Pregnant ladies - take care of your heart!
It’s most important to prevent a heart disease than taking treatment later. In the continuous observation of heart patients in Framingham of America from 1979 to 2002, they found an interesting result. Known as Framingham data, it says that though heart diseases in males have decreased over this period, it’s seen increasing in women. It shows that periodic changes occurring in the life style of a woman is influencing her heart’s health condition a lot.
When a girl attains puberty in her teens, estrogen hormones start producing and this process keeps going on till she reaches menopause. Estrogen hormones play an important role in protecting a woman’s heart and that’s the reason why early signs of heart problems normally appear in her, soon after menopause. Still it’s to be noted that those ladies suffering from diabetics and high blood pressure are not getting the benefits of estrogens. Taking contraceptive pills can also increase the chances of heart diseases. Also, heart problems should be avoided during pregnancy and delivery time.
Contraceptives and heart diseases
Those ladies who want to use contraceptive pills to avoid pregnancy should consult a doctor first. Most of such pills contain hormones in mild quantities that can increase blood pressure of the lady. Those ladies who already have heart problems, obesity or diabetics, such pills can cause complications later.
It doesn’t mean such pills can cause heart diseases in ladies. But it increases its chances, particularly in those who already had some heart problems in the past. So, frequent use of contraceptive pills should be done only after an expert’s opinion.
Always remember, using emergency contraceptive pills gives more risk as hormone content in such pills is higher. So, they should be used only at emergency situations. Never make it a habit. Also, frequent use of emergency contraceptive pills can invite many other problems also, not only heart related.
Problems during pregnancy
Heart works more during pregnancy period. At normal period, heart pumps blood at the rate of 5 litres per minute. But during pregnancy time, it pumps blood at the rate of 15 litres per minute. That means, heart is taking 3 fold efforts during pregnancy. So, heart health is very significant during those 8-9 months.
It’s common, pregnant ladies are prone to sugar attacks and high blood pressure. It shows signs as swelling around legs. If she already has some heart problems, it may give rise to more complications than usual. For a group of ladies, it ends with delivery while in another group, risk still persists. If so, high blood pressure and diabetics may lead to heart problems in distant future. Rheumatic heart diseases have decreased considerably. Yet such risks are still there.
If she was born as a heart patient
Some girls may be born with defects like problems of heart valves or imbalance of heart beats. Many ladies exist around us having such problems from childhood. So, such ladies should go through a detailed heart checkup before conceiving. Also, from the first month of pregnancy itself she should consult a heart specialist as well. If she needs further attention, she should continue it, according to doctor’s instructions. In such ladies, she may have some complications during delivery also. So, give special attention!
It’s a heart disease seen in ladies related to delivery. It may appear at her 9th month of pregnancy or before 5-6 months of delivery. Though it’s a rare heart disease, it can’t be taken easy.
Any damage to heart may lead to peripartum cardiomyopathy which results in loss of strength of heart muscles and lower pumping rate of heart. Slow function of heart consequently lead to problems in lungs, liver and other interior organs.
- According to American statistics, one lady in 1300-4000 delivery cases may become the victim of peripartum cardiomyopathy.
- Chances are most for mothers above 30.
- Obesity can also increase its chances.
- Malnutrition during pregnancy can lead to this disease
- Heart patients are at more risk.
- Those ladies who have the habits of passive smoking and drinking are also attacked easily.
The main problem of this disease is that it can’t be detected earlier. Symptoms seen during pregnancy period may be assumed as normal changes of a pregnant lady.
- Loss of balance of heart beat is the primary symptom. Heart may beat too fast or too slow. Such irregular heart beats should never be neglected.
- Breathing problem is another symptom. She may feel discomfort while breathing out. Such condition is severe while she is lying down.
- Fatigue without any reason
- Frequent urination at night
- Swelling in joints
Most of the above symptoms are a part of normal pregnancy also. That’s the reason why it’s difficult to detect this disease at the first phase.
Detailed observation can help you to know problems with functioning of heart. It’s to be examined if swellings happen inside lungs or respiratory tracts. Blood pressure may reduce considerably, particularly when you stand. Through X-rays, CT scan and ECG the disease can be detected easily.
Since it’s a serious condition, patient may need to stay at hospital till she is out of risk. Heart should start function perfectly ok, as before. Then only it can be assumed that she is out of risk. Now medicines are available to increase the pumping capability of heart. Sometimes, treatments like balloon heart pump may be necessary.
Each disease has its own complexities. In some ladies, heart risks may be lowered while in others, some problems still persists. In some ladies, heart functioning may slowly deteriorate leading to serious problems like pulmonary embolism or cardiac arrhythmia.
Save your heart
- Eat complete and nutritious food provided with all supplements needed for a healthy heart.
- Through cardiovascular exercises, we can improve the functioning of heart. Brisk walk is a good cardiovascular disease.
- Keep distance from all smoking habits, even passive smoking
- Those ladies who already have heart problems should seek advice of a doctor before conceiving.
Still a myth exists that heart diseases happens only at middle ages or old age. Due to this reason, we are neglecting the heart problems of pregnant ladies assuming she is young and healthy. A defect or disease can happen to anyone at any stage of our life. So ladies, take special care of your heart while you are carrying a child. Another heart has already started beating inside you!
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