attack is a serious medical problem that requires prompt treatment.
The most dangerous complication of heart disease is cardiac arrest, when your heart suddenly stops, usually due to an arrhythmia. Cardiac arrest is an emergency, because you stop breathing and lose consciousness. If you don’t get help quickly, you could die.
Don’t let heart disease sneak up on you. Contact one of our conveniently located offices in Wesley Chapel, Sun City Center, or Tampa, Florida, to make an appointment with Dr. Fakhri.