The Practice of Cardiology and a Healthy Heart
It is a well-known fact that if you are healthy, your heart is healthy. What exactly is a healthy heart? Most definitely, it is one that is still beating strong, with no complications. There are many factors that determine whether someone’s heart is healthy enough. Over time, many people’s hearts become less strong, and will inevitably end in their death. Cardiology is the medical specialty that deals with diseases of the heart, and many of us will see a cardiologist in our lifetime. Thanks to these men and women, many people have kept their lives, or even improved them, with the help of medical science.
All about the Heart:
One of the basics to understanding what a healthy heart is, is to understand its major components and how they work. When you see a doctor, they will often tell you what is wrong with which part, and it is up to you to take the best course of action. However, the best care for a heart is preventative care, that is, doing all that you can to be sure nothing will go wrong. Essentially, the heart is a living pump, delivering blood to all parts of the body. The heart beats approximately 72 times per minute that we are alive. The blood that is pumped throughout the body carries much-needed chemicals, such as oxygen and glucose. What parts make up the heart?
- The walls of the heart are made up of three layers.
- The heart cavity is divided into four separate chambers: the upper chambers, called the left and right atria, and the lower chambers, called the left and the right ventricle.
- There are many valves, arteries, and vessels connected to and located throughout the heart.
The process through which the heart receives and delivers blood is complex, and happens in a fraction of a second. The right atrium receives blood from the upper and lower parts of the body through the superior and inferior vena cava. The right atrium opens into the right ventricle. The blood is then pumped to the lungs to receive more oxygen. Then, the left atrium receives this reoxigenated blood through the four pulmonary veins. Finally, the blood flows to the left ventricle, that pumps this blood back through the entire body to repeat the process once more. The aorta is the largest artery in the body, and it originates from the left ventricle.
Now, to make sure that this whole process is happening properly, and that there is nothing wrong with the heart, there are specialized medical professionals, called cardiologists. Cardiovascular disease is the main cause of death in both men and women in the industrialized nations. This is a big concern, since many do not know that they are at risk. Cardiologists use an extensive medical history of their patients, as well as those of other family members to determine if they are-at risk. Patients are given a full, physical examination. One basic tool used is the stethoscope, with which a doctor can listen to your heart to determine any irregularities. Many patients may be required to wear heart monitors for 24 hours to determine if there are any occasional flutters or skipped beats. Many doctors rely on a measure of the patient’s cholesterol levels, as well as treadmill stress test to determine if any symptoms are present. In any case, if it were not for cardiologists, and their extensive knowledge of the workings of the human heart, many would still not be living today.