Heart Failure

Heart failure is associated with a pathologically reduced pumping capacity of the heart. Here you can find out more about symptoms, causes, and therapy for heart failure. Heart failure, also commonly known as heart failure or cardiac muscle weakness, is a disease of the heart that is associated with a pathologically reduced pumping capacity. The heart is too weak to pump enough blood around the body. Heart failure occurs less often, even with normal or even increased pumping capacity – namely when the heart can only insufficiently fill with blood. In any case, weakness, tiredness, and shortness of breath are the result. Heart failure often develops over a long period of time (chronic heart failure), but it can also appear suddenly as acute heart failure, for example in the event of a heart attack. Heart failure is divided into different degrees of severity depending on the severity of the symptoms.

The Cardiac Output at a Glance

The heart with its pumping function is the motor for blood circulation. The incoming (used up) blood from the veins reaches the right ventricle via the right atrium. From there it goes on to the lungs. In the lungs, the blood is enriched with fresh oxygen and returns to the heart, but this time to the left heart area. It flows through the left atrium into the left ventricle and from there is pumped into the arteries. If the right ventricle is affected by heart failure, cardiologists speak of right ventricular failure and the left ventricle of left ventricular failure. If both heart chambers are affected by heart failure, this is a global insufficiency. The symptoms vary depending on the type of heart failure.

Doctors separate the symptoms of heart failure into those of right heart failure and those of left heart failure.

Symptoms Of Left Heart Failure

In left heart failure, the left heart can no longer pump enough blood into the body. This results in reduced resilience and physical weakness, and rarely too low blood pressure.

In addition, the blood backs up in the lungs. Sometimes the liquid components of the blood (especially water) are pressed out of the blood vessels into the lungs: water accumulates in the lungs, causing pulmonary edema. This leads to shortness of breath and a cough. As the disease progresses, breathing difficulties increase so much that those affected can hardly breathe while lying down. This is why they typically sleep with their upper bodies elevated or sitting completely. The following usually applies: the higher the mountain of pillows at the head end, the more pronounced the left heart failure. Long-term and severe blood backlog in the lungs can also develop right heart failure and global insufficiency.

Symptoms of Right Heart Failure

Right heart failure can develop from left heart failure, but it can also develop without a previous left heart failure. The latter is the case when the right heart is no longer able to take in enough blood from the body and pump it into the pulmonary circulation. In this case, the blood backs up in the venous system of the body. This increases the pressure in the veins.

The following symptoms are typical for right heart failure:

Heavy and swollen legs due to edema: With strong and sustained pressure, the liquid components of the blood are pressed out of the blood vessels into the body tissue: water is stored in the tissue, causing edema. This water retention occurs primarily in the lower legs, ankles, and feet. The consequences are, among other things, heavy and swollen legs. Typically, stockings or socks leave dents in the skin. As the disease progresses, the blood can also back up in the neck veins and in the veins at the base of the tongue. Thick vein cords are then visible on the neck and base of the tongue.

Frequent nocturnal urination: The stored water often leads to weight gain. Another typical symptom is urination at night (nocturia). Right heart failure patients have to go to the toilet several times during the night. The reason for this is as follows: When the body is upright, there is a large gap between the legs and the heart, not when sleeping in a horizontal position. When lying down, the heart can transport the stored water to the kidneys more easily. From there it is excreted in the urine. Furthermore, the kidneys are better supplied with blood when the body is in a horizontal position, which makes their work easier and also improves the nocturnal excretory function.

Body water retention: With pronounced and persistent right heart failure, the water is not only deposited in the legs and feet. The backlog of blood in front of the heart leads to generally increased venous pressure and further water retention. If water collects in the abdominal cavity, doctors speak of ascites. Often the blood also backs up in the abdominal organs. This leads to an enlarged and painful liver (congested liver), congestive gastritis develops in the stomach with loss of appetite and flatulence. If water collects in the gap between the pleural leaves (i.e. between the lungs and the pleura or pleura), pleural effusion occurs. This causes shortness of breath and throat irritation.

Heart Failure

Symptoms Of Global Insufficiency

If both parts of the heart are affected, doctors speak of a global heart muscle weakness, global insufficiency. Global insufficiency combines symptoms of left and right heart failure.

Heart shock – the most dangerous form of heart failure

The most dangerous form of heart failure is cardiac shock, medically known as cardiogenic shock. Sufferers of cardiogenic shock have severe shortness of breath and are cold sweaty, the hands and feet are cool and the pulse is racing. In the worst case, the consciousness becomes cloudy.

Acute and chronic heart failure

Doctors differentiate between acute and chronic cardiac weakness according to the course. Acute heart failure develops over hours to days. The chronic form, on the other hand, develops over the course of months to years. H4: Classification of heart failure according to NYHA Heart failure is differentiated depending on its severity. Doctors differentiate between two classifications, the American Heart Association (AHA) classification and the New York Heart Association (NYHA) classification. The NYHA classification is more common in Germany. According to NYHA there are 4 stages of heart failure:

    • Stage I: no complaints, normal physical resilience
    • Stage II: discomfort with heavy physical exertion
    • Stage III: complaints even with light physical exertion
    • Stage IV: discomfort in all physical activities and at rest.

Causes

The causes of heart failure are complex. The heart’s pumping capacity depends on several factors: the strength of the heart muscle, the heart rate, and the resistance in the bloodstream. Disorders of all three factors can be responsible for heart failure.

The following diseases can cause heart failure:

    • constricted coronary arteries (coronary heart disease, short CHD)
    • Heart attack, heart valve defects (for example mitral valve insufficiency), cardiac arrhythmias as well as heart inflammation and pericardial effusions
    • Hypertension (high blood pressure) and increased blood volume in the body
    • hormonal diseases (e.g. hyperthyroidism)
    • metabolic diseases (e.g. overweight or obesity)
    • severe anemia or an increased blood requirement with a high fever
    • Vitamin D deficiency.

Examination

The doctor makes the diagnosis of heart failure based on the symptoms and previous or concomitant illnesses. Laboratory examinations, an ultrasound examination of the heart, and a cardiac catheter examination are usually carried out to ensure this. X-ray examinations and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) also help with the diagnosis.

Treatment

Drug therapy for heart failure aims to treat the underlying disease. In addition, drugs that relieve the strain on the heart or strengthen the heart muscles are used. The following recommendations apply to the severity levels according to NYHA:

    • Stage I: ACE inhibitors such as captopril, enalapril, lisinopril, fosinopril, trandolapril or ramipril. If ACE inhibitors are not tolerated, drugs from the group of AT1 receptor antagonists such as candesartan, losartan and valsartan are an alternative.
    • Stages II to IV: Combination of ACE inhibitors with other drugs such as beta-blockers (e.g. carvedilol, metoprolol, and propranolol) or dehydrating agents (including bumetanide, furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide piretanide, spironolactone, and triamterene). In addition, cardiac glycosides are used to strengthen the heart (e.g. beta-acetyldigoxin, digoxin and digitoxin or metildigoxin).
    • Nitro-based vasodilators (such as glycerol trinitrate, isosorbide mononitrate, isosorbide dinitrate, or molsidomine) can improve the blood and oxygen supply to the heart. They also relieve the heart’s pumping function. The active ingredient chlortalidone from the group of thiazide diuretics has antihypertensive and dehydrating effects.

Operative Therapy

Surgery may also be an option to treat heart failure. This can be, for example, the implantation of a pacemaker or a defibrillator (cardiac shock). In very severe cases, a heart transplant must be considered. However, the doctor decides on the need for these therapeutic measures on an individual basis.

Therapy Of Incipient Cardiac Insufficiency

The doctor will recommend a healthy lifestyle and physical activity for the treatment of emerging or mild heart failure. He will advise overweight people to lose weight. Smokers should quit the vice. Furthermore, alcohol consumption must be reduced to a minimum. In the Special Heart-Healthy Living you will find a multitude of suggestions with which you can keep your heart healthy or support the treatment of heart failure in a meaningful way.

Self-Help Against Heart Failure

You can improve symptoms of mild heart failure by adopting a healthy lifestyle with plenty of exercises. Regular physical activity has a strengthening effect on the heart. Before cardiac patients do exercise, however, they should ask a doctor for advice. Special cardiac sports groups (or coronary sports groups) are particularly recommended. Your health insurance company will be happy to inform you about offers in your area.

Self-Medication For Heart Failure

Self-medication in the case of heart failure with over-the-counter medication may only take place after a medical consultation. If you have a doctor’s permission, there are two groups of active ingredients that you can use for heart failure:

  • heart-strengthening herbal ingredients made from hawthorn, adonis herb, lily of the valley herb, sea onion, and oleander leaves
  • Circulatory stimulants such as moxaverine and plant ingredients from camphor, real daphne, and rosemary.

Prevention

    • Reduce excess weight and eat a fresh and balanced diet.
    • Eat a diet with an as little salt as possible (less than 3 grams per day).
    • Avoid excessive alcohol consumption.
    • Quit smoking.

Indicates Of Angina Pectoris (Chest Tightness)

Severe chest pain with a characteristic feeling of tightness in the chest is an indication of angina pectoris. They can be the harbinger or symptom of a heart attack. Get to know symptoms, causes, and therapy. Angina pectoris (or stenocardia) literally means “tightness in the chest”. That also describes the complaints. Those affected report a seizure-like, sometimes violent, feeling of tightness in the heart or chest area. These pain attacks indicate a circulatory disorder of the coronary arteries and an insufficient supply of the heart muscle. Thus, they are an important and typical symptom of coronary heart disease (CHD). However, every attack of angina pectoris can also be a heart attack.

Synonyms

Chest tightness, tightness of the heart, stenocardia

Forms Of Angina Pectoris

Doctors differentiate between stable and unstable angina pectoris and the special form of Prinzmetal’s angina.

    • Stable angina pectoris: Stable angina pectoris occurs depending on the load and is triggered by various factors. These include physical activities, emotional stress, stress, cold or even lavish meals. The intensity of the complaints remains almost the same with every attack.
    • Unstable angina pectoris: The unstable angina pectoris occurs independently of stress and is also known as resting angina. Any new chest tightness or chest tightness with variable symptoms is also unstable angina pectoris. Angina nocturna is a special form. The symptoms mainly occur at night. When lying down, more blood flows back into the heart. This represents a higher requirement for the previously damaged heart muscles. This additional stress manifests itself as angina pectoris.
    • Prinzmetal angina: Prinzmetal angina (also called vasospastic angina) is a special form of angina pectoris. The chest complaints are felt independently of stress, often at night, and are caused by vascular spasms.

Symptoms of angina are the most characteristic. A rather dull pain begins behind the breastbone and spreads over the chest in the shape of a tire. Often these pains are perceived as extremely strong, oppressive, and threatening. They typically radiate into the left arm, upper abdomen, neck, or lower jaw. Radiation to other areas of the body is also possible. In addition, there is often shortness of breath and cold sweat, blood pressure soars, and the pulse races. Some patients are scared to death. Sometimes angina pectoris is misinterpreted as heartburn or heartburn is mistaken for angina pectoris. In English, heartburn is therefore also referred to as heartburn.

An attack of angina pectoris can pass within seconds, but it can also last for minutes, less often for hours. If an attack lasts more than 15 minutes, a heart attack is suspected.

Indicates Of Angina Pectoris

Causes

Most angina is caused by Coronary Artery Disease (CHD). The coronary arteries are narrowed as a result of arteriosclerosis. As a result, the heart muscle is only insufficiently supplied with oxygen, especially when it is exerted. This reduced blood flow and insufficient oxygen supply cause the symptoms.

Angina pectoris is not only triggered by physical activities such as climbing stairs or jogging. Cold or heavy meals can also provoke an angina pectoris attack. When it is cold, for example, the resistance in the blood vessels increases. This reduces the blood flow to the heart muscle, and chest problems occur.

Lush meals stimulate digestive activity, the stomach and intestines have to be supplied with more blood. The heart muscle then has less blood available, which leads to an attack of angina pectoris.

Vascular Spasms Lead To Prinzmetal’s Angina

An exception to angina pectoris is Prinzmetal’s angina. In this form, the insufficient supply of myocardium is triggered by vascular spasms in the coronary arteries. These vascular cramps (spasms) occur mainly at night and at rest.

Examination

Angina pectoris is diagnosed based on the typical symptoms. For further clarification, a blood test, an electrocardiogram (EKG), and an image of the coronary vessels (coronary angiography) can follow.

Treatment

The therapy for angina pectoris is different. Depending on the severity of the symptoms and the condition of the coronary arteries and the heart muscle, medicinal or surgical measures are initiated.

Medicines For Angina Pectoris

Various active ingredients are available to the doctor for the drug treatment of angina pectoris:

    • The narrowed coronary arteries are usually dilated with nitro-based vasodilators (such as isosorbide mononitrate and isosorbide dinitrate) or molsidomine.
    • In addition, beta-blockers (e.g. atenolol, bisoprolol, carvedilol, and metoprolol), calcium antagonists (such as verapamil or diltiazem), and dihydropyridines (such as amlodipine and nifedipine) are often used to lower blood pressure and heart rate.
    • If beta-blockers are not tolerated or must not be taken, the relatively new active ingredient ivabradine can help. Ivabradine lowers the heart rate without affecting blood pressure or the strength of the muscles in the heart.
    • The active ingredient Trapidil can improve the blood flow to the heart muscle.
    • In order to reduce the risk of a vascular occlusion and thus the risk of a heart attack, low doses of acetylsalicylic acid and anticoagulant agents such as phenprocoumon are used.
    • Cholesterol-lowering drugs from the group of statins, for example, atorvastatin, simvastatin, lovastatin, or pravastatin, help to lower the risk of atherosclerosis or to stop the course of atherosclerosis.

Operative Therapy

Occasionally, narrowed coronary arteries are surgically widened or renewed. The methods of choice for the surgical treatment of angina pectoris are so-called percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and bypass surgery. PCI is performed using a cardiac catheter. The doctor pushes a folded balloon up to the coronary arteries – usually through the inguinal artery. The balloon unfolds at the narrowed point (balloon dilatation) and holds the vessel open. A small lattice frame made of stainless steel (so-called stent) around the balloon sometimes secures this method.

In a bypass operation, a vascular blockage is bridged with another blood vessel.

Self Help

Even if an attack of angina pectoris feels threatening: keep calm. Sit up straight and try to breathe calmly and evenly. Usually, the pain goes away within a short time.

Patients with angina pectoris have spray or bite capsules with glycerol trinitrate (nitro spray, microcapsules) as emergency medication. After the application, the blood vessels dilate and breast problems usually improve quickly. If this is not the case, there could be a heart attack. In this case, please call the emergency doctor immediately.

Pay attention to the duration of the complaints. If the pain persists for more than 15 minutes, you should definitely alert the emergency services. Medical professionals refer to this condition as an acute coronary syndrome.

Prevention

Regular medical check-ups provide information on possible risk factors for angina pectoris (e.g. arteriosclerosis). If you are legally insured, you can have a check-up every two years from the age of 35 at Check-up 35. Above all, patients with diabetes and overweight as well as smokers should take advantage of this offer.

Smokers are also advised to stop using the vice. You can obtain information on this from your family doctor, health center or your health insurance company. Furthermore, you should pay attention to normal body weight and a healthy, varied diet. Patients with lipid metabolism disorders, high blood pressure values ​​, and diabetics should ensure normal blood values ​​and carefully follow their therapies.

Heart Rate Monitors

Physical activity can have positive effects on the human physique and psyche. This or something like that is the widespread opinion among the population. But it is often forgotten that “wrong” training often leads to negative or undesirable results. Overly ambitious sporting efforts quickly lead to overloading of the cardiovascular system, which in some cases can culminate in a heart attack in the untrained. The human pulse, or rather the heart rate, is an indicator of the “correct” training. This counts as an exertion indicator from which the current stress on the body can be read. With the help of the heart rate, conclusions can be drawn about your own training behavior in order to ensure an individually balanced and above all health-promoting training. The constant control of the heart rate protects the athlete from overexertion, which – as already mentioned – is not without danger, especially under high stress. On the other hand, there is the possibility of optimally planning the training in order to achieve the greatest possible training effect. Regardless of whether you want to build up your stamina, increase it or reduce weight.

Heart Rate Monitors

With the help of modern heart rate computers, also known colloquially as pulse monitors, the individually optimal heartbeats per minute can be calculated and controlled. Such a heart rate computer usually consists of a wristwatch with a display and a chest strap that measures the heart rate and transmits it telemetrically to the watch. There is a large number of manufacturers who offer such devices in all price ranges and with different specifications.

heart-rate-monitors

Furthermore, the modern cardio machines in fitness studios have receivers for the chest strap and can even take the pulse into account directly in the training programs. In order to be able to start pulse training, the athlete needs his “maximum heart rate”, which can be used to define the various training areas. It is possible to roughly calculate this value (220 – age), but this cannot be more than a guideline value. In order to get an exact result, it is advisable either to have a measurement carried out in the fitness studio or to use a heart rate monitor that can determine the “maximum heart rate”.

Guide Values ​​For Training

The following guidelines apply to training, depending on the training goal: Light training between 50% and 60% of the maximum value helps to stabilize your health. For optimal fat burning, it is advisable to keep the pulse between 60% and 70% of the maximum value. if you want to increase your endurance, you should vary your training heart rate between 70% and 85%. Overall, with balanced, health-oriented fitness training, the pulse should be between 50% and a maximum of 85% of the calculated maximum pulse.

Shock In The Medical Sense

Definition

Shock in the medical sense is an emergency situation. With this information, you can recognize a shock and provide useful first aid. Colloquially, a shock scares us – or we are paralyzed, shocked for a short time. For medical professionals, however, shock is a serious life-threatening clinical picture. Read more about the causes, symptoms, and first aid here.

What is a Shock?

A shock in the medical sense is a condition in which the oxygen supply to the organs is no longer ensured due to a lack of blood in the bloodstream. This deficiency can have very different causes. The most common are internal and external bleeding (mostly due to injuries) as well as disorders of the fluid balance, which continue to reduce the blood volume. Long-term diarrhea, massive vomiting, or profuse sweating can also cause shock. Doctors refer to these causes as a volume deficiency shock.

If enough blood is no longer pumped into the body in the event of heart failure, those affected also fall into a state of shock. Medics say they get shocked. The technical term for this form of shock is cardiogenic shock.

Symptoms

In order to supply the body with vital oxygen, the heart rate rises to more than 100 beats per minute at the beginning of the shock. Typically, the blood pressure drops sharply (first value below 90 mmHg).

Shock states can also be recognized externally: The skin is pale and usually feels cool and moist. People in shock are often very thirsty. The longer a shock lasts, the shallower the breathing becomes. The blood pressure continues to drop, the pulse is racing and can hardly be felt. Eventually, those affected lose consciousness.

Shock In The Medical Sense

Depending on the cause of the shock, there are other symptoms:

    • in anaphylactic shock: allergic symptoms such as rashes, itching, facial swelling, and shortness of breath
    • in cardiogenic shock: chest tightness and difficulty breathing
    • with septic shock: fever or reduced body temperature below 36 degrees Celsius and bleeding in the skin, the skin is sometimes red and overheated.

Causes

Allergy sufferers know anaphylactic shock as the most severe allergic reaction. Many allergy sufferers carry an emergency kit with them in order to be able to take action against the life-threatening allergy-related shock condition.

In the case of blood poisoning (sepsis), septic shock can develop in the end-stage. This almost always leads to death.

In addition, there are even rarer forms of shock such as neurogenic shock (nerve-related), electric shock (as a result of an electrical accident), endocrine shock (hormone-related), hypoglycemic shock (insulin shock), and orthostatic shock (due to a disturbed vascular and circulatory regulation).

Examination

Recognize shock with the Rekap sample

Rescue workers often use their fingernails to test for shock. But every layperson can do that too. The so-called Rekap-Probe consists of briefly pressing the fingernail into the nail bed. The blood under the nail is squeezed out of the smallest blood vessels, the capillaries, and the skin turns white. If you let go of your fingernail, you pay attention to the time it takes for the skin under the nail to turn red again. If this so-called recapillarization (recap) lasts longer than a second, it can be seen as an indication of poor blood circulation. Of course, this is not a reliable diagnostic criterion, but it is still a guide.

Treatment

First aid: ensure shock positioning and call an emergency doctor

If a shock is suspected, the emergency services should be alerted immediately. Until the emergency vehicle arrives, first aid with so-called shock positioning is possible. The legs are positioned higher than the head, for example, the patient lies on their back and the legs are placed on a chair/stool. This is intended to increase the return of the blood to the heart and improve the supply of organs.

No shock position for B injuries

However, there are a number of shock states in which the shock positioning is not useful and even harms. Many rescue workers remember these cases with a donkey bridge. It reads: “B = shock position nee”. These include the following 6 Bs:

    • Pear: visible and invisible head and skull injuries, fluid leakage from nose and/or ears
    • Chest: pain in the heart and chest area
    • Abdomen: Injuries or pain in the abdomen
    • Legs: open broken legs with protruding bones or any suspicion of a broken leg
    • Pelvis: Injuries in the pelvic area
    • Hump: Injuries to the back and spine, especially with numbness or paralysis of the limbs or uncontrolled urination and stool.

Don’t panic about first aid

Most people very rarely get into situations where they have to respond to shock. Most often this happens in traffic and work accidents. No matter how severe the accident is: First get an overview, then secure the accident area and then alert the emergency services. After that, you can give first aid. This is the best way to help yourself and others to survive a state of shock in good health.

Cardiac Arrhythmias

Many people have abnormal heart rhythms during their lifetime. Healthy people sometimes notice that a beat skips or the heart stumbles. Such extra blows (so-called extrasystoles) are to a certain extent harmless and harmless (especially for young people). But sometimes these stumbling blocks indicate serious heart disease. Here you will find everything about the symptoms, causes, and treatment of cardiac arrhythmias.

Definition

In the case of cardiac arrhythmias, the sequence of heartbeats is disturbed: the heart beats too fast, too slowly or too irregularly. In healthy adults, the heart beats about 60 to 80 times a minute when at rest and without exertion. With excitement, anger, fear, or stress, as well as physical strain, the heartbeat accelerates. On the other hand, it decreases during sleep. These changes are normal and important. In the case of cardiac arrhythmias, this adjustment of the heartbeat does not work properly.

Sinus nodes and AV nodes – clocks for the heart rhythm

The so-called sinus node in the heart indicates how fast and often the heart beats. However, this sinus node is not a palpable or tactile node. Rather, it is an accumulation of specialized heart muscle cells.

The sinus node is the first clock of the heartbeat. It is located in the upper area of ​​the right atrium and generates around 60 to 80 so-called excitations per minute. From there, these electrical impulses reach the AV node via the walls of the atria. This node lies at the transition between the atrium and the ventricle and steps in when the sinus node fails. It is like a downstream (secondary) pacemaker. However, the AV node produces only 40 to 50 excitations per minute. From the AV node, the electrical stimuli pass through specific conduction pathways into the muscles of the heart, which make the heartbeat.

Classification Of Cardiac Arrhythmias

Cardiac arrhythmias are classified according to their place of origin. They can arise in the atrium or the ventricle as well as in the stimulation and conduction system. There are also classifications according to speed and danger, as well as congenital and acquired cardiac arrhythmias. We limit ourselves to the classification of cardiac arrhythmias according to their place of origin.

Cardiac Arrhythmias

Atrial Arrhythmias

Arrhythmias that arise in the atrium of the heart are called supraventricular arrhythmias. As a rule, pathological changes in the sinus or AV node are the cause.

Typical atrial arrhythmias are:

    • Atrial fibrillation (most common significant cardiac arrhythmia. With atrial fibrillation, non-directional electrical excitations run across the atria at an immense speed.
    • Atrial flutter (abnormal heart rhythm in which the auricles beat regularly but very quickly per minute)
    • Conduction disorder from the sinus node to the atrial muscles (sinoatrial block).
    • Heartbeats outside the normal heart rhythm, originating in the atrium (supraventricular extrasystoles).

Cardiac Arrhythmias In The Ventricle

Arrhythmias that arise in the chambers of the heart are called ventricular arrhythmias. Typical cardiac arrhythmias in the ventricle are:

    • Heartbeats outside the normal heart rhythm from the ventricle (ventricular extrasystoles)
    • Rapid, sometimes life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias that originate in the ventricles (ventricular tachycardia)
    • Ventricular flutter (rapid sequence of relatively regular ventricular actions)
    • Ventricular fibrillation (life-threatening and pulseless cardiac arrhythmia with disordered ventricular excitation, whereby the heart muscle no longer beats properly. If left untreated, ventricular fibrillation leads directly to death due to the lack of pumping capacity).

Cardiac Arrhythmias Of The Excitation And Conduction System

    • Malfunction of the sinus node and conduction in the atria (e.g. sick sinus syndrome, sick sinus node syndrome)
    • Delayed or interrupted conduction of excitation at the AV node (AV blockages)
    • rapid and regular heartbeats that begin suddenly and end abruptly (AV node reentry tachycardia)
    • Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome (WPW syndrome, a frequent cardiac arrhythmia in young people that is triggered by an electrical circuit between the auricles and the ventricles.)
    • Ventricular reserve rhythm after failure or blockage of sinus nodes or AV nodes.

Symptoms

A cardiac arrhythmia can also be seen when feeling the pulse wave, for example on the wrist. The pulse can really race, go very slowly or bump irregularly, be hard or flat and weakly palpable, and sometimes it can hardly be felt, if at all. Depending on the severity of the heart damage, shortness of breath, disorientation, dizziness, and temporary speech and vision disorders are possible. Very severe cardiac arrhythmias can lead to loss of consciousness or even death.

An overview of the symptoms of cardiac arrhythmias

    • slow, fast, or stumbling heartbeat (palpitations, palpitations)
    • Stopping the heartbeat (palpable pause in beat)
    • Feeling the heartbeat – sometimes up to the throat (palpitations)
    • Pulse changes (racing, slow, hard, soft, weak, or barely noticeable)
    • Heart pain, chest tightness (angina pectoris)
    • temporary speech and vision disorders
    • Difficulty breathing, disorientation, dizziness, drowsiness, confusion
    • Seizure, collapse, loss of consciousness.

Complications from cardiac arrhythmias

Arrhythmias can lead to dangerous complications. Vascular occlusions (embolisms), heart attacks, strokes, increasing heart failure or sudden cardiac death are particularly feared.

Causes

The cause of an arrhythmia can be in the heart itself or it can be a disease outside the heart. For example, febrile infectious diseases are often accompanied by a heartbeat that is too fast. An underactive thyroid usually causes a slow heartbeat.

Furthermore, electrolyte deficiencies (such as potassium deficiency or calcium deficiency) or an excess of minerals (such as potassium excess) can trigger cardiac arrhythmias of all kinds. For some people, eating 6 bananas is enough to cause cardiac arrhythmias. Because bananas contain a lot of potassium.

There are also congenital disorders of the cardiac excitation or everyday situations that change the heart rhythm (for example excessive alcohol or coffee consumption). Heart diseases that cause irregular heartbeat include:

Other diseases that can cause irregular heartbeat to include:

    • Coronary heart disease (CHD)
    • Heart attack
    • Heart muscle diseases (called cardiomyopathies)
    • Inflammation of the heart (myocarditis or endocarditis)
    • Heart or heart valve defects (such as aortic stenosis or mitral valve regurgitation)
    • congenital or acquired disorders of the cardiac excitation (for example Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, WPW syndrome for short).
    • high blood pressure
    • low blood pressure
    • Thyroid dysfunction (such as hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism)
    • Electrolyte imbalances such as potassium deficiency
    • febrile infectious diseases such as mumps, measles, rubella
    • severe bloating (meteorism)

Hypersensitive carotid sinus in carotid sinus syndrome. The carotid sinus is a receptor on the main artery in the neck that can be irritated by pressure (for example when shaving, by a tight scarf or collar, or when the head is overstretched). As a result, the heartbeat slows down so much that the person affected sometimes passes out.

The following situations can trigger cardiac arrhythmias:

    • Fear, anger, nervousness
    • emotional stress and physical strain
    • excessive consumption of caffeine or teine ​​(coffee, tea, or cola)
    • excessive alcohol consumption
    • Smoke
    • Use of drugs or other poisons
    • Taking medication (e.g. side effects of thyroid hormones or antidepressants).

Examination

The typical complaints and previous or concomitant illnesses point the doctor to the diagnosis of cardiac arrhythmia. To confirm the diagnosis, the doctor will listen to your heart and measure your pulse, followed by a resting electrocardiogram (resting ECG) and, if necessary, a stress ECG. As a rule, these examinations are sufficient to determine cardiac arrhythmias.

Treatment

The doctor decides on an individual basis whether a cardiac arrhythmia needs treatment at all. Sometimes cardiac arrhythmias do not require treatment. Otherwise, the therapy depends on the type and cause of the cardiac arrhythmia. If illnesses are responsible for the disturbed heartbeat sequence, these must first be treated. There are many treatment approaches for cardiac arrhythmias themselves.

Drug Therapy For Cardiac Arrhythmias

Drugs for arrhythmias are called antiarrhythmics. Active ingredients from the following groups are used to treat cardiac arrhythmias with drugs:

    • Class I antiarrhythmics: sodium channel blockers such as ajmaline or quinidine
    • Class II antiarrhythmics: beta-blockers, e.g. bisoprolol, nebivolol, or metoprolol
    • Class III antiarrhythmics: potassium channel blockers, e.g. amiodarone, dronedarone or sotalol
    • Class IV antiarrhythmics: calcium antagonists, such as diltiazem and verapamil.

Other antiarrhythmics are:

    • Adenosine (is often used for the acute therapy of cardiac arrhythmias of the AV node)
    • Digitalis glycosides (strengthen the heart muscles, typical representatives are digoxin and digitoxin)
    • Parasympatholytics (such as atropine and ipratropium bromide)
    • Sympathomimetics (such as adrenaline and noradrenaline)
    • If channel inhibitors (a new group of active substances with the only representative so far ivabradine)

Cardioversion To Restore Normal Heart Rhythm

Cardioversion is designed to restore the heart’s normal sinus rhythm. This rhythmization is mainly used as an emergency treatment for ventricular flutter, ventricular fibrillation, and supraventricular or ventricular tachycardias. Cardioversion can be medicated or electrically (with the help of a defibrillator or cardiac shock). A strong current surge interrupts the electrical activity of the heart. This time-out allows the sinus node to resume its function and then rhythmically pace the heartbeat.

Ablation In Cardiac Arrhythmias

In the case of cardiac arrhythmias such as WPW syndrome, AV node reentry tachycardias or with certain ventricular tachycardias, high-frequency current ablation can be useful. The starting point of the cardiac arrhythmia or additional conduction pathways (as in the WPW syndrome) is obliterated by electricity via a cardiac catheter.

Pacemaker For Cardiac Arrhythmias

Sometimes a pacemaker (Pacer, Pacemaker) is implanted if the heartbeat is too slow. In the case of life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias, the use of an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) may be necessary to prevent cardiac arrest.

The pacemaker works like a pulse generator. It monitors the heartbeat and gives electrical impulses to the heart if it beats too slowly. The cardioverter-defibrillator is slightly larger than the pacemaker and monitors the heart rhythm. Depending on the rhythm disturbance, electrical impulses are emitted and over-or under-stimulation corrected. If necessary, cardiac shock therapy is carried out: defibrillation.

Both devices are implanted under the collarbone during a minor surgical procedure. Electrodes connect the devices to the heart. If the heartbeat drops too much, the pacemaker steps in. An implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) is used, among other things, for atrial flutter and atrial fibrillation as well as for ventricular fibrillation.

Living With A Healthy Heart

Living With A Healthy Heart – Heart Failure, Infarction, Stroke

With a healthy heart, you open the horizon for a life without a heart attack, heart failure, or stroke. The best thing to do is to start right away. Cardiovascular diseases are by far the most common cause of death in Germany. More than 200,000 women and men die as a result of heart attacks, strokes, and heart failure alone. Many – some experts say almost all – of these people could still be alive if they had taken a little precaution – by living with a healthy heart. It’s a lot easier than most people think.

More Than 200,000 Heart Deaths Per Year

Before we get to the precautionary recommendations, a few more depressing figures about the current state of German heart health. 300,000 Germans experience a heart attack every year – around 60,000 women and men do not survive it. 270,000 suffer a stroke – around 100,000 of them die within the first year. And 70 percent of the survivors remain disabled in the long term – many of them are dependent on a nursing home. In addition, around 50,000 Germans die every year as a result of cardiac insufficiency (in almost 600,000 cases). Many cardiovascular diseases are preventable About 90 percent of all heart attacks are preventable, writes Dr. Norbert Smetak, the chairman of the Federal Association of Resident Cardiologists on the website for the German World Heart Day (September 29, 2015). He would like people to take more responsibility for their health and take advantage of the opportunities provided by prevention.

Live With A Healthy Heart

To live with a healthy heart – to some people that sounds a lot like asceticism and exertion. It is relatively easy to reduce the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, or heart failure. The focus is on exercise, nutrition, the conscious use of luxury foods, and regular medical checks. Movement keeps the heart fit No matter what age and no matter what medical history: Our body is designed so that we can move. The movement clearly activates the body’s self-healing powers. Movement is essential for targeted preventive care – and it even speeds up healing after serious illnesses. While exercise cannot heal a seriously ill heart, it does improve the prospects for longer life. Privatdozent Dr. med. Friedhelm Späh told the German Heart Foundation: “Regular physical activity leads to a considerable decrease in mortality, especially for people over 65.” It also improves the quality of life in many ways. Nobody needs to do sports to strengthen their heart and circulation. Just 20 minutes of exercise in the fresh air a day can help you live a healthy life, whether it’s a walk, a short bike ride, or a few laps in the swimming pool.

Living With A Healthy Heart

Pay Attention To The Diet

Regularly fresh fruit and vegetables not only enrich the menu, they also taste good and, with their vitamins and trace elements, promote heart health and the immune system. A sedentary lifestyle and obesity are the most important risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. Living with a healthy heart means avoiding or reducing excess weight. Strict diets do not help. As a rule, they only lead to the yo-yo effect. What you lose in months with great abstinence is usually back on in a few weeks after the diet. Sustainable weight loss is especially successful if you change your diet so that you like to eat this way over the long term. A low-calorie mixed diet with lots of fresh regional and seasonal foods, preferably fruit and vegetables, is ideal. Even low-fat meat is not taboo – just in moderation. Whole grain products are a useful addition to the fresh menu. They make you feel full in the long term – and through dietary fiber and trace elements, they promote digestion as well as the metabolism and the immune system.

Check-Up Every Two Years

If you exercise enough, eat a healthy diet, and are of normal weight, the risk of heart attack, stroke, heart failure or high blood pressure is dramatically reduced. If you now have your family doctor checked you up every two years, the chances of a long, heart-healthy life are particularly good. Men and women from the age of 35 are also entitled to a check-up every 2 years with statutory health insurance. Among other things, you should have your blood lipid levels checked. Because elevated cholesterol levels can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. The main concern is atherosclerosis, which leads to constricted or brittle blood vessels. Do not postpone a visit to the doctor in the event of acute symptoms A heart-healthy life also includes going to the doctor in the event of heart or circulatory problems without a clearly identifiable or known cause.

Typical signs of cardiovascular disease are, for example:

    • Pulse irregularities with no apparent cause
    • recurring pain in the heart area
    • unusual spells of dizziness
    • inexplicable inefficiency
    • decreased resilience
    • pronounced fatigue
    • shortness of breath
    • increased sweating
    • swollen legs
    • severe weight gain for no explainable cause

The heart benefits from serenity – you too!

“This is dear to my heart” or “It breaks my heart” – we call the heart the seat of our feelings. Even if this is not anatomically correct (feelings arise through mental evaluations in the brain), these sentences show an important connection. Our heart is very sensitive to stress. No wonder: stress is a defense reaction that puts the body in a state of alarm. We drive at full throttle, so to speak – and even the best engine cannot withstand that in the long run. The most pleasant side of a healthy-hearted life looks like this: Let your legs – and your soul – dangle more often. Just do what you enjoy doing. So that you can enjoy your heart-healthy life to the full for a long time. And as at the beginning of this article, something that you have known for a long time with some certainty: Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption is harmful to the heart and health. Not that we are accused of forgetting.

Cholesterol Levels And The Influence Of Alcohol

We know that the food we eat can have an effect on our cholesterol level, but did you know that alcohol can also play a role? It is generally suggested that a glass of red wine per day can actually benefit cholesterol and heart health, but there are still many side effects associated with alcohol consumption.

Numerous studies have suggested that consuming alcohol, preferably red wine, in moderation can help promote heart health and even longevity. On the other hand, excessive alcohol consumption can actually increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, increase blood pressure, contribute to obesity, and increase blood triglycerides.

Heavy alcohol consumption was also associated with liver disease, heart weakened muscles, and even congestive heart failure. The American Heart Association does not recommend adding alcohol to your daily diet to support a healthy heart. Instead, they recommend eating well, maintaining a healthy weight, and exercising regularly.

cholesterol-levels-and-the-influence-of-alcohol

If you are already in a state of health, you should always discuss with your doctor if the alcohol intake is really safe for you. Alcohol can aggravate certain health conditions and can lead to negative side effects when dealing with medication.

Cholesterol And Alcohol Link

Your diet can definitely raise or lower your cholesterol level. Even if you think you are playing it safe because there is no cholesterol in alcohol, there are other ways in which alcohol can negatively affect your heart rate. For example, beer contains carbohydrates and alcohol that can increase your triglyceride count. Increased triglyceride levels can contribute to heart disease.

Beer also contains plant sterols that bind to cholesterol and transport it out of the body. That may sound promising, but researchers have found that beer does not have enough of plant sterols that significantly affect cholesterol levels.

Alcoholic spirits, such as whiskey and vodka, also contain no cholesterol, but when These drinks, which are served in premixed cocktails, contain high levels of sugar, which can affect cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

How Much Alcohol Should You Drink?

Moderate drinking is defined as one drink per day for men and women two drinks per day for men. Studies that have shown the benefits of moderate drinking for cholesterol and heart health use this definition. Drinking more than the recommended amount has been associated with adverse health effects.

It really is hard to say what to drink and how much to drink In relation to heart health and cholesterol. Generally, if you want to improve your heart rates, it is best to stick with healthy lifestyle choices. Since alcohol can affect many different aspects of your health, it is probably safer to avoid it to reduce other related complications such as liver disease. Not to say that you can not enjoy the occasional drink, but making alcohol part of your daily diet may not be worth it.

Triglycerides In Higher Concentrations May Increase The Risk Of Heart Attack

High triglyceride levels can increase the risk of heart disease. Triglycerides are the fat in our blood and work to energize the body. Extra triglycerides are stored for a future date if needed. Numerous studies suggest that high triglyceride levels increase the risk of heart disease.

Triglycerides form from the end product of digestion and come from the fat and carbohydrates we consume into energy for the body. Triglyceride levels are tested with a lipid panel, which is a similar test to how the cholesterol level is checked.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that high triglyceride levels pose a problem for nearly one-third of Americans. An increase in triglyceride levels has been observed over the last 30 years and yet only 1.3 percent of those with high levels take medication to lower it. This shows that more attention must be given to triglycerides, as high levels can have serious consequences and more should be done to reduce them, especially for those at high risk for heart disease.

The previous Study Shows Triglycerides Role In Coronary Heart Disease

Coronary artery disease is a common form of heart disease, and high levels of triglycerides can help. Studies by the Broad Institute show that reducing triglycerides can be an effective way to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.

Sekar Kathiresan, study leader, said, “The key question about these biomarkers over the years Who caused coronary artery disease and which are just an expression of the disease process? The reason this question is important is not the prediction, because biomarkers are useful to predict diseases, whether they are causal or not, the reason why we want to distinguish between these factors is the treatment, we really just want to attack the causes of the disease. ”

LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) has been a well-known factor in heart disease and has been shown to reduce a person’s risk of developing heart disease by supporting statins. HDL, on the other hand, has always been thought of as a factor in reducing heart disease, but no link was found on how HDL can help improve CAD.

The research team has shown 185 variations in genetic coding to be associated with blood lipid traits. Single nucleotide polymorphisms or “SNPs” are inherited from one or both parents.

The researchers then investigated whether SNPs affected the LDL, HDL, triglyceride levels, and CAD risk relationship between triglyceride levels and CAD similar to that of LDL and CAD. LDL cholesterol forms plaque along the arterial walls and so the researchers believe triglycerides can work similarly by depositing fat along the arteries.

Kathiresan concluded: “Clinically speaking, one of the ways to prevent a first heart attack or reduce the risk of a second heart attack in someone who already has heart disease to treat patients with drugs that lower levels of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins. Some drugs targeting triglycerides are already being tested, and now it’s time to find the right triglyceride-lowering mechanism that effectively reduces the risk of disease. ”

high-triglyceride-levels

Guidelines For Triglyceride Levels

The National Cholesterol Education Program has established guidelines for normal triglyceride levels as follows:

Normal triglyceride levels: below 150 mg/dl

    • Borderline high triglyceride ranges : 150 – 199 mg/dl
    • High triglyceride ranges: 200 – 499 mg/dl
    • Very high triglyceride ranges: 500 mg/dl or higher
    • Although cholesterol and fat are vital to the body, it is important to maintain a normal level, as high levels increase the risk of serious health problems, especially of the heart.

Diet cholesterol and triglycerides come from the consumption of red meat and dairy products. When consumed these foods are absorbed through the intestine and distributed through the bloodstream to reach the liver where they are processed. Thus, the liver can develop a non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, as a high-fat and high-cholesterol diet makes the liver greasy.

It is the job of the liver to deliver up to 75 percent of cholesterol and triglycerides to the body of cholesterol found in the body. 

Difference Between Triglycerides And Cholesterol

Although triglycerides and cholesterol are similar in the sense that they are fatty species, they have differences. A single significant difference between cholesterol and triglycerides is the fact that cholesterol is used to create cells and particular hormones in which triglycerides store unused calories and energize the human body.

Another difference is that cholesterol is strongly influenced by the fat that is consumed by diet where triglycerides are affected by total calories. Excess calories are converted to triglycerides and stored when the body needs energy. Things like alcohol and sugary foods can have a bigger impact on triglycerides.

Tips For Lowering Triglycerides And Increasing Hdl Cholesterol Levels

High LDL cholesterol and triglycerides can trigger serious health concerns and so it is important to raise HDL and lower triglyceride levels to maintain good health. Here are some tips to increase HDL levels and lower triglycerides.

Lose weight

    • Cutting Sugar – The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends only five percent of your daily calories come from added sugar
    • Increase your fiber intake
    • Border Fructose – Fructose is a type of sugar that can contribute to high triglyceride levels
    • A Moderately Low-Fat Diet – A moderately low-fat diet has proven to be effective in lowering triglyceride levels as opposed to a strict low-fat diet.
    • Pay attention to the fat you eat – there are good fats and bad fats. Avoid saturated and trans-fat fats and consume more monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fatty acids such as
    • Increase your fish consumption – try sardines and salmon
    • exercise
    • Restrict alcohol
    • If necessary, take triglyceride-lowering medication and recommended by your doctor
    • Quit smoking
    • Control diabetes if you have it

By following these tips and working closely with your doctor, you can lower your triglyceride levels and protect your heart.

Heart Healthy Foods – Low Fat Diet For High Cholesterol

A low-fat diet program for high cholesterol is concerned about consuming a variety of low-fat, heart-healthy foods as propagated by the American Heart Association (AHA). These foods can help remove harmful cholesterol from the body. In addition to eating the most beneficial foods, they need you to be prepared in a healthy manner to get optimal results. Plus, no heart healthy diet completely without exercise, a known cholesterol-lowering factor.

Heart-healthy foods

Eat heart healthy food. Be in accordance to the AHA, heart-healthy foods are high in fiber, low in fat and high in antioxidants. These heart-healthy foods can increase your “bad” cholesterol level (LDL) as well as decrease your “good” cholesterol level (HDL). Soluble fiber helps remove harmful cholesterol from the body.

Eat soluble fiber foods. Notable sources of soluble fiber include whole grains, lentils and beans, nuts and seeds, fruits and vegetables, and healthy oils of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated varieties. The USDA recommends eating at least 10g of soluble fiber daily to lower your LDL.

Eat oatmeal. A 1 1/2 cup serving of oatmeal, it says in the Mayo Clinic, contains 6 grams of soluble fiber. In fresh fruit and increase soluble fiber of 4 g. Top with cinnamon and low-fat milk to start your low-fat diet for high cholesterol day nutritiously.

Eat plant sterol foods as part of your low-fat diet for high cholesterol. Plant sterols contain a strong lowering of the cholesterol property along with many beneficial antioxidants. According to the American Dietetic Association, herbal sterols are notable in low-fat soy products such as tofu, tempeh, soy and soy milk; walnuts; avocados; Linseed and sunflower seeds. You can also buy foods fortified with plant sterols such as orange juice, margarine and fruit smoothies.

low-fat-diet-for-high-cholesterol-6

Not Heart Healthy Foods

Watch out for saturated and trans fats. Foods containing these fats, according to the Mayo Clinic and USDA, can increase your “bad” cholesterol levels.

Saturated fats are found in animal products such as offal and whole-fat dairy products, including egg yolks and red meats. These fats are also found in fried foods, processed and prepackaged foods, biscuits, bread and many fast foods.

Food Preparation Methods

Choose heart-healthy cooking methods. According to the AHA and the USDA, if your food is made in an unhealthy method, such as deep frying, it can increase your LDL level. Healthy Cooking Methods to choose high cholesterol from your low-fat diet include steaming, grilling, poaching and baking (without excessive oils).

Physical activity

Exercise. Your low-fat high-cholesterol diet must also include daily physical activity, according to the AHA. It is recommended to have 30 minutes daily for at least five days a week. The exercise does not have to be exhausting for you to reap health benefits. Physical activity can lower your LDL. Choose activities that you are happy with and switch to avoid boredom.

fat-burning-tips-on-weight-loss

5 Often Underrated Fat Burning Tips On Weight Loss

There are countless tips on weight loss, and many of them may already be familiar to most. “Change your diet to whole foods. Make sure you use more energy. Interval training with heavy weights is more effective than extensive cardio training “, etc. The list of advice could be endless. The tips and tricks presented here are intended for those who want to lose weight in a healthy way, regardless of whether you are already fit for good habits and want to reach the next level or just start losing weight.

    1. Ensure adequate hydration

How do you do that best? Just get used to drinking a glass of water in the morning and always before eating, and drink enough between meals. You should never feel thirsty.

    1. Avoid carbohydrates in the morning

There are many different theories about carbohydrate timing. You’ve probably heard that most carbohydrates should be taken in the morning, as the body needs to be refueled and needs new energy. Although this sounds logical in theory, it is not 100% correct in the end. Try to start your day with proteins for a week instead of carbohydrates.

    1. Home remedy for belly fat

Many choose the wrong way to reduce their belly fat. In doing so, many home remedies can reduce fat and form the body, causing miracles, provided they are applied. Of course, some stamina and patience is required before the first results are achieved, but it is absolutely worthwhile. Some of these helpful home remedies for losing weight are: tomato, ginger and apple cider vinegar.

    1. Vitamin D and magnesium

In weight loss, vitamin D and magnesium play an important role. They are very important for the metabolic processes in the body. An undersupply makes weight loss difficult or even impossible. Apart from the fiber, the loss of weight in the project is a major shortcoming for most people in the supply of vitamins and minerals.

    1. Ensure a sufficient and restful sleep

When you are well rested and well rested, your body will produce less ghrelin (which is a predominantly gastric hormone that reduces energy expenditure and causes starvation). The lower limit: you will have less appetite and burn more calories.

 

how-alcohol-affect-blood-pressure

How Alcohol And Caffeine Affect Blood Pressure

Introduction

Blood pressure is the measurement of the power of your blood on the walls of the blood vessels. Their blood vessels are the arteries, veins and capillaries. Blood pressure is an important concept as it helps to drive up the oxygen and nutrients that your body needs to survive throughout your system. Unfortunately, when the blood pressure becomes too high, it can potentially damage the blood vessels. Two substances that can contribute to higher blood pressure, if not used in moderation, are alcohol and caffeine.

Alcohol

According to the American Heart Association, drinking alcohol in moderation can potentially have a positive effect on your heart. However, “in moderation” means only one or two drinks a day for men, and only one drink a day for women. Once you start consuming more than these, your blood pressure can begin to be adversely affected. Alcohol first does this by disrupting blood flow to the heart by removing nutrient-rich blood from the heart. Alcohol is also high in calories, resulting in obesity, which in turn also raises blood pressure levels. According to the Mayo Clinic, if you are currently taking antihypertensive medication, alcohol can interfere with their ability to work, putting you at an even higher risk of dangerously high blood pressure.

Caffeine

Caffeine can also be beneficial in moderation. According to men’s health, caffeine can help actively activate dopamine molecules and can also help fight off Alzheimer’s. But just like alcohol, when not used in moderation, caffeine can also have harmful effects on your blood pressure. Caffeine affects the blood pressure by narrowing the blood vessels. It does this by binding with adenosine receptors in the body, which blocks the possibility of properly functioning adenosine. Adenosine is a hormone that is partially responsible for helping keep blood vessels far enough for blood to pass through easily. Caffeine also stimulates the release of adrenaline and adrenal cortisol. One of the side effects of releasing these chemicals into the bloodstream is an increase in blood pressure.

What Is A Heart Ablation and How Catheter Ablation Corrects Heart Rhythm

Heart ablation is the term used by cardiac specialists for the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias in which they deliberately obliterate pathological areas of the heart muscle tissue

Catheter ablation can permanently repair certain forms of cardiac arrhythmias. Beginnings of this treatment method exist since the eighties. Since then, technology has made tremendous progress. Today, numerous cardiology departments perform the procedure.

How does a catheter ablation work?

Understanding the principle of catheter ablation requires some basic knowledge of how the heart works: the heart consists of four heart cavities, two atria and two main chambers. The beating of the heart is generated by electrical impulses that arise at a specific location in the right atrium. From this so-called sinus node, the electrical impulses spread over the atria and the atrioventricular node (AV node) on the heart chambers and cause the contraction of the heart muscle (conduction system see also graph).

If there are additional faulty pathways or sites in the myocardial tissue that trigger further excitement, there will be episodic or persistent irregular heartbeat. This can be treated by the so-called catheter ablation. Depending on the cause of the disease, the doctors either devour the starting point of the additional heart beats or the abnormal pathways.

what-is-a-heart-ablation

When will a catheter ablation be used?

For most forms of cardiac arrhythmia, the doctor will first try to treat them with medication. If this therapy fails, catheter ablation can permanently rid the patient of his symptoms in certain types of arrhythmia:

In Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome (WPW syndrome), there is a congenital pathway between the atria and the ventricles as a short circuit. About the short-circuit connection, the excitement reach the chambers prematurely. It comes to the attacking tachycardia. After catheter ablation, when the expert obliterates the extra pathway, cardiac arrhythmia has disappeared in over 95 percent of cases.

In AV node reentry tachycardia, the electrical impulses circulate in the AV node. This causes tachycardia. Catheter ablation is the treatment of choice for this common cardiac arrhythmia and is successful in more than 95 percent of cases.

In atrial tachycardia (“atrial tachycardia”), the electrical impulses do not emanate from the sinus node but from other locations in the right atrium. The chances of a successful catheter ablation are slightly lower in atrial tachycardia than in WPW syndrome and AV node reentry tachycardia.

In typical atrial flutter, there is also a circular excitement in the right atrium. As the cardiac arrhythmia can be permanently cured by the catheter ablation in 95 percent of cases, it is clearly superior to the drug therapy.

Atrial fibrillation can be caused by electrical impulses from the pulmonary veins. When atrial fibrillation causes discomfort such as shortness of breath or heart failure, doctors use catheter ablation to electrically isolate the pulmonary veins. As a result, the interfering impulses should no longer reach the forecourts. The procedure lasts several hours. So far, he has been successful in seizure-related atrial fibrillation in about 70 percent of cases. For chronic atrial fibrillation, the success rate is just over 50 percent. Therefore, catheter ablation is only used when medications can not normalize the heart rhythm. Often, the patient must continue to take medication after ablation. In some cases, the catheter ablation needs to be repeated.

Although isolation of the pulmonary veins is not possible, there is still the possibility of AV node ablation. By sclerosing the AV node, the atria and chambers of the heart are completely separated electrically. The patient then needs a pacemaker. Therefore, AV node ablation is only an emergency solution.

How does a catheter ablation work?

Catheter ablation is usually performed as part of an electrophysiological examination (EPU) in the hospital. The standard procedure is radiofrequency ablation. Their principle is that the catheter tip delivers heat to the tissue with pinpoint accuracy. Other ablation procedures work with cold (cryoablation).

The inpatient admission usually takes place the day before the procedure so that the medical history can be recorded, the reconnaissance interview conducted and necessary preliminary examinations can be made.

Catheter ablation is performed like a cardiac catheter or EPU under local anesthesia. The patient is conscious. If necessary, the doctor administers painkillers and sedatives. First, the doctor examines exactly the cardiac arrhythmias and their place of origin in the EPU. Then he sets in the heart tissue on the ablation catheter targeted small scars of a few millimeters, to prevent the emergence or transmission of cardiac arrhythmia. After the sclerotherapy, if necessary, the doctor tests whether the cardiac arrhythmia can still be triggered by electrical impulses.

The duration of the procedure is very variable and can hardly be predicted. It can take two to six hours or, in some cases, even longer. The procedure after the procedure is similar to the follow-up treatment with the EPU: The doctor removes the catheters from the heart. In order to prevent rebleeding, he supplies the puncture site with a pressure dressing, which should remain there for 6 to 12 hours. During this time, the patient must observe strict bed rest so that the dressing does not slip. Mostly he can go back to work after a few days.

What are the risks and side effects of catheter ablation?

In most cases, the procedure is without complications. The complications that can occur with catheter ablation are essentially the same as those of the EPU. The doctor discusses it with the patient in a consultation before the examination.