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How Does Heart Attack Affect The Organ System

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Smoking And The Risk Of Peripheral Artery Disease

About Your Heart Attack | Nucleus Health

is a disease in which plaque builds up in the arteries that carry blood to your head, organs, and limbs. Smoking is a major risk factor for P.A.D.

P.A.D. usually affects the arteries that carry blood to your legs. Blocked blood flow in the leg arteries can cause cramping, pain, weakness, and numbness in your hips, thighs, and calf muscles.

Blocked blood flow also can raise your risk of getting an infection in the affected limb. Your body might have a hard time fighting the infection.

If severe enough, blocked blood flow can cause gangrene . In very serious cases, this can lead to leg amputation.

If you have P.A.D., your risk of heart disease and heart attack is higher than the risk for people who dont have P.A.D.

Smoking even one or two cigarettes a day can interfere with P.A.D. treatments. People who smoke and people who have diabetes are at highest risk for P.A.D. complications, including gangrene in the leg from decreased blood flow.

Anxiety And Depression After A Heart Attack

After a heart attack, many people worry about having another heart attack. Sometimes they feel depressed and have trouble adjusting to new lifestyle changes.

Talk about how you feel with your health care team. Talking to a professional counselor also can help. If you’re very depressed, your doctor may recommend medicines or other treatments that can improve your quality of life.

Joining a patient support group may help you adjust to life after a heart attack. You can see how other people who have the same symptoms have coped with them. Talk with your doctor about local support groups or check with an area medical center.

Support from family and friends also can help relieve stress and anxiety. Let your loved ones know how you feel and what they can do to help you.

How Do You Get Heart Disease

Heart disease isn’t contagious you can’t catch it like you can the flu or a cold. Instead, certain things increase a person’s chances of getting cardiovascular disease. Doctors call these things risk factors.

Some of these risk factors a person can’t do anything about, like being older and having other people in the family who have had the same problems. But people do have control over some risk factors smoking, having high blood pressure, being overweight, and not exercising can increase the risk of getting cardiovascular disease.

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Effects Of Heart Valve Disease

Some people have no signs for years, while others get them all of a sudden. Either way, they often get worse. The main symptom is a murmur — a whooshing or swishing sound between heartbeats. Valve problems can make your heart work harder and cause blood flow problems, so you may:

  • Be more tired than usual
  • Have shortness of breath
  • Have swelling in your legs, feet, ankles, or belly

How Your Heart Changes With Age

There are many types of heart disease that affect ...

People age 65 and older are much more likely than younger people to suffer a heart attack, to have a stroke, or to develop coronary heart disease and heart failure. Heart disease is also a major cause of disability, limiting the activity and eroding the quality of life of millions of older people.

Aging can cause changes in the heart and blood vessels. For example, as you get older, your heart can’t beat as fast during physical activity or times of stress as it did when you were younger. However, the number of heartbeats per minute at rest does not change significantly with normal aging.

Changes that happen with age may increase a person’s risk of heart disease. A major cause of heart disease is the buildup of fatty deposits in the walls of arteries over many years. The good news is there are things you can do to delay, lower, or possibly avoid or reverse your risk.

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What Does The Heart Do

The heart is a muscle that pumps blood filled with oxygen to all parts of your body. This job keeps every cell, organ, and system alive within your body. To move blood to each part of your body, your heart relies on your blood vessels. Together, the heart, blood and blood vessels make up a system called the cardiovascular system. Think of it as a delivery system. The delivery system moves blood from the heart carrying oxygen and nutrients throughout your body and also picks up waste products so that your body can get rid of them.

Healthy Eating And Cardiovascular Disease Risk

Eating a variety of foods is good for our health and can help reduce the risk of disease, including heart disease. This helps maintain a healthy and interesting diet and provides a range of different nutrients to the body.

To reduce your heart disease risk, follow these heart healthy eating patterns recommended by the Heart Foundation:

  • Make your bones and muscles stronger.
  • Make you feel more confident, happy and relaxed.
  • Help you to sleep better.

If you have had a heart attack, regular physical activity will help you to recover more quickly. If you have diabetes, it will also help you to manage your blood-glucose levels.

Physical activity doesnât have to be strenuous. Moderate-intensity physical activity, such as brisk walking, is great for your health. It is recommended that you do 30â45 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most, if not all, days of the week. You can do this in smaller bouts, such as three 10-minute walks, if it is easier.

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Medical Tests For Heart Disease

Your doctor will check your blood pressure and do a fasting blood test to check your cholesterol, a type of fatty substance that can contribute to plaques in your arteries. He or she might also do a blood test to check the levels of proteins that are markers of inflammation in the body and suggest you have an electrocardiogram . This test looks at electrical activity in your heart. A chest x-ray will show whether your heart is enlarged or your lungs have fluid in them both can be signs of heart failure. The doctor might do a blood test for brain natriuretic peptide , a hormone that increases in heart failure. If the cardiologist needs to determine your heart or valve function, he or she may order an echocardiogram, a painless test which uses sound waves to produce images of your heart in motion.

To learn more about heart disease, visit the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Depression And Cardiovascular Disease Risk

High Blood Pressure: How Does It Affect the Body?

Studies have shown that people with depression, those who are socially isolated or do not have quality social support are at greater risk of developing CVD.

Depression can be treated with medical and non-medical therapies. If you think you have depression, talking to your health professional is the best first step.

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About Heart And Vascular Institute

The UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute has long been a leader in cardiovascular care, with a rich history in clinical research and innovation. As one of the first heart transplant centers in the country and as the developer of one of the first heart-assist devices, UPMC has contributed to advancing the field of cardiovascular medicine.


What Makes Up The Circulatory System

Your circulatory system is made up of several parts, including your:

  • Heart. This muscular organ works to pump blood throughout your body via an intricate network of blood vessels.
  • Arteries. These thick-walled blood vessels carry oxygenated blood away from your heart.
  • Veins. These blood vessels carry deoxygenated blood back toward your heart.
  • Capillaries. These tiny blood vessels facilitate the exchange of oxygen, nutrients, and waste between your circulatory system and your organs and tissues.

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How Does Smoking Affect Your Cardiovascular Health

When you breathe in air from the atmosphere, the lungs take in oxygen and deliver it to the heart, which pumps this oxygen-rich blood to the rest of the body through the blood vessels. But when you breathe in cigarette smoke, the blood that is distributed to the rest of the body becomes contaminated with the smokes chemicals. These chemicals can damage to your heart and blood vessels,1 which can lead to cardiovascular disease the leading cause of all deaths in the United States.2

CVD is a generic term referring to multiple conditions affecting the heart or blood vessels3. Some of these conditions include:

  • coronary heart disease

What Are The Symptoms Of Heart Attack

The Link Between Heart Disease and Heart Attack

The major symptoms of a heart attack are

  • Chest pain or discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center or left side of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes or that goes away and comes back. The discomfort can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain.
  • Feeling weak, light-headed, or faint. You may also break out into a cold sweat.
  • Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, or back.
  • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms or shoulders.
  • Shortness of breath. This often comes along with chest discomfort, but shortness of breath also can happen before chest discomfort.

Other symptoms of a heart attack could include unusual or unexplained tiredness and nausea or vomiting. Women are more likely to have these other symptoms. Learn more about women and heart disease.

Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a heart attack.1Learn more facts about heart attack and heart disease.

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Being Overweight Or Obese

Being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing diabetes and high blood pressure, both of which are risk factors for CVD.

You’re at an increased risk of CVD if:

Read more about obesity.

How Does The Circulatory System Work

Blood that is low in oxygen collects in your heart’s right atrium, one of the hearts 4 chambers.

It moves into the right ventricle, which pumps this blood to your lungs where your red blood cells pick up oxygen and get rid of carbon dioxide. You exhale the carbon dioxide.

The oxygen-rich blood returns to your heart’s left atrium, then into your left ventricle. The left ventricle pumps oxygen-rich blood through your aorta, into your arteries, then to all parts of your body. Along the way, the blood gathers food nutrients from your small intestine.

As it enters the capillaries, your blood makes close contact with tissues and cells. It delivers oxygen and nutrients and removes carbon dioxide and wastes. Now low in oxygen, the blood travels through the veins to return to your heart’s right atrium, where the circuit starts all over again.

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Damage Begins To Accumulate

During a heart attack, your heart wont be able to function normally. Thats bad news for your entire body. Your vital organsmeaning your brain, lungs, kidneys, and liverdepend on a steady diet of blood, oxygen, and nutrients, which the heart pumps to them. If your organs go without these essential supplies for too long, they too will become permanently damaged and begin to shut down. The more severe the heart attackmeaning the bigger the blockage and the more time it takes to treat itthe faster this occurs.

How Does Heart Disease Affect The Body

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As the heart is a major organ in the circulatory system, it is obvious that the heart condition affects the normal functioning of the other organs. Here is a HealthHearty article that will explain in detail on how heart disease affects the body.

As the heart is a major organ in the circulatory system, it is obvious that the heart condition affects the normal functioning of the other organs. Here is a HealthHearty article that will explain in detail on how heart disease affects the body.

As we all know, heart disease and its complications are the leading cause of death worldwide. Any disorder in the heart and/or blood vessels is referred to as heart disease. Hence, the term encompasses many medical conditions like coronary artery disease, congenital heart defects, problems in the heart rhythm , heart attack, angina, cardiomyopathy , and stroke.

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Quick Action Can Save Your Life: Call 911

If you think you or someone else may be having heart attack symptoms or a heart attack, don’t ignore it or feel embarrassed to call for help. . Acting fast can save your life.

Do not drive to the hospital or let someone else drive you. Call an ambulance so that medical personnel can begin life-saving treatment on the way to the emergency room. Take a nitroglycerin pill if your doctor has prescribed this type of treatment.

Why Didnt I Have Any Warning

The process of atherosclerosis has no symptoms. When a coronary artery narrows and constricts blood flow, other nearby blood vessels that serve the heart sometimes expand to compensate, which may explain why there are no warning signs.

Such a network of expanded nearby blood vessels is called collateral circulation, and it helps protect some people from heart attacks by delivering needed blood to the heart. Collateral circulation can also develop after a heart attack to help the heart muscle recover.

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In addition to permanently damaging your heart and blood vessels, cigarette smoke can also cause CVD by changing your blood chemistry1,2 and causing plaquea waxy substance comprised of cholesterol, scar tissue, calcium, fat, and other material3to build up in the arteries, the major blood vessels that carry blood from your heart to your body. This plaque buildup can lead to a disease called atherosclerosis.

When the chemicals in cigarette smoke cause atherosclerosis and thickened blood in the arteries, it becomes more difficult for blood cells to move through arteries and other blood vessels to get to vital organs like the heart and brain.4 This can create blood clots and ultimately lead to a heart attack or stroke, even death.1,2

Other rare but serious cardiovascular conditions that can be caused by smoking include:

How Heart Disease Affects The Digestive System

Heart attack

Stomach pain and other gastrointestinal issues can indicate a heart condition like heart disease . Typically, these gastrointestinal symptoms occur because the heart is having difficulty pumping blood throughout the body. As blood circulation slows, the body chemistry changes from alkaline to acidic: Once the body transitions to this acidic state, organ systems, including the digestive tract, are unable to function properly.

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Is All Chest Pain A Heart Attack

No. One very common type of chest pain is called angina. Its a recurring discomfort that usually lasts only a few minutes. Angina occurs when your heart muscle doesnt get the blood supply and oxygen that it needs.

The difference between angina and a heart attack is that angina attacks dont permanently damage the heart muscle.

There are different types of angina, including:

  • Stable angina, or angina pectoris Stable angina often occurs during exercise or emotional stress when your heart rate and blood pressure increase, and your heart muscle needs more oxygen. Learn more about stable angina.
  • Unstable angina, sometimes referred to as acute coronary syndrome Unstable angina occurs while you may be resting or sleeping, or with little physical exertion. It comes as a surprise. Unstable angina can lead to a heart attack and it should be treated as an emergency. Learn more about unstable angina.

How Cardiovascular Disease Affects The Digestive System

Initially, the stomach pains that may indicate bad heart health are sharp and sporadic however, as time passes symptoms usually become chronic. These pains frequently occur close to the upper left side section of the stomach. Additionally, pain may be experienced in the esophageal sphincter. These pangs may be happening due to uncommon electrical activity that is being emitted from the heart.

Other symptoms that may indicate heart disease include sweating, nausea, and fatigue. These symptoms can be experienced at the same time or individually. Since these three symptoms may be a sign of myocardial infarction, seeking immediate heart care if these symptoms arise is essential.

Symptoms of gastrointestinal issues due to cardiovascular disease:

  • Intestinal angina due to the pain and problems associated with eating, people may lose a significant amount of weight. The symptoms of intestinal angina include diarrhea, nausea and/or vomiting following meals. Sharp abdominal pain usually begins within an hour of eating a meal and lasts up to two hours. The pain associated with intestinal angina includes dull cramps located near the pit of the stomach however, this pain can radiate to the back.
  • Acute intestinal ischemia this occurs when a blood clot becomes lodged in one of the intestinal arteries. These clots usually originate in the heart and are caused by atrial fibrillation. If severe enough, a portion of the intestine may die, which is a medical emergency.

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Blood Pressure Can Plummet

During a heart attack, blood pressure levels drop significantly. One result: The amount of blood and oxygen that reaches the brain drops significantly, too. Without oxygen, the brain cells begin to die, a process called cerebral infarction. The signs that this has begun to happen include vision loss, trouble moving, and impaired speech. It also may lead to unconsciousness, and it could cause the heart to stop beating altogether, a quickly fatal condition known as cardiac arrest.

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