What is Heart Disease?

UNDERSTANDING THE BASICS OF YOUR  HEART  AND  HEART   DISEASE 

Understand the basics associated with your heart and blood vessels. Here you will get an understanding of all the different types of cardiovascular disease that can be confusing. Get a basic overview of cardiovascular  disease  and the conditions that can affect your  heart  and blood vessels.

You probably hear a lot about preventing  heart   disease . But maybe you’re not sure what  heart   disease  is. Is it the same thing as cardiovascular  disease , coronary artery  disease  or other  heart  terms you sometimes see?

With many medical terms related to the heart and blood vessels, it’s no wonder you may be puzzled or confused. Here you will have a chance to brush up on some basic terms about cardiovascular disease (CVD) that can help you stay more informed. This can then help you when you’re watching the news or meeting with your doctor.

The first term to know is Cardiovascular Disease or CVD. CVD is a broad term. CVD is a large collection of diseases and conditions.

If you want to be technical, CVD refers to any disorder in any of the various parts of your heart system. Your cardiovascular system consists of your heart and all the blood vessels throughout your whole body.

Cardiovascular disease has two main mechanisms:

 Diseases  of the  Heart  (cardio)

Diseases of the Blood Vessels (vascular)

Everything from an aneurysm to a heart attack to varicose veins are all types of CVD. You may be born with a type of CVD (congenital) or you may acquire others later on in life possibly from a lifetime of unhealthy habits, lack of exercise, smoking, and other factors.

Here’s a closer look at the two mechanisms of cardiovascular disease.

 Diseases  of the  Heart 

The  diseases  and conditions that affect the  heart  are in a group known as  heart   disease . The heart consists of a muscle that pumps blood. Arteries supply blood to the heart muscle, and the valves make sure that the blood within the heart is pumped in the right direction. Problems can occur in any of these areas.

Just like CVD,  Heart   Disease  is a broad term.

Here are the specific types of  heart   disease :

**Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)

**Coronary  Heart   Disease  (CHD)

**Cardiomyopathy

**Valvular  heart   disease 

**Pericardial disease

**Congenital  heart   disease 

**Heart failure (CHF)

Diseases of the Blood Vessels

Blood vessels are in basic terms hollow tubes that carry blood to the organs and tissues throughout your body.

There are 4 basic types of blood vessels:

Arteries.

These blood vessels carry oxygenated blood to all parts of the body

Veins.

These blood vessels carry deoxygenated blood back to your heart. That is why they have a bluish cast to their color

Capillaries.

These are tiny vessels that connect your arteries and veins.

Lymphatics.

Fluid that leaks out of your capillaries in order to bathe your cells.

Here are some types of blood vessel disorders:

**Arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis

**High blood pressure (HBP) or Hypertension (HTN)

**Stroke

**Aneurysm

**Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) and claudication

**Vasculitis

**Venous incompetence

**Venous thrombosis or blood clot

**Varicose veins

**Lymphedema

 Heart   Disease  is a serious condition. Watch your fatty food intake, smoking, as well as your sweet tooth intake. Both can cause serious heart problems.

It is best to start out slow when changing your diet. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables is a great way to start.