Common heart conditions
In order for your heart to function properly, it needs all of the following to work efficiently:
- Your heart's pumping action: when your heart muscle cannot meet your body's demand for blood and oxygen your body develops a range of different symptoms. This is referred to as heart failure because of the failure of your heart to work efficiently.
- The blood supply to your heart: coronary heart disease occurs if the main arteries, which supply blood to your heart, are narrowed or blocked. This is the most common form of heart disease and can lead to angina and / or heart attacks.
- Some people experience symptoms similar to a heart attack (such as chest pain and breathlessness), however, there is no evidence of the main arteries being narrowed or blocked. Instead, the bottom left chamber of the heart is significantly larger than normal. This often occurs as a result of intense emotional or physical stress and is known as Tako-tsubo cardiomyopathy or broken heart syndrome.
- Your heart's electrical system: if the electrical signals within your heart are interrupted or disturbed then your heart can beat too quickly (tachycardia), too slowly (bradycardia) and / or in an irregular way. This is called an arrhythmia.
- Your heart valves: problems with valves increase the workload of your heart and can put a strain on your heart muscle, leading to a range of different symptoms.
High blood pressure is another common heart condition. Though it is not a disease in itself, it can lead to an increased risk of developing serious conditions such as heart disease, angina, heart attacks and strokes.