However, as an athlete or trainer it is very important to know the most common diseases of the heart in order to be able to prevent and react in case of emergency. In this article we want to provide an overview of the most common cardiovascular diseases – what are the typical symptoms and what is the correct therapy? How can I do preventive for my heart?
Arteriosclerosis is also generally referred to as calcification of the arteries. This is when the vessels thicken and harden, losing their elasticity. In most cases, however, arteriosclerosis is only the cause of serious consequences: In advanced stages, the arteries become clogged, leading to circulatory problems in important organs such as the heart, brain or kidneys. In addition, arteriosclerosis is associated with the risk of secondary diseases such as high blood prere, lipid metabolism disorders and diabetes mellitus.
In addition to unchangeable characteristics such as age, gender and hereditary factors, risk factors also include certain behavioral patterns. Smoking, poor diet, obesity, stress, lack of exercise – a healthy lifestyle can significantly reduce personal risk.
Coronary heart disease
A well-known consequence of coronary heart disease is coronary insufficiency. The degree of severity is divided into 4 levels, whereby level 3 stands for a 75-99% constriction of the heart arteries and usually results in angina pectoris (heart pain). This is manifested by pain behind the sternum, which usually occurs after physical exertion and is of short duration. Normally they radiate in shoulder. Arm of the left side out. Most sufferers can be helped in the short term by nitrate (z.B. Nitrospray) can be used to provide relief.
Unstable angina pectoris often results in a heart attack. This means nothing other than the death of a limited part of the heart musculature. If the patient does not respond to nitro administration, complains of weakness or anxiety, and has a drop in blood prere and cardiac arrhythmia, the only option is immediate hospitalization.
One tries to counteract a renewed infarction with blood coagulants. This is to prevent another thrombus (blood clot) from completely closing the artery. Excessive and stressful sport increases the risk of blood clot formation, while well-dosed sport, on the contrary, promotes its dissolution.
In the case of coronary insufficiency, the blood supply and thus the oxygen supply to the heart can no longer be adequately guaranteed. In most cases the cause is the aforementioned arteriosclerosis, so here too the best precaution is to eliminate the risk factors. Important: In the case of acute symptoms, it is important not to wait, but to go to a clinic immediately!
Sport is of great importance both as a preventive measure and for rehabilitation. In principle, there is no restriction in the choice of sport. In sports therapy, it is particularly important to help the patient achieve a general assessment of his or her exercise capacity, to strengthen aerobic endurance, and to provide him or her with relaxation techniques and means of reducing stress. There are special cardiac sports groups that offer a safe and easy (re)entry into sports for heart patients. The social component also plays a role here: those affected meet like-minded people and, in addition to exchanging experiences, also find that they are more resilient than they often believe.
If the heart is no longer capable of pumping the amount of blood required by the body, this is called heart failure. Only the left or right ventricle or the entire heart can be affected. Symptoms of the disease differ depending on the form. For example, an insufficient left ventricle leads to shortness of breath, while the right brings visible venous congestion or even weight gain. If the entire heart is affected, it enlarges, the pulse increases and there is a stronger urge to urinate at night. Again, the cause is usually coronary heart disease or high blood prere. The exercise recommendation remains the same, but should be supplemented by a diet rich in potassium and low in sodium chloride.
Heart valve defects
The heart valves act as valves between the arteries, atria and ventricles. They prevent the blood from flowing back in the wrong direction. In the event of disease, the valves may narrow or no longer close properly. This is referred to as stenosis or insufficiency of the heart valves. These heart valve defects can be congenital or the result of a rheumatic fever. Both forms lead to hypertrophy of the heart. Thereafter for heart failure. Therefore, therapeutic measures follow the recommendations for heart failure. If discomfort occurs even with light exertion, surgery is the normal course of action. In this case, either the existing heart valve can be "repaired" or replaced by artificial as well as biological valves.
Different clinical pictures can affect the normal rhythm of the heart. This is summarized under the collective term "cardiac arrhythmia". Besides the already mentioned coronary heart disease. Other heart defects are mainly triggered by heart muscle inflammation. But also high blood prere, the psyche, a disturbed electrolyte balance, hyperthyroidism, oxygen deficiency, medications, as well as intoxicants can be causes.
At a frequency of 250-300 contractions per minute visible on the ECG, one speaks of ventricular flutter, while at 350-600 ventricular fibrillation sets in. This is the most serious form of cardiac arrhythmia, because here the pumping function of the heart comes to a complete standstill and the blood supply to the vital organs is no longer guaranteed. Without treatment, immediate death is the consequence.
Therefore, fast action is important. The first immediate measure to be taken is the ABC rule is used: AClear the pathways, Beatmen and Circulation (cardiac massage).
Complementary DEF an: Drugs (drugs), EKG diagnostics (defibrillation) and flocal treatment via emergency physician/intensive care unit.
In the long term, a pacemaker helps affected people. When training with these devices, it should be noted that the heart rate no longer allows an assessment of the workload. Other parameters such as perspiration, respiration or the patient's own sense of exertion are to be taken into account here. Extensive arm movements and very strenuous exertion should be avoided due to the increased risk of thrombosis.
High blood prere
When measuring blood prere, a distinction is made between the systolic and diastolic phases. The first refers to the moment when the heart pumps blood into the body, while the second refers to the filling phase of the heart. Imagine a blow bar into which the air flows (diastolic) when you open it and comes out (systolic) when you close it. The guideline value is 120/80 mmHg, although the outdated prere unit millimeters of mercury is still used in medicine.
This value is determined not only by the pure performance of the heart but also by the vessels. The smaller the diameter and the farther the vessels are from the heart, the higher the blood prere. It therefore makes sense to measure blood prere by means of a cuff on the left upper arm and not, for example, on the wrist.
From a permanent value of 140/90 the blood prere is considered elevated. In case of high blood prere (hypertension) there are different gradations.