The human body is an amazing creation, probably one of the most amazing yet fragile natural machines in the world. Within this incredible machine, lays two core components that make everything else function, the heart and brain. The heart pumps gallons of blood throughout the body nonstop until death, in order for it to functions, while the brain tells what parts of the body to do what, while processing any given information or sensation. Both capable of amazing feats, and yet both extremely fragile and would cause serious life impediments if either were damaged. In this research paper, I will be focusing on the heart, the motor of the human body, and heart disease.
The most well known cause for heart disease would be atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is when fat, joined by bad cholesterol not carried away by good cholesterol, causes build up in the arteries known as plaque, and causes the artery to become weak and less flexible, and can prevent blood and oxygen from flowing. Besides, genetics play a large role in heart disease. A person’s genetic makeup can help determine how well their body break down fat, their metabolism, how their body produces its own cholesterol, and how well it handles cholesterol. Moreover, the diet of a person can help determine their risk of heart disease. Diets high in trans fat, cereal grains, paired with lack of fruits, vegetables, protein, antioxidants, calcium, fiber, and complex carbohydrates affect how well the body breaks down incoming materials eventually going into the bloodstream forming plaque clots or continually flowing through. Smoking and drinking which also damages the body can also play a role in heart disease; smoking also builds up plaque in the arteries but also damages blood vessels.
Alcohol can also have a negative effect on heart health. Consuming alcohol in large amounts can increase the amount of fat (triglycerides) in the blood. Drugs also can play a role in heart disease. Illegal recreational drugs can damage blood vessels by leaving toxins in it; can cause abnormal heart beats and rhythms, and can even cause lung failure. Cocaine has a large array of heart damages. Cocaine can cause chest pain, heart attack, heart failure, stroke, aortic dissection, abnormal heart rhythms, heart inflammation and enlargement, and blood clots. Unfortunately, gender plays a role in heart disease risk too. Studies show that men are more at risk for heart disease than are women. This is because men are shown to eat more unhealthy foods and have higher stress levels with less social stress relief, which also lead to unhealthier coping habits such as drinking or smoking. Most women do not have the burden of financial maker, and tend to have a higher level of social support to deal with stressful events. Stress does play an indirect role in heart health; stress can cause certain unhealthy habits such as unhealthy eating, drinking, drugs, and smoking.
Improving one’s own personal life can definitely lower the risk of heart disease. Avoiding stress or taking breaks that would improve stress levels would help reduce the chance of someone becoming overstressed and going into an outbreak of unhealthy habits that would harm their hearts. Having a healthy diet high in fruits, vegetables, healthy grains, and protein, avoiding food with high saturated fats and such, could help keep blood vessels healthy, prevent blood clots, and allow better blood flow. Exercise is a great way to keep a strong and healthy heart. With a lot of exercise, a person can build up their heart’s strength, which allows it to pump blood throughout the body easier and also pushes through and clears plaque buildup as opposed to hearts with weaker hearts. Avoiding the use of smoking devices can avoid the problem of smoke damaging blood cells and plaque buildup from smoke. Limiting the amount of alcohol consumption helps lower the risk of a rise of fat (triglycerides) in the blood. Avoiding the use of illegal recreational drugs, especially cocaine, avoids many of the risks of intoxicated blood vessels, abnormal heart beats and rhythms, lung failure, chest pain, heart attack, heart failure, stroke, aortic dissection, abnormal heart rhythms, heart inflammation and enlargement, and blood clots.
While we may be able to prevent heart disease by maintaining healthy life styles, there are times where heart disease is unavoidable thanks to genetics and other uncontrollable factors. This is the point where surgeries or medications come into play. There are certain medications that are used, by doctor’s recommendation and prescription, to help combat heart disease. Those with cardiovascular diseases and lifestyle change does not seem to be enough, a doctor could recommend medication that lowers blood pressure such as beta blockers, blood thinning medication such as aspirin, and cholesterol lowering medications. Those with irregular heartbeats could be recommended by doctors not only to use heart rate slowing or raising medication, but also maybe certain exercises that would help regulate heart rate such as straining while holding their breath, dunking their face in cold water, and coughing. Those born with heart defects can take medication that would help gradually improve the efficiency of their heart as they get older. Those with heart muscle deterioration could take medication that improve the heart’s pumping, or medications that make it easier on the heart to pump blood with less strain such as beta blockers. Those with valvular heart diseases would take medication similar to those with cardiovascular disease, medications that lower cholesterol; thin the blood, with an addition of medications that open blood vessels.
There are several different medical procedures people can take in order to prevent and fight heart diseases. During a coronary angiogram, a doctor places a tube in an artery near the heart and puts a dye in the blood, which x-rays detect and show where passages are becoming too narrow. During an angioplasty, a doctor places a tube into an artery and inflates it, so that the artery is expanded, allowing regulation of blood flow and clearing of the passage, also decreasing the chance of another clot. Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy is the inserting of a pace maker into someone’s heart in order to regulate their heartbeat that may be out of rhythm. Carotid Artery Surgery is when a doctor opens an artery and removes blockage to improve blood flow. Coronary Bypass is when a doctor surgically removes an artery from a part of your body and moves it to your heart in order to give a new passage for blood to flow to it. Valve Surgery is when a weakened, damaged, or diseased heart valve is repaired, or replaced in order to regulate blood flow during heart contractions.
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