The heart is one of the most important organs in the human body. It is the part of the circulatory system along with the blood vessels and blood. Since the main role of the heart is to pump the blood rich in oxygen and nutrients through the blood vessels to the different parts of the body, it is vital to maintain it healthy. However, since our body is very sensitive and susceptible to many disorders and diseases, the heart can also be affected due to many reasons.
When the heart is not healthy, it is very serious and many heart diseases are unfortunately life-threatening and fatal. Heart disease is the general term for all diseases and disorders that affect the heart and blood vessels, such as heart attack, stroke, coronary artery disease, and congenital or present at birth heart defects, as well as arrhythmia, angina and cardiomyopathy.
Heart disease affects the body in several ways
As mentioned above, the circulatory system, which is also called cardiovascular system, has the role to supply the body cells and tissues with oxygen and nutrients, and therefore, the healthy circulatory system is vital for the survival. When certain heart disease or circulatory system malfunction occurs, it can lead to the problems with the body’s metabolism. The most common heart disease is coronary artery disease (medically called arteriosclerosis) and it is a condition when the plaque forms in the walls of the arteries. Due to this plaque, the blood vessels become narrow and the blood flow may be blocked consequently. Due to that, the blood cannot reach the brain as fast as it should, and a stroke may occur. On the other hand, heart attack may occur if the blood vessels in the heart are too narrowed by the plaque.
When the blood vessels are blocked in the kidneys, it can lead to the hypertension and to the kidney failure eventually. Furthermore, peripheral vascular disease, which is the blockage of the arteries in the arms and legs, may cause their immobility. If this condition is not treated, it further causes disability, ulceration, gangrene and in some severe cases, it even leads to amputation. The women with congenital heart disease are at high risk to stay pregnant because their own death or their baby’s death can occur during pregnancy. Since heart disease affects the overall health of the body, it is important to avoid certain things that can cause it, such as consuming cigarettes and alcohol, as well as hypertension, obesity, high cholesterol levels and physical inactivity.