Cardiac Failure

Cardiac failure, often known as congestive heart failure (CHF), results from the heart failing to pump enough blood throughout the body to sustain bodily functions. This is usually the result of the heart being too weak or stiff to function properly, and can be caused by several factors such as high blood pressure, collapsed or blocked arteries, or fluid backup within the body. Although the complications that lead to cardiac failure are not normally reversible, there are certain treatment options that can slow the process and prevent cardiac failure and increase the strength of the heart.

There are certain risk factors that can be identified that signal the threat of cardiac failure. These include high blood pressure, diabetes, previous heart attacks, sleep apnea, alcohol abuse, or any other factor that could damage the heart. These factors increase the likelihood of cardiac failure because they negatively impact the heart’s ability to pump blood throughout the body.

Cardiac failure can be a chronic or an acute condition, meaning the symptoms may appear gradually or suddenly. Some signals of chronic cardiac failure to look out for include shortness of breath, fatigue, swelling of the ankles, feet, or legs, or lack of appetite. Acute cardiac failure is often signaled by rapid heartbeat, sudden fluid buildup, chest pain, or severe shortness of breath. If any of these signs occur, seek help from a physician immediately.

Although it is possible to treat cardiac failure by addressing a secondary cause, such as high blood pressure or incorrect palpitations, often cardiac failure requires lifelong treatment. There are a variety of treatment options available, including medications or surgery. These treatments should be coupled with lifestyle changes to include a more balanced, healthy diet and regular exercise. Weight loss is also a great way to avoid continued heart problems by reducing the stress on the heart. Many people choose to take medications to relieve chest pain and to lower cholesterol levels to prevent blood clots. Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors are also commonly prescribed to help open blood vessels for easy blood flow through the body. For more serious cases of cardiac failure, coronary bypass surgery or even a heart transplant may be necessary if medications are not successful.

Addison’s disease

One of the many hormonal diseases lurking out there is Addison’s disease. Fortunately, this infliction is not only rare, but usually carries a favorable prognosis when a proper medication regimen is followed. It was discovered by British physician Dr. Thomas Addison, the person it was named after, during the mid-1800s.

Causes

Addison’s disease occurs when the adrenal glands do not produce the amount of steroid hormones necessary, generally glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids, which are extremely essential to the body. The causes are grouped into categories according to their lack of ability to produce cortisol.

The first of these categories is adrenal dysgenesis. This group includes the genetic causes, which are extremely rare. Next is impaired steroidogenesis. This is a result of the cholesterol, which is required by the adrenal gland to function correctly, not being properly delivered to it. Thirdly is adrenal destruction. According to reports, this is the most common contributor to Addison’s disease. An autoimmune destruction that transpires in the adrenal cortex causes a negative reaction affecting the enzyme 21-hydroxylase. Lastly, corticosteroid withdrawal is a cause brought on by high doses of steroids lasting longer than one week. With long-term suppression of the adrenal gland it can physically become smaller. During the several months that it can take to recover, the patient is susceptible to decreased performance of the gland, particularly when struck with illness or high levels of stress.

Symptoms
The symptoms are numerous and can be quite stealthy, making it very difficult to accurately diagnose Addison’s. Commonly patients suffer from muscle weakness, fatigue, headache, sweating, pain in joints and muscles, mood and personality swings, and becoming lightheaded while standing or being upright. Occasionally, cravings for salt are reported as a result of the sodium that is lost through urination. Other conditions that can be discovered during clinical testing include low blood pressure while standing and darkening pigmentation of the skin.

Treatment

Treatment is primarily based on the use of medications. Hydrocortisone tablets or prednisone tablets are used to replace the cortisol that is lacking. Nearly all people diagnosed will be required to continue taking prescriptions for the rest of their lives. When someone afflicted with Addison’s disease develops an infection, needs surgery, or becomes pregnant, special precautions must be taken as the medications can cause complications.

Addisonian crisis happens when the deficiency becomes severe. This usually requires admittance to the hospital for treatment.

Asthma

Asthma is difficulty breathing under certain conditions. The airways to the lungs cannot get enough air due to swelling. Certain allergens can cause someone to suffer with shortness of breath, wheezing, and coughing symptoms. All of these indicate that a person may be suffering an Asthma attack.

There are many common substances that can cause an Asthma attack. Some of the things that people might be sensitive to are pet hair, dust, weather conditions, and chemicals found in foods or in the air. When people prone to Asthma breathe in any of these allergens, they can suffer from a mild to severe Asthma attack.
Someone with Asthma might experience an attack during or after exercising. They cannot get the proper air through their airways during strenuous activities. Mold and pollen are two other culprits to trigger Asthma attacks. Stress or strong emotions are also known to trigger an attack. Tobacco smoke is one air borne pollutant you will want to stay away from if you are sensitive to smoke. There is even a chance of having an attack by taking certain medications or even having a common cold.

A physician will work with you to develop a plan to eliminate items that are triggering your attacks. Your goal will be to avoid these items in order to control your reaction to them. There are two kinds of medication that might be prescribed to treat your Asthma. One is a drug that is used to prevent the attacks, and the other is a drug to get relief from an attack quickly. The drug used to prevent the attacks will need to be taken every day for them to work when you need them to. Some of these drugs are used to prevent your airways from swelling. The drugs that work quickly to relieve an attack are taken when you are coughing and wheezing from an Asthma attack. These are sometimes used before engaging in exercising to prevent an attack from occurring. Some of these drugs are used as an inhaler for a quick acting relief. If you are an Asthma sufferer, it is important to be prepared at all times for an attack. A severe attack may even require you to go to a hospital for treatment. Sometimes it can require the use of oxygen or medications by IV. There is no complete cure for Asthma, but it can be controlled.

Life insurance for people with chronic diseases

People with chronic diseases have difficulties purchasing life insurance policies. They are often declared to be uninsurable or they are forced to pay very high premiums. Life insurance companies will need to price their products higher for people with chronic diseases, but there are life insurance policies that have been created just for them that will not be exorbitantly expensive.

Life Insurance without the Medical Exam

One choice people with chronic diseases have is purchasing a life insurance policy that does not require that they take a medical examination. A medical examination is often required of people before they can receive a life insurance policy so that the insurance company can determine how much the applicant should be charged for the policy. If an applicant has a very high chance of passing away within the term, these people will need to pay a higher price for the greater risk.

Term life insurance quotes that do not require a medical examination are an excellent choice for people with chronic diseases. They offer several hard-to-insure people the chance to purchase an affordable policy, including:

• Diabetics
• People with high cholesterol
• People who are obese
• Those who are in generally poor health
• People who smoke
• Those who are taking prescription medications
• Any other chronic illnesses

People will, most likely, only have a few health questions they will need to answer when applying, such as whether or not they smoke, and they will need to give their height and weight, but they will not have to offer any blood or urine samples.

Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance

People with chronic diseases have another option as well; they can seek a Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance policy. To qualify for these policies, they will not have to take a medical exam or submit to any medical tests, and they also will not have to answer any medical questions at all. The only people who have the possibility of being turned down are those who are already residents of a hospital or a nursing home.

When people with chronic diseases apply for these policies, they can receive approval in a matter of minutes because they are not going through the usual underwriting process. Because the insurance company cannot determine the risk they are taking by insuring people without asking for a medical exam, they will need to charge a higher premium of people with chronic diseases, but it is an easy and fast way for them to obtain life insurance for the protection of their families.

Hypertension

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately one-third of adults in the U.S. suffer from hypertension. Hypertension, also called high blood pressure, occurs when blood pounds against artery walls with excessive force. It is characterized by few symptoms but can lead to a myriad of health problems if left untreated.

The development of hypertension is influenced by a number of factors, including heredity, a stressful lifestyle, smoking, obesity and pregnancy. Many people who suffer from the condition aren’t aware that they have a health problem until elevated blood pressure is observed during a check-up. The most common symptoms, such as headache, shortness of breath, extreme tiredness, blurred vision and chest pain, generally aren’t noticed until blood pressure had climbed to dangerous levels.

Left untreated, hypertension can be debilitating or even deadly. The continuous pounding of blood inside the arteries is can cause damage over time, leading to a heart attack, stroke or aneurysm. It may interfere with an individual’s memory and ability to concentrate. It may also damage the blood vessels leading to the eyes and kidneys, causing loss of eyesight or renal failure.

Hypertension isn’t difficult to diagnose. Once an elevated blood pressure reading is noticed, a physician will begin to monitor the patient to determine whether or not high blood pressure is consistently present. This may be done by having the patient come into the office at various times during the day or by having the patient monitor blood pressure at home. If a hypertension diagnosis is made, blood tests and urine screenings may be ordered to determine how severe the condition is.

There are a variety of treatments available, depending upon how severe hypertension is. Making healthier lifestyle choices, such as quitting smoking, eating better, reducing stress and beginning an exercise program, may be enough to bring blood pressure down to acceptable levels. Oftentimes, however, prescription medication is necessary to effectively manage hypertension.

Hypertension is a very treatable condition, especially when caught early. Those diagnosed should heed their doctor’s advice however, as damage to the body caused by high blood pressure is difficult to reverse and can lead to a reduced quality of life or even death.

Hyperlipidemia can be prevented or treated

Hyperlipidemia is a word that the describes a condition in which there is too much cholesterol or fat in the blood. People who consume diets high in fat and calories, as well as those who are obese are most susceptible to hyperlipidemia. The condition is diagnosed using blood tests. A fasting blood test known as a lipid panel is ordered by a physician. This test measures cholesterol levels, and blood fat or triglyercide levels. If hyperlipidemia is ignored it can lead to heart attack or stroke. Hyperlipidemia can be prevented with diet and exercise and if needed, can be treated with medications.

Prevention of hyperlipidemia

Hyperlipidemia can be prevented by eating healthy foods. Eating foods that lower cholesterol is a first line defense against this condition. Increasing intake of fruits, vegetables and whole grains can help reduce cholesterol, since all of these foods contain fiber. What is also important, is that these are plant foods that contain no cholesterol, so eating them does not add cholesterol to the diet. One should keep in mind however, that the way foods are prepared can also add fat and cholesterol. Seasoning vegetables with high fat meats like ham hocks, and other fatty cuts of pork defeats the purpose. Using herbs, spices, and low sodium meat or poultry flavored broths are healthier seasoning options.

Eating fewer sugary high fat foods can also reduce triglycerides or blood fats. Also consuming non-fat or low-fat dairy products can keep cholesterol and triglycerides under control. Getting enough physical activity can lower cholesterol. Walking 30-60 minutes most days of the week is a simple low-cost way to get adequate physical activity. As a result of walking and eating healthier, the weight that may be lost is also a way to prevent hyperlipidemia.

Treatment for hyperlipidemia

The first line of treatment for hyperlipidemia is a healthy diet and physical activity. For those who have heredity issues that contribute to the condition, medications may be prescribed. Cholesterol lowering medications known as statins help remove excess cholesterol from the blood, or block it from being absorbed in the intestines. Also medications can be prescribed to treat high triglycerides.

Haemophilia

Haemophilia is a genetic disorder, mostly affecting men, that results in the blood’s inability to coagulate properly. Many of those with haemophilia experience bleeding that does not stop when it should. There are several types of haemophilia, with haemophilia A being the most common. Since the blood plasma does not clot, a haemophiliac will bleed for long periods of time even at the most minor injury. In addition to major blood loss, many injuries will not heal entirely. Some cases can be fatal, especially with internal head injuries. Haemophilia is more likely to occur in males because it is a recessive disorder that is sex-linked. Females are typically carriers who show no symptoms.

The symptoms of haemophilia will depend on the severity of the case as well as the type (A, B or C). The most prominent symptom is bleeding that continues longer than it should, or a wound that stops bleeding and begins again later. If the joints begin bleeding, permanent problems may result. Unfortunately many children do not show signs of haemophilia in many circumstances. Boys may bleed more than usual during circumcision or children learning to walk may display abnormal bruises and sometimes swelling. Adults may show initial symptoms while having a routine dental procedure.

Complications may result if haemophilia is left untreated. Internal bleeding can lead to serious consequences, like swelling or numbness of the muscles. Arthritis is a common symptom for those who experience joint damage. Bleeding in the skull can result in hemorrhage, which can be fatal. It is important for haemophiliacs to seek treatment as soon as they notice there may be a problem.

Though there is no cure for haemophilia, there are ways to help treat it. Some people with the condition have regular infusions of a substance that helps blood to clot. Some patients look into gene therapy as well. There are also ways to prevent some of the symptoms of haemophilia. For instance, some people find that all they need to do is exercise each day to make the joints stronger. Increasing flexibility of the elbows, knees and ankles can help reduce pain caused by blood buildup.

Glaucoma Definition and Treatments

Glaucoma is defined as a build up of fluid pressure inside the eye. The intraocular pressure–IOP–causes damage to the optic nerve. If left untreated for several years, permanent blindness can be the result. Once any vision loss occurs from glaucoma, it cannot be reversed. If the condition is diagnosed and treated early, however, vision loss can be slowed or prevented. Because it usually presents no symptoms in the early stages, the increase in eye pressure is only found when an eye doctor performs a painless pressure test. A yearly eye examination is very important, especially as an individual ages, so that an increase in fluid pressure can be treated before it causes damage and loss of vision.

At present, doctors do not know what causes a blockage of fluid and pressure build-up. Researchers have learned the tendency is often an inherited condition, however, and a family history of glaucoma is considered a risk factor. Other risk factors are aging, diabetes, poor vision, especially nearsightedness, smoking and taking prednisone or other steroid medications.

Three Types of Treatment

Glaucoma is treated by prescription medication in the form of eye drops, microsurgery or laser surgery. The doctor may first try prescription eye drops to determine if eye pressure can be lowered sufficiently to reduce or eliminate damage. If after a period of time the drops do not lower the pressure enough, laser surgery may be used to increase the flow of fluid in open-angle glaucoma or to open the blockage in narrow-angle glaucoma.

In laser surgery, the patient’s chin is placed in a chinrest the same as for an eye exam, and he or she is asked to stare straight ahead for a few seconds while the laser flashes into the eye. It is a relatively painless procedure and eye drops will be prescribed to speed healing and reduce the mild irritation felt by some patients after surgery. The results of lowered pressure usually last one or two years and can be repeated several times.

If laser surgery is not successful or ceases to work, a trabeculectomy can be performed. This is microsurgery that creates a new channel for the fluid to drain from the eye, reducing the intraocular pressure. The patient will be sedated and will generally feel no pain during the short operation. A patch and an eye guard will be worn after surgery and eye drops that affect healing rate and prevent infection will be prescribed.

Common Symptoms and Treatments of Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder caused by abnormal neuron function. Many forms of epilepsy exist and the seizure is a common symptom. Patients will go through odd sensations before having the symptom. This is called an aura because it serves as a warning that an attack will happen. However, when a seizure happens it does not mean that an individual is epileptic. An individual that suffers many seizures over time is usually considered to have epilepsy.

In addition to typical seizure symptoms, each epilepsy type has specific symptoms. A patient who suffers from grand mal seizure may have blank stares, strong convulsions, lack of consciousness and lack of bladder performance.

People suffering from absence seizure have symptoms like body jerking in addition to momentary loss of attention and movement. Patients are described as appearing like they have spaced out. The signs of a simple partial seizure include jerking of one side like an arm or foot. Patients start to panic unreasonably and blink uncontrollably. In some events, they could show face twitching and react differently in the way they smell, taste or perceive certain objects.

Symptoms of a complex partial seizure include memory loss. Patients also stare blankly and perceive objects differently. They also make repetitive movements like stroking hands, smacking mouths or tearing at clothes. The signs of a secondarily generalized seizure include strong body jerks, falls, consciousness loss and body stiffening.

Many epileptic patients may also suffer from headaches, vertigo, fainting, disorientation and memory loss. They will go through mood swings and energy changes. Some patients start frothing at the mouth or convulsing severely. It is crucial for the family to recognize the symptoms for each kind of epilepsy. Patients will have to get medical attention they need in the first phases of the disorder so large complications can be avoided.

Treatments

There are a number of epilepsy treatments in the form of medication, nerve stimulation and diet. Many patients go through medication therapy and choose from a group of drugs called anticonvulsants. A nerve stimulation type known as “Vagus” is a typical epilepsy treatment. Doctors will send short, fast electrical bursts to the Vagus that will strike the brain. The Ketogenic based diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that many specialists make their patients consume. This diet will help the body burn fat for energy instead of burning it for glucose. There is proof that this diet will help people who need to experience fewer seizures.

Epilepsy is a disorder that creates repetitive post convulsive attacks. The process of diagnosing of epilepsy is completed only if an individual has had a minimum of two attacks without showing signs of another disorder. Modern treatment will hinder more attacks from occurring and allow people to lead a normal way of life.

Dysrhythmia

The human heart is composed of four chambers; the upper chambers being the atria, the lower the ventricles. The left ventricle is the true “power station” of the heart. It is part of the muscle that uses the most force when circulating blood throughout the body.

The heart muscle also generates electrical impulses that allow for the expansion and contraction of the heart, which is exactly what aids in a person’s circulation. However; occasionally, the electric impulses of the heart misfire and lead to various dysrhythmias of the heart. These dysrhythmias can affect both the atria and ventricles, as well as the junction of the heart which includes the Purkinjie fibers that are themselves responsible for those very electrical impulses.

There are varying degrees of seriousness in regards to a heart dysrhythmia, ranging from mild and common sinus arrythmia, which is a change in heart in response to the breathing cycle, to supraventricular tachycardia, which is what is termed in medicine as an “agonal rhythm–”this term being basically synonymous with: “a dying heart.”

When speaking of a dying heart, it is a common misconception that a heart can be “restarted” when shocked by the device known as a “defibrillator.” When a heart is no longer generating electrical impulses it is classified as a “flat-line,” or, technically, “asystole.” An asystolic heart cannot be restarted; though, if the heart is experiencing what is known as a “shockable rhythm,” (in most cases ventricular tachycardia, ventricular fibrillation, or torsades de points) it is possible that a heart may successfully receive a shock that resets its rhythm to that of Normal Sinus Rhythm or NSR.

When a technician, doctor or nurse interprets a heart rhythm they are able to tell quite a bit about their patients. There are cues on everything from whether the patient is a smoker, to whether or not the patient may be deficient in, or have a surplus of electrolytes such as potassium or calcium. All of this information can be communicated in a six second strip of the patient’s heart rhythm. Whether by the less complicated three lead (sensor) ECG, to the complex 12 lead ECG, an admirable portion of a patient’s general and cardiac health can be gauged. In this way any of the varying dysrhthmias can be detected and treated before they evolve in to the agonal and catastrophic rhythms.

Diabetes Mellitus Types 1 & 2

Diabetes Mellitus is a condition where the body maintains a high level of glucose in the blood. When the body is not capable of producing enough insulin or the cells in the body can not respond to that insulin, the result is high blood sugar. Although there is no known cure for diabetes, it can be controlled by a number of factors that include following a proper diet, exercise, medications, and insulin support.

The two main types of chronic diabetes include type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is characterized by the body’s inability to produce insulin through the cells in the pancreas. This results in a buildup of sugar in the bloodstream as the sugar is unable to be transported into the cells. It is thought to be related to a combination of environmental and genetic factors. It can affect both children and adults but is more predominantly found in the majority of diabetes cases among children.

Type 2 diabetes is typically developed when the cells do not respond to the insulin that is secreted from the pancreas. The pancreas is not able to produce enough insulin to overcome the resistance. As with type 1 diabetes, it is also believed that genetic or environmental factors play a role in the development. In addition, there is a link between type 2 diabetes and obesity; however, not all individuals with type 2 diabetes are overweight.

Eating healthy is a major part of managing and treating both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Although there is no strict diabetes diet, counting carbohydrates and managing sugar intake is crucial to the control of blood sugar levels. Exercise is also an essential part of diabetes management. Physical activity helps the body increase the level of sensitivity to insulin so the body actually requires less insulin to transport the sugar to the cells.

Oral medication is a common treatment among type 2 diabetics. Medications can help in several different ways including the stimulation of the pancreas to create and release more insulin as others may hinder the release of glucose from the liver into the blood. Type 1 diabetes typically requires insulin therapy. Insulin treatment involves injection by using a syringe with a fine needle or by the use of an injection pen. Doctors may prescribe a mixture of insulin types such as long-acting and fast-acting insulin to stabilize blood sugar levels.

Diabetes Insipidus

Diabetes insipidus is a rare disorder that prevents the kidneys from retaining water. The natural function of the kidneys is to process blood and filter out liquid waste, which the body later eliminates through urination. This function is controlled by a hormone called ADH. Diabetes insipidus occurs when the dispersion of this hormone is interrupted or when the kidney’s no longer respond to it.

The two most common types of diabetes insipidus are known as central diabetes insipidus and nephrogenic diabetes insipidus. Central diabetes insipidus occurs when sufficient levels of ADH are no longer produced by the brain, while nephrogenic diabetes insipidus is characterized by a lack of response to the hormone. Gestational diabetes insipidus, which occurs during pregnancy, and dipsogenic diabetes insipidus, which is the result of an individual drinking an excessive amount of fluid, are seen less often.

Most cases of diabetes insipidus are believed to be the result of damage to the pituitary or hypothalamus gland. This damage may be caused by an infection, head injury, surgical procedure or abnormal growth, such as a tumor. The condition may also be hereditary or a side effect of certain medications.

Symptoms of diabetes insipidus include extreme thirst, dehydration and an excessive amount of urine production. Infants and young children who suffer from the disorder may also experience fever, diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss and delayed growth.

Diabetes insipidus is diagnosed through a variety of means. A medical history is taken, followed by a thorough physical exam. A urinalysis, or close examination of the urine, will be performed, and urine volume may also be monitored. If your physician believes that diabetes insipidus is a likely diagnosis, an MRI of the head will be performed to examine the area of the brain responsible for producing ADH.

Patients suffering from central diabetes insipidus are usually given a synthetic hormone that restores the kidney’s natural function. In other cases the condition is controlled by closely monitoring water intake to prevent dehydration and by choosing a low sodium diet. Diuretics may be prescribed for those with nephrogenic diabetes insipidus because the medication tends to reduce urine output.

Diabetes insipidus not only affects daily life, but can lead to extreme dehydration. Make an appointment with your doctor promptly if you experience any of the symptoms of this disorder so that treatment can be started before the condition becomes severe.

Crohn’s disease

Over-active immune response that fails to differentiate between pathogenic invaders and healthy tissue is the definition of an autoimmune disorder. Crohn’s is an autoimmune disease that affects around half a million people in the US. Known as an inflammatory bowel disorder, it tends to erupt in in patches with different areas of the digestive tract affected in different people.

While the causes of Crohn’s are unknown, and there is no cure, individuals generally learn ways to avoid triggering the worst symptoms. Seeking treatment is important, because Crohn’s will disrupt normal digestion, possibly leading to nutrient deficiencies, and there are several medications and surgeries used to resolve the worst symptoms. Many cases are first noticed by doctors through physical examination, and there are a number of tests that can confirm preliminary diagnosis.

## What are the Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease?
Though it shows up in different places for different people, there are some common symptoms of Crohn’s disease. Some may be persisting symptoms, while others tend to come and go with flare-ups. It is believed that many suffering the disease go untreated, because symptoms are mild enough to be mistaken for more common infections. Persistent or recurring symptoms from the following list should be investigated.
- Abdominal cramps
- Unexplained weight loss
- Painful defecation and/or blood in stool
- Fatigue
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Fever
In cases that show frequent symptoms, the affected part of the digestive system can form a hole, or fistula, that extends to other parts of the body. This will cause secondary symptoms that can only be remedied by removing the damaged tissue.

## What is the Most Effective Treatment?
The first step in treating the disease requires diagnosis and understanding what parts of the digestive system are being attacked. Patients may begin keeping food and medicine journals to find out whether certain types of food or over-the-counter drugs trigger flare-ups. Obtain a list of known triggers from the doctor to place at the start of the journal. Eating a diet high in fiber is generally recommended to relieve symptoms, and maintaining physical fitness is important for stopping fatigue and loss of lean muscle.

Doctors have several options available for treating symptoms and preventing secondary symptoms altogether. They will also test to determine whether supplements are necessary. However, the most effective way to manage the majority of Crohn’s symptoms is through carefully chosen foods and exercise.

Coronary Artery Disease

Coronary artery disease is a disease that affects the heart. When plaque builds up in the arteries that supply blood to the heart, it is called coronary artery disease. In addition to supplying blood to the heart, the coronary arteries also supply the heart with other important aspects of life, including nutrients and oxygen. Without these things the heart cannot function within the body, which could lead to a heart attack or even death.

The plaque that builds up on the coronary arteries are deposits that contain cholesterol and are to blame for the buildup of plaque and heart disease. The more plaque that builds up inside the arteries, the less room there is for blood, oxygen and other nutrients to flow through to the heart, which means that the heart is not getting what it needs to work properly. Chest pain and a shortage of breath will begin to plague the person who has coronary artery disease and a full on heart attack is very likely from there if the arteries become completely blocked.

Coronary artery disease is not something that happens overnight; it takes years, even decades for blockage to occur, which means many people may be living with coronary artery disease with absolutely zero knowledge of the fact.

The easiest way to prevent coronary artery disease is to refrain from smoking, lower your cholesterol and lower blood pressure. If you have any of these health problems, there is no time like the present to speak with your doctor about converting to a healthier lifestyle for the sake of your health. The first treatment step for coronary artery disease is a complete lifestyle change, which includes losing excess weight, eating a healthy diet and becoming physically fit. Smokers are required to quit smoking and a reduction in stress levels in mandatory.

In addition, medications can treat the disease. Cholesterol treatment drugs, aspirin or other blood thinners, angiotensin receptor blockers and nitroglycerin are used to treat coronary artery disease. If the disease is too far developed, your doctor may recommend a medical procedure, along with lifestyle changes. You may need an angioplasty or stent replacement that will open the artery through the use of a tube inserted into it. You may also need a coronary artery bypass, which is the replacement of your blocked valves with a vessel from another part of your body that will restore blood flow to the heart.

Chronic Renal Disease

Chronic renal disease, more commonly known as chronic kidney disease, affects about 1 in every 500 people in the U.S. This disease slowly progresses and causes the loss of kidney function over time, usually years. Kidneys are the body’s way to remove excess water and waste from the body and the effects of chronic renal disease are tremendous.

Chronic kidney disease, or CRD, gets worse as time goes on. In the beginning stages there are often no symptoms at all, making an early diagnosis difficult. For some, kidney function loss can take months or even years. In some cases the disease is so slow and symptoms take so long to appear that kidney function is less than 10% of normal.

Unfortunately, in early stages symptoms resemble many other illnesses. These early signs of chronic renal failure include headaches, fatigue, a loss of appetite, nausea, dry skin and itchiness, along with unintended weight loss. As the disease progresses, symptoms include a change in skin color, bone pain, bad breath, easy bruising or bleeding, excessive thirst, impotence, a stop in menstrual periods, shortness of breath and brain/nervous system symptoms like problems concentrating, numbness and muscle twitching.

In the final stage of CRD, also referred to as end-stage renal disease (ESRD), the kidneys can no longer function properly. This means waste and fluid removal from the body is severely hampered. At this point treatments like dialysis or a kidney transplant are needed.

One way to slow the progression of the disease is by controlling blood pressure. ACE inhibitors or ARBs are often prescribed for patients with chronic renal disease. Keeping blood pressure at or below 130/80 mmHg seems to be effective.

Still, the most effective treatment for chronic kidney disease is dialysis. Dialysis is meant to take the place of your kidneys by removing the waste and built-up fluids from your body. Dialysis is performed using a fluid called dialysate. This mixture of chemicals and water pulls waste from the body without removing beneficial particles. A membrane keeps blood away from the dialysate while allowing the waste and fluid flow through. Dialysis remains the best way to keep someone in end-stage renal disease alive, although a kidney transplant is the only permanent option.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, also known as COPD, is progressive and incurable. A leading cause of death around the world, it includes several lung diseases that obstruct airflow and cause breathing difficulties. Chronic asthmatic bronchitis and emphysema are the two primary disorders of this disease; many patients have both conditions.

In chronic asthmatic bronchitis, narrowing and inflammation of the airways to the lungs cause wheezing and coughing. Increased mucus production obstructs the airways. Emphysema damages the air sacs in the lungs by destroying their walls, decreasing the surface area needed to provide oxygen. The air sac walls become weak and inflexible, collapsing and trapping air. The chest muscles strain to exhale, causing shortness of breath.

The primary cause of COPD is long-term cigarette smoking, although dust, air pollution, and chemical fumes can be responsible. The disease develops slowly; symptoms generally do not appear in individuals under 40 years old.

Patients have increased respiratory infections such as colds, flu and pneumonia. These cause breathing difficulties and lung tissue damage. High blood pressure, heart problems, and depression are other consequences.

Lung damage cannot be repaired, but there are treatments to control the symptoms and reduce complications. The best remedy is to stop smoking. This will not cure COPD, but it will keep it from getting worse.

Medications, therapies and home care can help. Bronchodilator inhalers relax the airway muscles and reduce coughing and breathing difficulties. Antibiotics can heal bacterial respiratory infections. Inhaled corticosteroids reduce inflammation of the airways to improve breathing. However, prolonged use of steroids weakens bones and increases the risk of cataracts, diabetes and high blood pressure.

Oxygen therapy provides supplemental oxygen for the blood. It is available in portable units and larger systems for home use. Some individuals use oxygen only while sleeping or being active; others use it continually. Pulmonary rehabilitation includes exercise, education, counseling, and nutrition advice. A variety of health care professionals such as respiratory therapists, physical therapists, dietitians, and exercise specialists design each program to meet the needs of the individual.

In cases of severe emphysema, surgical removal of damaged lung tissue is possible. A lung transplant may also be an option. Home care includes proper breathing, controlled coughing, exercising, eating healthy foods, avoiding smoke, getting vaccinations for flu and pneumonia, and avoiding crowds and cold air.

Even though there is no cure for COPD, proper medication and therapy can control its symptoms.

Cardiomyopathy

Cardiopathy is a general term used to describe various disorders affecting the heart, the blood supply and the surrounding tissues. These conditions are greatly influenced by the lifestyle choices we make, and they are often fatal in adults. A number of heart problems are categorized by this term, and they include the following:

● Cardiomyopathy is caused by deterioration and disorders of the heart’s muscular tissue. Each form has its own prevention methods, causes and treatments.

● Heart failure occurs when there is deterioration in the heart’s ability to function and the blood no longer circulates effectively throughout the body.

● Inflammatory diseases affecting the heart, including myocarditis and endocarditis, often result from infection. In addition, if the blood supply to the coronary arteries becomes compromised or blocked, this is known as coronary heart disease, and heart attacks occur frequently in such cases.

● Cardiovascular disease is related to dysfunction or damage to the blood vessels flowing to and from the heart, which supply blood throughout the body. Note that this domain also has several sub-categories within it.

● With congenital heart disease, cardiac problems have been present since the patient’s birth. These may be caused by genetic or developmental issues, and most of them occur during gestation.

Treating various heart conditions

Treatment for cardiopathy may include medication, open heart surgery or a less invasive procedure. Most patients are prescribed medication to help manage their condition and ward off a heart attack.
Your cardiologist may prescribe medication that will help lower your cholesterol and blood pressure, or you may need to take anti-clotting medicine, such as low-dose aspirin, to avoid heart problems. At the same time, doctors also recommend a low-fat diet, a certain amount of controlled exercise, and no smoking.

Angioplasty, a minimally invasive treatment, is often recommended for treating clogged arteries. With this procedure, a tiny balloon is inserted into the affected artery and inflated, which pushes the plaque against the artery’s wall. In this case, re-blockage may occur, and another procedure may be required at that time. In most angioplasties, stents (small metal tubes that are either drug-coated or uncoated) are often used to keep the arteries open and prevent re-blockage.

Bronchiectasis

Bronchiectasis is the destruction of the bronchial tubes. This condition is either acquired or congenital and is caused by infection or inflammation of the airways. With ongoing treatment and care, people suffering from this condition can expect to live a normal life.

Causes

Bronchiectasis symptoms often start during childhood as the result of an infection’s complicaions or a genetic abnormality. Symptoms are not always immediate and can develop months, or in some cases years after the airways are damaged. Some causes blamed for the development of Bronchiectasis include inhalation of toxic substances, tuberculosis, inflamatory bowel disease, alcohol and drug abuse, multiple infections and aspiration of foreign material. This condition is also blamed on the inhalation of a foreign object in some cases. An estimated one-third of cases is caused by cystic fibrosis.

What happens anatomically to the lungs when the airways are damaged is that the smooth muscles are destroyed. These muscles are important because they provide elasticity to the bronchial tubes enabling lung tissue secretions to be cleared as a normal healthy function. When secretions pool in the bronchial tubes instead of being expelled, they create a fertile environment for bacterial growth. Ongoing infections can exacerbate the problem, utlimately causing pneumonia.

Symptoms

The symptoms are many. Bluish skin tone, fatique, weight loss, coughing that worsens when lying on one side, chronic coughing, shortness of breath when exercising, coughing up blood or sputnum and bad breath are all signs of bronchiectasis. While one or more of these symptoms may indicate bronchiectasis, these symptoms are also associated with other conditions. A physician should be consulted to determine the best course of action.

Treatments

Treatment can lessen the impact of this condition and help sufferers lead a normal life. The goal of treatment is to eliminate airway obstructions and prevent health complications. A respiratory therapist can show patients how to cough to remove bronchial fluid to keep infections from developing. Medications can also be prescribed to treat any infections that threaten good lung health. Antibiotics and other medications are often prescribed as viable options. In the worst cases when other alternatives do not work well, surgery offers a solution to get massive bleeding under control.