Heart problems can strike people of any age and race though admittedly middle-aged and senior persons make up the majority. The causes are many and so are the types. It is the leading cause of death in the West and some European countries. In fact, statistics show that heart problems have a higher malignancy than even some types of cancers.

Like many lifestyle diseases, heart failure (In French insuffisance cardiaque) can occur due to prolonged tobacco use, inactivity, obesity and alcohol consumption. Since it encompasses so many types of heart problems, its treatment will differ. However, what doctors usually do is treat the underlying causes, advice lifestyle changes, prescribe medication and/or undertake surgery. Since problems can aggravate over time, it is important for people to consult a doctor if they believe they may be showing symptoms.

Some medications used to treat heart attacks are diuretics or water pills to help kidneys produce more urine to flush out excess toxins. Angiotensive converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors dilate or widen the arteries so that the heart doesn’t have to pump too hard for blood to flow. For abnormal heart rhythms, anti-arrhythmic drugs are prescribed to regulate heart beat. To block the effect harmful hormones can have on disease progressions and to lower blood pressure, beta-blockers are taken. Since we excrete potassium and magnesium through urine, supplements are often times prescribed along with diuretics.

Depending on the severity of the problem, doctors may advice surgery. Some of the types include implanting pacemakers and artificial heart valves, coronary artery bypass graft or angioplasty to prevent or treat heart failure due to blocked arteries, fixing congenital heart defects, heart transplantation for those suffering from its most severe forms, Left Ventricular Assist Devices (LVAD) and heart reconstruction. The last can be done using certain procedures like valve repair, Batista procedure, Acorn procedure, Dr procedure and dynamic cardiomegaly.

Since the number of heart attack (In French attaque cardiaque) and heart failure cases is on the rise, scientists will be making more advances in its treatment. More drugs will be invented and surgical procedures will be honed to increase success rate and help people live a longer life. But like most lifestyle diseases, heart failure too can be prevented, saving a ton of money on health care costs. All that’s needed is information and will power.

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