Heart Disease or cardiac disease occurs when there is a disorder of the blood vessels of the heart. The CDC states that it is the leading cause of death in both men and women living in the United States. 610,000 Americans die from the disease on a yearly basis per the statistics.
Is heart disease acute or chronic?
Acute and Chronic Disease Definition:
Acute illness happens suddenly, and the condition is severe and intense. However, a chronic disease develops at a slower pace and lasts longer.
Acute and Chronic Disease Examples
- Examples of acute illness include infection, trauma, or fracture.
- Examples of chronic conditions are heart disease, heart failure, and stroke. Other examples include cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and arthritis.
Diagnosis and Care of Acute and Chronic Illness
Heart disease is a chronic condition. Doctors have to perform tests to diagnose and care for acute and chronic diseases. They have to rule out any other possibilities.
Diagnosing Heart Disease
The doctor asks for medical history and symptoms the patient is experiencing. This is the first step when dealing with acute, chronic illness diagnosis and care. Furthermore, the doctor does a physical examination. The test includes listening to the heart for sounds of swishing or whooshing. Those sounds are heart murmurs. It will determine if the patient has any heart trouble.
If the doctor suspects heart disease, he or she may follow through with an electrocardiogram or ECG. The test will reveal if there is any abnormality in the heart muscle. If there is a lack of oxygen to the blood, the ECG will pick that up.
Additionally, the doctor takes X-Rays of the heart. Afterward, the doctor does a CT, MRI, and a nuclear scan. Another test the doctor can do is an echocardiogram. It tells if the heart and valve are working at regular intervals.
The doctor or a trained technician will also perform a stress test. It will determine how much stress the heart can tolerate. The test requires the patient to walk on a treadmill or a stationary bike. The technician monitors the heartbeat during the process.
Treating Heart Disease
Doctors strive to stabilize the illness and control the symptoms for the long-term. If there is a possible cure, they will provide that as well. Means of treating heart disease include changes in lifestyle and diet as well as drug treatment.
1. Lifestyle Changes
Some of the lifestyle changes include changing diet, exercising, and quitting smoking. Moreover, the patient needs to take medication on a regular basis. Plus, the patient needs to follow up with doctor’s appointments as well as any rehabilitation.
Some patients may experience depression as a result of the condition. Things may seem overwhelming all at once. If the problem arises, it is in the patient’s best interest to speak with the doctor. Support groups can also make the process much more bearable.
If the patient smokes, the doctor will tell him or her to quit. Additionally, a regular exercise routine can strengthen the heart and blood vessels. It will reduce stress, blood pressure, and lowers cholesterol.
Relaxation has proven to help prevent and treat heart disease. Reducing stress contributes to lowering high blood pressure and heart arrhythmias. Fewer stress levels will aid in managing anxiety, anger, and hostility. It will prevent a heart attack. Some relaxation techniques include yoga, meditation, and biofeedback training.
2. Diet and Nutrition
Doctors stress exercises. Patients who are overweight are at a higher risk for high blood pressure and diabetes. Carrying too much weight adds more stress to the heart. It makes the heart difficult for the blood to pump at an average pace.
Moreover, it is advisable to add fruits and vegetables to the diet. Healthy fats from nuts, seeds, and avocado will lower the risk of coronary heart disease. Studies have shown that food supplements provide fiber. The supplements help to reduce the possibility of heart disease. Water is crucial during this process. It will make the grain more digestible.
3. Treatment using Drugs
The doctor will prescribe aspirin on a daily basis. Other drugs include ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers. The inhibitors increase blood flow by putting less pressure on the heart. Part of the treatment is to help lower high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Another treatment the doctor might recommend is balloon angioplasty. It will tell if the coronary arteries have a narrow shape or if the heart is functioning well. The aim of the test is to increase the blood flow to the heart. The other option is open heart surgery.
To determine if a patient has heart disease, doctors will follow certain procedures. They will check the patient’s medical history as well as perform a physical examination. Treatments for heart disease include lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise. Another treatment involves using drugs. The other option is open heart surgery. Patient care includes getting a customized meal plan from a dietician. Plus, patients will undergo drastic diet changes. They will need to get rid of processed foods and replacing them with fruits and vegetables.
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