Heart disease causes are many and varied. Among the most common are those caused by lifestyle changes that can be easily managed, such as eating a healthy diet and exercising, managing your weight so that it stays within the healthy range, and keeping up on family risk factors for heart disease, thus the need to work with your doctor to minimize or even eliminate them.
Heart defects, for example, usually develop while the baby is still in utero, and are usually structural imperfections that may or may not be able to be fixed with surgery, or managed with medication.
Cardiomyopathy is a very common type of heart disorder where the heart muscle thickens or enlarges. There are three major types. Dilated cardiomyopathy is the most common type, and with this type of cardiomyopathy, the left ventricle, which is the main pumping chamber, becomes enlarged so much that its pumping ability is compromised and blood flow is also minimized.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy occurs when the heart muscle grows or thickens abnormally, again mostly within the main pumping chamber, the left ventricle. As the heart thickens, it tends to get stiffer, such that pumping is less effective, and the chamber itself shrinks. This reduces the heart’s ability to pump blood effectively throughout the body.
With restrictive cardiomyopathy, the heart itself simply becomes less elastic, which means that it doesn’t expand properly and fill with blood between beats. This is the least common type of cardiomyopathy and often occurs for no apparent reason.
Infections and viruses:
Heart infections can cause heart disease, such as myocarditis, endocarditis, and pericarditis. In these cases, bacteria or viruses enter the bloodstream and can cause damage. With endocarditis particularly, poor oral health could be the cause because as you brush your teeth, bacteria can enter your blood stream through infected gums. Bacteria that cause Lyme disease can also bring on myocarditis.
Viruses, too, can cause heart infections, such as those that cause influenza, mononucleosis, measles, and the human parvovirus. In addition, sexually transmitted diseases can also travel to the heart muscle and cause infection there.
Parasites can be another cause of heart disease, such as toxoplasma.
Certain therapeutic interventions for other diseases like cancer may also damage the heart, such as radiation treatment or certain chemotherapy drugs.
Allergic or toxic reactions:
Medications and drugs can cause allergic or toxic reactions that can damage the heart. Antibiotics like penicillin and illegal drugs like cocaine can also damage the heart; especially with the administration of needle-based illicit drugs like heroin, infection can also be introduced to the heart via this mechanism.
Finally, there are certain autoimmune disorders that can cause heart disease, like lupus or Wegener’s granulomatosis.
Fortunately, the vast majority of heart disease causes can be entirely managed by managing your own lifestyles of the East and stay as healthy and fit as possible. Although these aforementioned heart disease causes certainly do exist, by far the most common reason for heart disease is the presence of lifestyle factors like obesity, lack of exercise, diabetes caused by poor diet and lifestyle, high blood pressure, and so on.
For most other heart disease causes, the conditions can at least be managed with medication and lifestyle changes, if not cured, through interventions like surgery to correct congenital defects.