The Working Man And Heart Disease

Regardless of the kind of work you do, whether it's a desk job or construction laborer, you are susceptible to heart disease. Diet, exercise, and heredity are all factors affecting a man's heart. If you don't have a physical on a regular basis, you should make an appointment with a cardiologist. These heart specialists will tell you how at risk you are of developing a cardiac disease. The following heart diseases are common in men, and something you want to know about and avoid.

Coronary artery disease

This is commonly known as hardening of the arteries, and atherosclerosis. If the blood vessels that feed the heart become blocked, the heart muscle begins to suffer. You may start out having angina, or chest pain, as the heart muscle is slowly starved. Eventually, you will have a heart attack, from which you may or may not recover.

High cholesterol is one of the causes of this disease, as is heredity. If you have a lot of fatty, red meat in your diet, you likely have high cholesterol. Your doctor can do a simple blood test to check your cholesterol levels. Medication and a change in diet will reduce your cholesterol and your risk of a heart attack.

If you have angina, or a full-blown heart attack, surgery to clear out those blocked blood vessels is necessary. The procedure can be as simple as threading a catheter up a vein in your leg to your heart. Then a plastic device is placed in the heart vein which opens up the blood vessel. Or you may require vein grafts which requires opening up your chest and doing surgery directly on your heart.

Heart arrhythmia

Your body sends electrical signals to your heart which makes it pump blood through your body. These signals work to keep your heart beating at an optimum rhythm. If you develop an irregular heartbeat, you can become dizzy, weak or your heart can feel like it's racing in your chest.

There are a number of things that can cause an irregular heartbeat including:

  • coronary artery disease
  • chemical imbalance in the blood
  • childhood illnesses that damage the heart

Treatment of an arrhythmia is typically through medication or the use of a pacemaker. If the rhythm problems are severe, surgery may be done to remove scar tissue on the heart that interrupts the electrical charge.

Heart valve disease

Small, muscular valves in your heart direct the flow of blood into and out of the heart. These valves must be healthy for you to have good circulation. If a valve doesn't seal properly, you can experience weakness, dizziness and may even faint. High cholesterol can produce plaque on the valves or they may become damaged by an infection. The only treatment for a failing valve is open heart surgery.

No matter how healthy you think your are, conditions can arise that increase your risk of heart disease. The only way to be sure is to see a heart specialist for a complete cardiac exam. Don't wait until the pain in your chest starts to make an appointment.