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Acquired heart disease, as the name implies, is acquired by a person after birth as a result of various factors affecting the body. There are several types of acquired heart defects - valve insufficiency, stenosis, combined heart disease. However, this is not the only classification.
At the initial stages of the disease, the patient may not feel any symptoms of the disease, which is explained by the huge reserve capacities of the heart, but they are still not unlimited.
Treatment of acquired heart disease is either conservative or surgical. Surgery gives excellent results.
For a speedy recovery and maintaining his health, the patient must strictly follow all the doctor's recommendations - this applies to both drug treatment and a certain daily regimen.
Diagnosis of acquired heart disease includes familiarization with the patient's complaints, electrocardiogram, cardiac x-ray, ultrasound examination of the heart and laboratory tests.
Preventive measures are important, which generally relate to the prevention of all cardiovascular diseases. In particular, anyone over forty years old should regularly do an electrocardiogram and thereby monitor the state of their heart.
If a person is already sick with a heart defect, then he should be supported by the regimen that the doctor will recommend for him. This applies to lifestyle, physical activity, nutrition. Otherwise, the heart defect can go into the stage of decompensation, when the reserve capacity of the heart is exhausted.
Acquired heart disease is the result of various diseases. It develops after the birth of a person and in most cases is a consequence of rheumatism. Heart disease occurs immediately after damage to the valves or septa of the heart chambers.
Valve insufficiency is one of the variants of acquired heart disease. Acquired heart disease is often represented by wrinkling of the valve leaflets, a change in its shape, as a result of such changes, the hole between the chambers of the heart cannot close completely (the valves are changed and cannot function correctly). This leads to the fact that some of the blood begins to flow in the opposite direction, as a result of which the load on the heart increases. The mass of the heart with a defect increases.
Stenosis is another variant of acquired heart disease. In this case, heart disease is represented by a lesion of its valves, which is accompanied by fusion of the heart valves. Normal blood flow is impaired due to narrowing of the opening that exists between the chambers of the heart.
Acquired heart disease can be represented by both valve insufficiency and stenosis. In this case, they speak of a combined heart disease. Valve insufficiency, stenosis and combined heart disease are subdivisions of the classification, which is based on the functional and morphological characteristics of heart valve lesions.
There are several classifications of acquired heart disease. For etiology (for reasons), this disease is divided into atherosclerotic, rheumatic heart disease and others. According to the number of affected heart valves and their localization, the acquired heart disease is divided into isolated heart disease (when only one valve is affected), combined heart disease (when two or more heart valves are affected), as well as defects of the aortic, tricuspid, mitral valves, as well as the valve pulmonary trunk. There is a classification based on the severity of the defect. This degree shows how impaired the intracardiac hemodynamics is. In this case, the acquired heart disease can be classified as follows: a defect that does not have a noticeable effect on intracardiac hemodynamics, as well as defects that have a moderate and strong effect on intracardiac hemodynamics.
Acquired heart disease may not manifest itself. Indeed, such a patient is capable of not recognizing any special manifestations of the existing disease. This is due to the fact that the heart has tremendous reserve capacity. These capabilities allow the heart to do its job in full, and a person, naturally, may not notice the disease - the increased work of healthy parts of the heart compensates for the work of the affected part. In this case, the presence of an acquired heart defect and its signs can only be recognized by a specialist cardiologist. The cardiologist determines whether a person has a change in the size and tone of the heart, draws attention to the characteristic heart murmurs.
The compensatory abilities of the heart are not unlimited. The progression of heart disease is inevitable, which leads to the depletion of organ reserves. This can result in the development of heart failure. From this moment, the heart defect becomes decompensated. The situation can be aggravated by various diseases (first of all, we are talking, of course, about cardiovascular diseases), as well as physical overload on the body, exposure to stress and strong emotional experiences. However, most often this kind of violation of compensation is a reversible process. The cardiologist prescribes to the patient a certain course of treatment, which depends on the type of defect and the degree of its severity in the patient.
With acquired heart disease, blood circulation is impaired. Insufficient heart valves lead to reverse blood flow. In this regard, there is an overflow of the heart chambers with blood and, as a result, hypertrophy of the muscular wall of the chambers. The consequence of acquired heart disease is a decrease in minute and stroke blood volumes. This is due to the narrowing of the intracardiac foramen. If the myocardium (heart muscle) is in a state of overstrain for a long time, then a direct consequence of this is a weakening of the contractile force of the heart muscle and the development of heart failure.
The diagnosis of acquired heart disease is based on many studies. If a cardiologist suspects that his patient has a heart defect, then in order to diagnose this disease, the specialist will have to conduct a multilateral examination. Firstly, the initial stage of diagnosis is based on a patient survey, which includes information about rheumatism (whether the patient has this disease or not), as well as the patient's well-being during physical exertion on the body and at rest. Secondly, the specialist determines the boundaries of the heart in order to confirm or deny hypertrophy, and also listens to heart sounds and murmurs. The third stage of diagnosis is an electrocardiogram (it is also possible to conduct a daily electrocardiogram). If there is a need for an exercise test, then such a procedure should be performed strictly under the supervision of a resuscitator. A necessary step in the diagnosis of acquired heart disease is the X-ray of the heart, which is carried out in four projections. Evaluation of data of ultrasound examination of the heart, as well as laboratory tests, is of great importance. This kind of examination of a patient with an already diagnosed heart defect should take place every year.
With acquired heart disease, the patient's mode of life is of great importance. This is especially true for the period of decompensation. The mode of life should be gentle. However, this does not at all mean that the patient should completely abandon any physical activity. The latter is necessary only in extremely severe cases of heart disease. In addition, it seems absolutely necessary to maintain a diet and follow absolutely all the doctor's recommendations. As for the diet, it can be very strict, but this is not a reason to refuse it. With acquired heart disease, even surgical treatment is possible. Surgical intervention is necessary in cases where conservative treatment has not yielded positive results. In no case should you be afraid of surgical treatment, as it gives very good results. The prognosis is favorable, such treatment relieves the patient not only of the negative consequences of the disease, but also of the disease itself. Treatment without fail is aimed at the physical rehabilitation of patients who have undergone surgery.
Surgical treatment of acquired heart disease is the only radical treatment for this disease. It includes surgical correction of valvular lesions. However, surgery is not always possible. Contraindications to surgical treatment may be late diagnosis of acquired heart disease, serious condition of patients, refusal of surgery and other contraindications. When preparing for surgical treatment, medical preparation for the operation is of great importance. In addition, the treatment of acquired heart disease must necessarily include the treatment of the disease that led to it - in most cases, it is rheumatism.
In order to prevent the development of heart disease, prevention of this disease is important. Prevention of heart disease itself coincides with the prevention of diseases that can lead to its development. If the heart defect has already developed, then it is important to prevent the state of decompensation, in this regard, a certain mode of life is prescribed, which will contribute to the normal well-being of the patient. This regimen necessarily includes a set of appropriate exercises that are selected individually by the attending physician, as well as the maximum possible load. The purpose of these exercises is to improve heart function. At the same time, it is important to control not only the doctor, but also the patient himself, since he must understand that any stress that leads to unpleasant sensations is not useful. Such unpleasant sensations include increased heart rate, pain in the heart, shortness of breath, etc. In addition, any possible overwork, visiting a bath, taking hot baths, lack of proper rest, etc. are harmful to the patient. All of the above can cause a state of decompensation and lead to a deterioration in the patient's well-being. Naturally, smoking and drinking alcohol can contribute to the state of decompensation. With regard to nutrition, it should be characterized as moderate and regular. It is not recommended to eat at night - the last meal should be at least three to four hours before bedtime. The patient needs to constantly monitor his body, to prevent obesity. This is due to the fact that the accumulation of excess fat leads to increased stress on the heart and difficulty in blood circulation. It is worth noting the fact that there are no preventive measures that guarantee one hundred percent protection against heart disease; however, it is quite possible to recognize failures in the functioning of the cardiovascular system in a timely manner. Anyone over forty years old needs to undergo an ECG (electrocardiogram) at least annually. This also applies to those people who feel completely healthy.