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Heart Disease: Will I Get It If I Have A Family History? Expert Explains

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Heart disease happens to be the no. 1 killer in the world. Each year, millions of people succumb to heart attacks, cardiac arrests, and other heart diseases. But, it is still unknown if it is genetic or not, unanswered question. Thousands of people out there wonder if their kids will suffer from a heart attack or not if they themselves suffered one in the past. So here we are, answering your queries and providing you with a definite answer to this question.

Cardiologist Dr. Vinod Sharma says, “Heart diseases are genetic. There is a certain percentage of patients whose family has a history of heart diseases. By family, we refer to the parents and the immediate family. If the parents had suffered a heart attack or they contracted heart diseases at a young age, 55 and less, then their children are also likely to get heart diseases. This happens only when any person in the immediate family, including cousins, uncles, and aunts, contract a heart disease at a young age (less than 55).”

Types of heart diseases: 9 most common forms

Heart diseases can be of many types. Here’s a list of the 9 most common forms of heart disease.

Angina

Arrhythmia

Atrial Fibrillation

Hypertension

Cardiomyopathy

Heart valve problem

High cholesterol

Heart failure

Myocardial infarction

If heart attacks are genetic, then what is the impact of unhealthy lifestyle on heart diseases?

It is also believed that heart diseases are caused due to unhealthy dietary choices and habits. However, Dr. Sharma says that these are just the risk factors. He said, “Unhealthy dietary choices like high-fat foods, no exercising, smoking, and drinking are just the risk factors. They are not the causes of a heart disease. There are two things. First is the gene responsible for heart disease. And second are the environmental factors which modify the behavior of that gene.”

What are the risk factors of heart diseases?

When we say risk factors, we refer to certain habits or conditions which can increase your likelihood of contracting a disease. So is the case with heart diseases. Certain factors can increase your risk of contracting these diseases, but we cannot conclusively say that they will affect you with heart diseases. These risk factors include:

Hypertension

High cholesterol

Diabetes

Smoking

Obesity

Family history

Physical inactivity

Age (above 55)

“Diabetes, hypertension, unhealthy diet, smoking, and high cholesterol are not the causes of heart disease. They are the risk factors. So people with these health conditions are more likely to get affected by heart diseases,” he added.

“However, it is not necessary that all people with diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol will have heart disease. Likewise, it is not necessary that a person with heart disease will surely have high blood pressure or diabetes or cholesterol. This goes for heart attacks as well,” Dr. Sharma concluded.

So to conclude, we can say that genetics is a non-modifiable risk factor for heart diseases. However, if you do not carry that gene, then a healthy lifestyle can keep you safe from contracting heart diseases later in life. Nevertheless, a balanced diet and workout routine can keep you safe from heart diseases in the first place.

(Dr. Vinod Sharma is a cardiologist at the National Heart Institute)


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Health

‘Unusual’ warning signs of brain tumors

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Cancer is caused by cells in a specific part of the body reproducing uncontrollably, according to the NHS.

These cancerous cells can destroy the healthy tissue surrounding them — including organs, express.co.uk reported.

More than a third of all people will develop cancer at some point in their lifetime.

You could be at risk of a brain tumor if you have a ‘severe’ headache, it’s been revealed.

Headaches that are severe and persistent could be one of the earliest warning signs of a brain tumor, said Consultant Neurosurgeon, Ian Sabin.

He told Express that the headaches are usually worse in the morning, and gradually get better throughout the day.

It’s not uncommon for the headaches to be accompanied by blurred vision when standing up from a seated position, he added.

“Early signs of a general brain tumor can include headaches that are severe and persistent, continue for an extended period and are unusual i.e. not related to an existing illness,” said Sabin, who is also Medical Director at the London Gamma Knife Center, part of HCA Healthcare UK.

“Characteristically they are present on waking in the morning and often improve once the individual is up and about.

“There may be visual disturbance when rising from a sitting position, with ‘greying’ out of vision [obscurations] and a feeling of faintness.

“Sudden onset headache, sometimes referred to as ‘thunderclap’, may be due to a hemorrhage in and around the brain and requires urgent investigation.

“Some brain tumors grow faster than others, and it is important to know when you need to see a medical professional for a second opinion.”

You could also be at risk of a brain tumor if you’re feeling constantly nauseous, added Sabin.

Vomiting and nausea is caused by a tumor interfering with the internal circulation of brain fluid, which causes ‘water on the brain’, he said.

While most people feel nauseous at some points, you should see a doctor if it’s associated with headaches or drowsiness.

An other warning signs of a brain tumour include seizures, cognitive changes, and even hearing loss.

More than 9,000 people in the UK every year are diagnosed with brain tumors.

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Top 5 Natural Ways Which Can Help Treat Piles At Home

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Piles are swelling or swollen haemorrhoids that occur inside and around the anus, and along the anal canal. Haemorrhoids are masses, clumps, cushions of tissue full of blood vessels which support the tissue, muscle and elastic fibers in the anal canal. Everyone has haemorrhoids. However, when the haemorrhoids guarding the anal passage become too big due to inflammation, the vein walls stretch, thin and gets irritated while passing the bowel movements. This is when piles develop. They become a problem when haemorrhoids start become itchy, cause pain or bleed. Piles are generally caused due to constipation, diarrhea, during pregnancy, diet lacking in fiber, lifting heavy weights or straining while passing stool. Piles, often go away on their own without treatment in a couple of weeks. Fortunately, several effective home remedies and lifestyle changes can help deal with or even avoid haemorrhoids.

Top 5 home remedies to cure piles fast:

1. Warm water baths:

Sitting in a tub of warm water may help ease the swelling and reduce irritation caused by hemorrhoids. You can also add other ingredients to the water in order to help reduce symptoms even further. These ingredients can include a cup of Epsom salts or apple cider vinegar.

2. Coconut oil:

Everyone knows the several health benefits that the coconut oil offers. Coconut oil is a natural moisturizer, which may also help with hemorrhoid symptoms. Applying coconut oil may reduce the irritation and swelling, and it may also help reduce the urge to scratch.

3. Fiber-rich diet:

Diets high in fiber is very important for digestive health, especially when it comes to bowel movements. Fiber can absorb water, which helps to both soften the stool and give it more body. This makes it easier to pass. Include lots of fruits, legumes, whole grains and vegetables in your diet. Also, try avoiding processed and junk food.

4. Fluids:

Drinking plenty of liquid throughout the day will help keep the stool soft and manageable as it works its way through the intestines. The result is a much softer stool that takes less energy to pass and causes less irritation to the hemorrhoids. You should drink plenty of water all day long or other drinks like lime water or coconut water that soothes your stomach and are good for digestion.

5. Ice packs:

Ice packs can be an effective home remedy if you have piles. Applying ice or cold packs to the hemorrhoid may also be helpful in relieving pain and inflammation. You can put a small cold pack on the spot which is troublesome several times a day. It can help relieve you of pain and bring down the swelling for a little time.

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Being overweight or underweight could take away 4 years from your life: Study

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Most of us know that being overweight or underweight is not healthy and may lead to a plethora of lifestyle-related diseases but according to a study published in the medical journal Lancet, being over or under your ideal weight might have some really serious repercussions – it could knock four years off your life.

“BMI is known to be strongly associated with all-cause mortality, but few studies have been large enough to reliably examine associations between BMI and a comprehensive range of cause-specific mortality outcomes”, the report states.

Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to adult men and women.

The report, one of the largest of its kind, involved samples from nearly 2 million people who were registered with doctors in the UK.

“Associations between BMI and mortality were stronger at younger ages than at older ages, and the BMI associated with lowest mortality risk was higher in older individuals than in younger individuals. Compared with individuals of healthy weight, life expectancy from age 40 years was 4·2 years shorter in obese men and 3·5 years shorter in obese women, and 4·3 years shorter in underweight men and 4·5 years shorter in underweight women”, the study found.

Researchers also found that, from the age of 40, people at the higher end of the healthy Body Mass Index (BMI) range had the lowest risk of dying from a disease. But people at the top and bottom ends of the BMI risked having shorter lives.

It continued, “BMI was associated with all causes of death categories, except transport-related accidents, including cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and respiratory diseases.”

However, according to a BBC report, an author of the research Dr Krishnan Bhaskaran said, “Not everybody in the healthy category is at the lowest risk of disease. For most causes of death we found that there was an ‘optimal’ BMI level, with the risk of death increasing both below and above that level.”

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