We have put together a glossary to help you better understand some of the more common heart conditions.
Angina is the name given to the pain caused by reduced blood supply to your heart. Angina occurs as a result of the narrowing of the coronary arteries. It is usually brought on at times when the heart needs more oxygen eg. during exercise, after a heavy meal, stress etc. This pain can occur across your chest, arms & jaw.
An arrhythmia is an abnormal heart rhythm
There are 3 main arteries that supply the heart with blood. If any of these arteries have a reduced blood flow due to the build up of fatty deposits (cholesterol plaque) oxygen flow is reduced. This condition is known as Atherosclerosis.
Blood pressure is the force of blood against the walls of the arteries when the heart contracts. While a certain amount of pressure is needed to keep the blood flowing, this pressure can increase if the blood meets resistance in the arteries. Blood flowing through the arteries at high pressure can damage artery walls. If this pressure is persistently high, this is called high blood pressure or ‘hypertension’.
High blood pressure is a sign that the heart and blood vessels are being overworked.
Download our ‘Take Control of your Blood Pressure’ booklet to find out more about blood pressure.
Occurs when the heart stops beating suddenly.
Click here to learn more on Cardiac arrest.
Cholesterol is a fatty substance, which is essential to the normal functioning of your body. A certain amount of Cholesterol is healthy as it forms part of the cell walls and is necessary to make hormones. The chance of developing coronary heart disease increases with raised cholesterol levels.
Download our ‘Cholesterol – Get the Facts’ booklet to find out more about cholesterol.
Coronary Heart Disease
Coronary Heart Disease or Cardiovascular disease (CVD), is a disease of the coronary arteries that supply the heart muscle with blood & oxygen. Heart disease occurs as a result of the arteries becoming narrowed and a build up of fatty deposits. This narrowing reduces the flow of blood to the heart (which may cause angina) and increases the chance of a blood clot in the artery, resulting in a heart attack.
Congenital Heart Disease
Congenital heart disease is an abnormality of the heart that you are born with.
Diabetes means that there is too much glucose (sugar) in the blood. Your body usually produces glucose when you digest your food, and a hormone called insulin takes the glucose from your blood and helps it enter your cells where it used. As the insulin takes the glucose, your blood glucose level reduces. Diabetes develops when your body doesn’t produce enough insulin, which leads to the level of glucose in your blood becoming too high.
There are 2 types of diabetes:
Type I diabetes: your body cannot make insulin. This type usually affects children and young adults.
Type II diabetes: this is more common, and occurs when you can’t produce enough insulin or it doesn’t work properly. Type II diabetes tends to develop gradually as people get older – usually after the age of 40. It is closely linked with being overweight and not being physically active. People are also more likely to develop this condition if there is a family history of diabetes.
A heart attack occurs when there is a complete blockage of one of the coronary arteries. This blockage stops the blood from getting to the heart muscle which it supplies with oxygen and this can cause some damage to the heart muscle. The main symptoms of a heart attack are central chest pain, shortness or breath, nausea and sweating. Symptoms may not always manifest themselves in this way, especially in women. Click here for more information
Heart failure means that for some reason, your heart is not pumping blood around the body as well as it used to. The most common reason is that your heart muscle has been damaged, for example, after a heart attack.
A stroke happens when the artery carrying blood to your brain is blocked. A stroke can also be caused by bleeding from an artery into your brain. Stroke can affect the way your body works and the way you think. Click here for more information
Help Fight Heart Disease & Stroke
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