Human heart is an amazing organ. It pumps blood to almost 750 trillion cells, beats 72 times a minute,100,000 times a day and 3,600,000 a year. These are some of the amazing facts to start with, now lets see more facts about heart

  • A human heart has its own electric impulse, therefore it can be seperated from the human body provided that enough oxygen is given to it.
  • Most heart attacks occur between 7 am and 8 am especially on a monday.
  • A womans heart beats faster than a man's heart.
  • Everyday 2500 people die of heart diseases

What is a heart?

Our heart is a hollow muscle which is almost the size of a fist. Its a common myth that our heart is located at the left side ,but actually heart rests in the centre between  the lungs above the diagphram. The strong walls contract squeezing blood to the arteries. It is a four chambered hollow organ which is divided into left and right by a muscular wall called the septum . The right and left side of the hearts are divided into two chambers called the atria . Atria receive blood from the veins. It is divided into two bottom chambers called ventricles which pump blood into the arteries

Parts of heart

  1. Pulmonary veins
  2. Left Atrium
  3. Right Atrium
  4. Aorta
  5. Valves
  6. Left ventricle
  7. Right ventricle
  8. Pulmonary Artery
  9. Septum
  10. Mitral valve
  11. Bicuspid Valve
  12. Semi-lunar aortic valve
  13. Semi-lunar pulmonary valve

The major blood vessels which are connected to the heart are

  1. Aorta
  2. Superior vena cava
  3. Inferior vena cava
  4. Pulmonary arteries
  5. Pulmonary veins
  6. Coronary arteries

Now lets look at all these parts in detail

1) Aorta : The largest blood vessel in our body, this amazing blood carrying vessel has a diameter of a thumb. It carries oxygen rich blood from the left ventricle to the various parts of the human body

2) Superior vena cava : These are veins which carry de-oxygenated blood from the blood and delivers it to the heart. Veins from the upper body and head carry the de-oxygenated blood and feeds it into superior vena cava and then it is delivered to the right atrium

3) Inferior vena cava:Inferior vena cava is the other vein which carries de-oxygenated blood and delivers it to the heart. The veins from the lower body and legs are fed into the inferior vena cava which empties it into the right atrium

4) Right atrium: Right atrium receives deoxygenated blood from the superior vena cava and the inferior vena cave. There is a valve which seperates the atrium from the ventricle . It is called the tricuspid valve. The tricuspid valve contracts when the atrium receives blood

5) Left atrium : It receives oxygenated blood from the lungs through the pulmonary veins

6) Right ventricle : Ventricles are the bottom chambers of the heart. Right ventricle receives the deoxygenated blood as the the right atrium contracts. At this time pulmonary valve connecting to the pulmonary artery is closed . As the ventricle is filled with blood, this valve opens and the blood passed into the pulmonary vein so that it can be lead to the lungs for oxygenation

7) Left ventricle: Left ventricle receives the oxygenated blood as left atrium contracts. At this time the aortic valve connecting to the aortic artery is closed. Now as the left ventricle is filled with blood, this valve opens and the blood is fed into the aortic artery so that it can be oxygenated blood can be fed into different parts of the body

8) Pulmonary arteries: Arteries carry blood away from the heart. Therefore pulmonary artery carries the de-oxygenated blood from the right ventricle to the lungs for oxygenation

9) Pulmonary vein: Veins carry blood to the heart. Pulmonary artery carries blood from the lungs which is rich in oxygen to the left atrium

10) Tricuspid valve : As mention above tricuspid valve seperates the right atrium from the right ventricle. It opens soon after the right atrium is filled with blood so that it is forced into the right ventricle. Soon after this the tricuspid valve closes so as to prevent the blood returning to the right atrium. Then the blood is forced to move out through the pulmonary vein into the lungs

11) Mitral valve : Mitral valve seperates left atrium from left ventricle. It opens soon after the left atrium is filled with oxygenated blood so that it is forced into the left ventricle. Soon after this the Mitral valve closes so as to prevent blood returning to the left atrium. The the bloodis forced to move out through the aortic artery to the whole body

12) Pulmonary valve : It seperates the pulmonary vein from the right ventricle. It only open as the right ventricle is filled with blood so that de-oxygenated blood can be fed to the lungs

13) Aortic valve : It seperates the aortic artery from the left ventricle. It only open as the left ventricle is filled with blood so that oxygenated blood can be fed to the whole body

How does the heart work?

The right and the left side of the heart work together

RIGHT SIDE

De-oxygenated blood from the body are transported to the right atrium by the superior and inferior vena cava. After the right atrium is filled with blood the tricuspid valve opens , then the blood is emptied into the right ventricle. As soon as this happens the tricuspid valve closes so that the blood doesnt flow back to the right atrium . Pulmonary valve opens at this time and the blood is pumped into the pulmonary artery through which is fed to the lungs for oxygenation

LEFT SIDE

Oxygenated blood from the lungs is emptied into the left atrium through the pulmonary veins. As soon as the left atrium is filled with blood, the mitral valve opens so that it is emptied into the left ventricle. As soon as the left ventricle is filled with blood, the mitral valve closes so that blood flow to the atrium is prevented. The aortic valve opens , so that oxygen rich blood is fed to the aorta so that it can be fed into the whole body

This is the working of the heart. All these processes happen so fast that the entire body receives blood within seconds. Now having discussed the working lets see the common factors which causes heart failure

COMMON RISK FACTORS

1) HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE : Blood pressure is the force with which blood pushes against the artery when heart pumps blood .Blood pressure is usually low when you sleep and high when you wake up . Also it can be high when you are excited,anxious etc. This is the most common risk factor for heart disease. It means that the heart has to work more to pump blood. Common symptoms include light headness,dizziness, altered vision etc

2) HIGH CHOLESTROL : Cholestrol is the fat like substance that is carried in the body. Liver produces enough fat for the creation of cell memranes  hormones etc. Problem arises when you have food with larger fat content like meat ,eggs etc. The main problem is the saturated fat in the foods. Food rich in saturated fats are coconut oil, red meat, diary products etc. This fat deposits at the coronary artery and is the major cause of heart disease

3) DIABETES: Diabetes is the symptom which causes high level of sugar level in your body either because of low insulin production in your body or due to the low response to insulin. Its a lifelong problem and the common symptoms include thirst, blurry vision, fatigue etc. Over the years high blood sugar causes damage to the blood vessels. Two out of three people with diabetes die out of heart disease

4) SMOKING : Apart from causing lung cancer, smoking also results in heart disease. It raises the blood pressure, damages the arteries, increases heart rate. Nicotine is the major ingredient which causes lung cancer. Other than this other components like tar and carbon monoxide are also found to be harmful. This affects the blood vessels and also increase the cholestrol levels

5) STRESS: Stress is also one of the contributing factor to heart disease. People deal with stress differently, so how much stress affects us can vary from person to person.

6) GENDER: Usually heart disease affects men more than women untill the menopause. After this it affects the same way

8) AGE: Age is also a contributing factor to  heart disease. As age progresses, our blood vessels thicken, cholestrol level increases and blood pressure also increases

9) HEREDITY : This is also an important factor. If heart disease runs in your family, then you are more likely to suffer from heart diseases. Risk factors may be passed from one generation to other

10) ALCOHOL : Moderate alcohol intake reduces the risk of  heart disease. An average drink has 200-300 calories. Drinking more than this moderate level may increase the risk of heart intake. It thickens the blood vessels, irregular heart beats and stroke

COMMON HEART DISEASES

1) CORONARY HEART DISEASE : This is mainly due to the narrowing of the arteries due to the build up of fatty acids through time. This can result in severe chest pain. Symptoms might not appear until the arteries are completely constricted so that blood flow is completely limited. Chest pain worsens with exercise and frequency of chest pain also increases

2) CARDIOMYOPATHY:Myocardium is the heart muscle. In this particular type of heart disease, the heat muscle becomes enlarged, rigid and thick. This weakens the heart muscle , therefore it wont be able to pump the blood as well as it should. One or more chambers of the heart may dilate causing enlargement of the heart chambers. It maybe because of the exposure of heart to different chemicals like alcohol and cocain that restrict the blood flow to the heart

3) MYOCARDITIS : It is the inflammation of the heart muscle. In most cases there might not be any symptoms, if there are then it might be chest pain, irregular heart beats etc. This may be due to infection ,virus, pregnancy etc. It is an uncommon disorder and it is mainly caused due to a viral infection. Most serious myocarditis can cause weakening of heart muscle, thereby causing heart failure

4) PERICARDIAL DISEASE : Pericardium is a sac like membrane that surrounds the heart. It is the infection of this sac that causes this disease. It maybe due to bacterial or viral infection. Pericardial effusion is the abnormal accumulation of fluid in the pericardial activity. There is only limited space in the pericardial sac, so the abnormal accumulation of fluid can result in huge pressure which may cause heart failure

5) CONGESTIVE HEART FAILURE: It is the condition in which heart cannot function properly, that is it cannot pump blood properly. Common symptoms include shortness of breath, fatigue, swelling etc. As a result of this it cannot fill the chambers effectively. As a result blood backs up into leg,liver, hands , feet etc

6) ENDOCARDITIS : It is the inflammation of the membrane lining the heart and heart valves. It maybe due to a micro organism or an infection


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