The heart works to pump oxygen-rich blood around the body. Anything that prevents the blood from circulating properly is a cause for concern. Heart disease and heart conditions can be caused by a congenital defect from birth, an unhealthy lifestyle and diet or a problem with an artery, heart valve or heart muscle.
Blocked or narrowed arteries are the most common reason for heart problems. Arteries allow the blood to flow into and out of the heart. If a blockage prevents or slows the flow of blood or the artery walls are too thick to allow the blood to flow through, patients will experience a number of symptoms indicating there is a problem. Blocked arteries are commonly caused by a build up of plaque inside the artery wall as a result of a high cholesterol, high-fat diet and non-active lifestyle.
The heart valves control the flow of blood to and from the heart chambers and the other organs in the body. If one or more of the heart valves does not open and close as intended, many heart problems can develop. Heart valve defects normally require corrective heart valve surgery.
High blood pressure is the cause of many heart problems as high blood pressure puts strain on the heart. Some people are genetically prone to high blood pressure but high blood pressure can also be caused by a diet high in sodium, smoking and stress.
The information on this site is not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment from a licensed medical practitioner. If you are experiencing a serious medical condition call your local emergency services or your doctor.