HEART AND ITS FUNCTIONS

Heart is the organ whose function is to keep up the circulation of the blood. At birth the heart beats about 130 times a minute, gradually diminishing to 100 at 6 years, 90 at 10 years, 85 at 15 years, and, among adults, anywhere from 60 to 80. Sixty to 65 beats per minute is exceedingly slow but has been noted, particularly in long-distance runners. The heart beats more than two billion times during a lifetime and pumps millions of gallons of fluid. The heart lies inside a sac, called the pericardium, a little to the left of the breastbone, at about the fifth rib. It is essentially a muscle about as big as a fist. It beats from before birth until death and seldom rests, even by diminishing its rate. It is an involuntary muscle that responds to excitement, effort, and other activities by beating fast.You can give it rest by lying down so as to slow the beat a little and decrease its force.
Coronary ArteriesThe heart gets its own nourishment from small blood vessels that pass into its muscle tissue from the large blood vessels that carry the blood away from the heart. Blocking of these coronary arteries is called coronary thrombosis; the symptoms that follow such blocking are known as coronary disease. In hardening of the arteries, blocking of the coronary blood vessels is more frequent than otherwise. Associated with temporary spasms of these vessels or temporary lack of blood supply to the heart is angina pectoris.
Heart FailureFailure of the heart to carry on its work is serious because the whole body depends on the blood. Failure may be due to inability of the muscle to pump, inability of the pump to force out enough blood at one time, or failure of the pump to force the blood all the way around and back again. If any of these failures occur, fluid collects in the feet and in the abdomen; the brain gets insufficient nourishment; occasionally the heart muscle will enlarge in an attempt to do what it cannot. Signs of heart failure are shortness of breath, and a blue tinge to the skin resulting from lack of oxygen in the blood.
Heart DiseaseHeart disease is not a single illness but may be one of several, such as that resulting from rheumatic fever, one of the foremost foes of health in children, which is related frequently to streptococcus infections of the throat.People of advanced years sometimes suffer breakdown of the heart; death may be prevented by seeing to it that the victim avoids stress and strain.
Coronary ThrombosisCoronary thrombosis is the forming of a clot or clots in the coronary arteries. The moment an attack occurs, the victim should be put immediately at complete rest in bed. Then, by careful study involving the use of the electrocardiograph, the doctor will determine the nature and scope of the condition and take the necessary measures to relieve pain and, if possible, bring about improvement. Any attack of acute indigestion in a person past forty-five years may actually be the beginning of coronary thrombosis and should not be regarded lightly.*16/318/5*

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TYPES OF HEART DISEASE: HEART FAILURE DUE TO CARDIOMYOPATHY – HYPERTROPHIC CARDIOMYOPATHY

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is sometimes called idiopathic hypertrophic subaortic (beneath the aorta) stenosis, abbreviated IHSS. This overgrowth creates a bulge that protudes into the ventricular chamber and impedes the flow of blood from your heart to the aorta and the res body.When this obstruction is present, the cardiomyopathy is also called hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy (HOCM, often pronounced HO-kum”). In this condition, the problem is not that the heart muscle but that the overgrown heart impedes the flow of blood through and out of the heart.If the example of the plastic bottle is used, the sides of the bottle have thickened, especially near the opening. The thickening decreases the space inside the bottle and gets way of the opening.With HOCM, one of the leaflets of the mitral valve between the left and the left atrium ventricle moves forward during contraction, and this, with the thicker septum between the  ventricles, obstructs blood flow. Ironically, the obstruction to blood flow may worsen the harder the heart squeezes, because the thickened septum protrudes even farther into the pathway of the blood trying to flow out of the heart.Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy not always affect the area beneath the  aortic valve. Sometimes the condition occurs down near the apex (tip) of the heart, and in other individuals overgrowth is distributed more or evenly throughout the heart muscle. These cases can be likened to the plastic walls of the bottle becoming thickened all over and making squeezing less effective. In those situations, problem is not due to obstruction. The thickened muscle is simply inefficient at pumping and especially at relaxing. The blood flow can decrease because of this, and heart rhythms are a problem as well.*94\252\8*

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