Enlarged Heart

We often hear of an enlarged heart, what does it mean? How does one’s heart get enlarged? And how does it affect our health?

Heart Disease
Heart Disease
Our heart is a pear-shaped muscle pumping oxygen-rich blood throughout the body.
Sometimes due to certain factors, birth defects- congenital heart defects, our heart muscle has to work much harder causing it to enlarge or become bigger in size.
Once the heart becomes enlarged, it is almost impossible to get it back to the original size.Therefore timely detection and management is the key.
Let’s try and explore factors which lead to an enlarged heart, a medical condition, which is impossible to cure but can be managed medically.
  • Congenital heart defects or heart defects one is born with us as PDA, VSD, ASD, Mitral valve defect, left untreated lead to high pulmonary pressures, which in turn lead to thickening of the arterial wall and also an enlarged heart.Though most babies are routinely scanned for congenital heart defects in developed countries, treatment upon detection and early intervention and management still remains the key.Many parents despite detection, are often scared to get surgical interventions without realizing that they are hampering both mental and physical growth and putting children at risk of enlarged heart and other complications later on in life.

 

  • Lifestyle-related complications such as hypertension or high blood pressure also lead to an enlarged heart over a period of time.In case of high blood pressure, the heart has to pump harder to deliver blood to the rest of your body, thereby thickening and enlarging the heart muscle.High blood pressure may also enlarge the upper chambers of the heart, the left ventricle and also weaken the heart long-term.

 

  • Coronary artery disease or CAD (blocked arteries requiring stenting, angioplasty) can also lead to a heart attack. A part of the heart muscle dies during a heart attack, causing the heart muscle to work harder to supply blood to the entire body which over long-term leads to an enlarged heart.

 

  • Abnormal Heart Beat or Arrhythmia is often ignored but may cause an enlarged heart over a period of time.

 

  • Anemia or low level of iron in the body, where the body doesn’t have enough Red Blood Cells to carry blood to the body, leads to rapid, irregular heartbeat causing the heart to pump harder to make up for lack of sufficient oxygen in the blood.Sicklers or patients suffering from sickle cell anemia are at an increased risk and despite hearsay, a Bone Marrow Transplant or a BMT remains the only curative treatment for Sickle Cell Anemia, Thalassemia Major.

 

  • Thyroid disorders, also lead to various heart diseases over a period of time leading to an enlarged heart.
The biggest complications arising from an enlarged heart are heart failure,  SCA or SCD (sudden cardiac arrest or sudden cardiac death) or what is known as a silent heart attack in laymen language.
Heart Failure: During heart failure, the heart muscle weakens and the ventricles, stretch or dilate to a point that the heart cannot pump blood efficiently, leading to a sudden cardiac arrest.
Silent heart attack or SCD: An enlarged heart causes the heart rhythm to be so slow that the muscle is unable to move blood or it may cause a heart rhythm, so fast that the muscle is unable to beat properly resulting in sudden death.
More on diagnosis and treatment options in our next post.
Stay tuned in for more.
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Women’s Day! Weight Loss- The Healthy Way

This women’s day lets talk about something that on top of mind for most women, though its importance for all of us, is no less, “Weight loss the healthy way“.

Women's Day
Womens Day

Many of us believe, cutting down on fat is the way to weight loss.  Research, however, shows cutting down on carbs is the way to go.

Here are a few quick ways to cut down on carbohydrates and lose weight the healthy way.

Avoid Bread: Cutting down on bread especially the white bread ones, reduces intake of carbohydrates. Most bread is made of refined flours and even the enriched ones, multigrain, ragi ones have a fair share of carbohydrates. Replacing them with Multigrain millets such as Ragi, Rye, Amaranth, Barley, raw steel cut Oats, Multigrain rotis( Indian flatbread) is a wiser choice.

Avoid fruit Juices: Fruit juices even the ones labelled 100% fruit juice, have no fibre content and are often no better than sugary beverages. Though some juices are enriched with vitamins, the same can also be provided with seeds and nuts.

Replacing fruit juices with whole fruits is a much better option as whole fruits have a good fibre content and are also a good source of vitamins and minerals.

Freshly squeezed cucumber juice with mint, coriander is also a better choice over prepackaged fruit juices.

Eliminate Sodas and Energy Drinks: Sugary sodas, drinks are best avoided.
Lemon flavoured water, Lemon-ginger infused water, cucumber infused water are good healthier substitutes.

Protein, Protein, Protein: Loading up on protein, lean meats creates a feeling of fullness and ensures that you eat lesser calories through the day. having sufficient protein also ensures lesser muscle loss while exercising.

Adding protein to your daily breakfast instead of sugary cereals, rich in carbohydrates, is a good way to start the day.

Load up on the veggies: Loading up on veggies, adding them to breakfast, lunch and dinner is a good option as not only does eating veggies not only gives us much-needed nutrients but also creates a feeling of fullness and cuts carb cravings.

These easy diet modifications will help not only take inches off your midline but will also lead to a healthier U.

And of course, 30 minutes of exercise at least 5 days a week will add an extra punch.

If all else fails and your BMI still remains over 31, weight loss surgery or bariatric surgery ( Gastric sleeve, gastric bypass) may be good options to consider and may get your blood pressure, diabetes and other obesity-related health conditions under check.

To know more about bariatric surgery, cost in India, click here.

To know more about the cost of weight loss surgery in Delhi, from the best hospitals in India, click here.

To ask a free question or a get a free second opinion online, click here.

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And lastly wishing firmer boobs, no love handles, flat belly’s, groovy curves to all the beauties and cuties. Happy Women’s day!