Your Complete Guide to Treating a Heart Block
The heart is, without a doubt, one of the most important parts of the human body. The health of your heart matters just as much as that of any other body part. If anything, it is perhaps the most essential organ in your body and you need to you ensure the wellbeing of your heart as you age since it is prone to certain disorders and conditions that can result in short- and long-term damage.
Here is a comprehensive guide that introduces you to the concept of an atrioventricular (AV) block, commonly referred to as a ‘heart block’. Read on as we take you through the different types of heart blocks, symptoms to watch out for, risk factors associated with heart blockage and ways to treat it.
What is a Heart Block?
To understand the concept of heart blockage, it is first important to know how the heart works. The heart muscles contract to push blood around the body internally and this process are referred to as a heartbeat. A normal person’s heartbeat rate ranges from 60 beats to 100 beats in a minute and every contraction is controlled by electrical impulses or signals that travel from your atria1 to your ventricles2.
1Atria: The upper chambers of the human heart
2Ventricles: The lower chambers of your heart
When these electrical signals experience any delay or blockage, the heart stops to beat normally.
In case of a heart block (or atrioventricular block), the heartbeats are abnormally low and irregular and can stop for up to 20 seconds at a time. This is usually due to an underlying condition that causes electrical signals or impulses to stop or delay.
This abnormally slow or irregular rhythm of the heart results in the electrical signals getting obstructed or blocked between the atria and ventricles. While not all heart blocks are fatal, there are several symptoms that point towards addressing the problem sooner rather than later in order to circumvent any long-term harm.
9 Symptoms and Effects of a Heart Block
The typical symptoms and effects of a heart block may include:
- Heart failure or sudden cardiac arrest
- Acute pain or throbbing discomfort in the chest region
- Fainting or unconsciousness
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Palpitations and fever
- Shortness of breath or unprecedented respiratory problems
- Disruption in regularized blood circulation
- Inability to carry out intense physical activities
If you experience one or more of these symptoms, it may point towards a heart block. We recommend scheduling a visit to a doctor at the earliest to get yourself thoroughly checked for a potential heart blockage.
Not all heart blocks, as we mentioned above, are fatal. There are different types of blocks that one may experience and it is important to diagnose the type correctly before taking corrective measures.
Types of Heart Blocks and Diagnosis
Your doctor may question you about your medical history and check for any preexisting heart conditions or disease.
A heart blockage is generally diagnosed using an electrocardiogram, a painless procedure that helps record your heart’s functioning and rhythm. The electrocardiogram also reflects the strength and timing of the electrical signals passing through your heart. By placing probes on the chest, electric impulses are recorded and displayed in the form of wave patterns on a graph. These patterns can help a doctor diagnose irregular heartbeats.
An echocardiogram, on the other hand, is used by doctors to ‘see’ your heart muscles and valves via ultrasound scanning technology.
Another way to diagnose and detect the exact location and cause of the heart’s abnormal rhythm is by undergoing the electrophysiology test that uses small electrical shocks.
There are three different types or degrees of heart block:
- First-degree heart block – In this case, there is a minor disruption in the heartbeat, where your heart might skip a couple of beats. This doesn’t really require treatment. However, in some cases, your doctor might ask you to wear a Holter monitor to track your heartbeat rhythm (anywhere between one day to one month).
- Second-degree heart block – Here, the electrical signals do not reach the heart, thus causing irregular heartbeats and a feeling of dizziness. In some extreme cases, a pacemaker might be required to treat this kind of heart blockage.
- Third-degree heart block – This is when the electrical signals stop traveling between the upper and lower chambers of the heart, thus resulting in a block (and even a heart attack). A pacemaker is a must for treating this kind of block. Third-degree blocks are more common amongst people who already suffer from some kind of heart disease.
Risk Factors Associated with Heart Blockage
There are certain risks associated with heart blocks, but typically, senior citizens who smoke, drink or have a history of heart conditions are at the top of the risk pyramid. Some people are born with a heart block while others may develop one later in life.
A few conditions, including the ones mentioned below, are known to increase your risk of developing a blockage in the heart:
- Coronary thrombosis
- Endocarditis (inflammation of the heart valves)
- Myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscles)
- Rheumatic fever
- Scarring of the tissue after surgery or a stroke
- Acute heart blockage after a heart attack
In case you suffer from any of the aforementioned conditions, we recommend taking advice from your doctor to gauge the best possible remedy to avoid, treat or manage a heart block.
Different Ways of Treating a Heart Block
There are several ways and remedies to treat a heart block, medically or otherwise. An acquired heart block can be treated by resolving the underlying factor. However, one might need to rely on certain products or devices to treat or manage more serious degrees of heart blockages.
Let us take a look at some of the most widely-acknowledged ways of treatment and products that can help address the problem:
Ayurvedic means of treatment have for long been considered natural and effective. According to ancient texts, Ayurveda practitioners and modern-day health professionals, certain natural ingredients and foods have the capability to resolve and cure a wide range of physical ailments and illnesses. These include honey, lemon, ginger, garlic and apple cider vinegar, amongst others. You could try mixing these ingredients at home and consuming the mixture on a daily basis or opt for a readymade product. Zero Block by Senera Essentials, for instance, is the first-of-its-kind 500 ml Ayurvedic blend of the aforementioned elements that aids in clearing any heart blockages. On consuming one spoon a day, this antioxidant-rich product can help treat an assortment of conditions or diseases and resulting in a range of benefits for the user, including:
- Keeping your cholesterol levels under control
- Preventing respiratory conditions like asthma
- Improving the functioning of your digestive system
- Controlling blood pressure levels
- Managing or losing weight
- Improving your heart health
- Enhancing stamina and overall health
Available online at Seniority for Rs. 885, Zero Block is a great source of Vitamin C and an effective way to eliminate heart blockages. Take one spoon on an empty stomach every morning and experience the ingredients working their magic on you. The pure apple cider vinegar helps control cholesterol and triglyceride levels, lemon juice prevents the hardening of your arteries, honey acts as an antioxidant, ginger extract relaxes the blood vessels and garlic extract boosts good cholesterol and blood flow.
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Several natural supplements can help treat or clear blocked arteries. These include fish oil, Vitamin B-6, and B-12, tocotrienols, quercetin, folic acid, lycopene, chondroitin sulfate, Vitamin C, I-carnitine, copper, magnesium, selenium, trimethylglycine, cod liver oil, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, beta-sitosterol, resveratrol, chromium, etc. However, it is best to consult a doctor before you decide to start taking any such supplements.
- The Omega-3 Fish Oil Gel Capsules by Healthy Hey are free of mercury and heart patients should ideally consume one or two soft gel capsules with every meal to experience its benefits. Made from high-quality fish oil rich in omega-3 fatty acids, the capsules are great for your heart, brain, joints, and skin. What’s more, the product comes with a 100 per cent money-back guarantee in case you are dissatisfied with the quality or results.
- Flaxseed Oil Soft Gel Capsules by Healthy Hey are a healthy supplement that delivers a host of health benefits and is considered great for the heart. Enriched with Vitamin E, you can consume one soft gel capsule with every meal (or as directed by your physician).
- Healthvit’s Folic Acid Tablets also aid in improving your heart’s fitness, simultaneously promoting energy metabolism and healthy homocysteine levels. This supplement enables the manufacturing of red blood cells, forming DNA and RNA, too.
We are sure your ancestors and grandparents showered you with wisdom about the usage of natural herbs for the treatment of all kinds of diseases and disorders. While it hasn’t been proven scientifically when it comes to treating heart blocks, herbal remedies such as fenugreek, green tea, turmeric, ginger, rosemary, garlic, psyllium, cocoa, flax seeds, hawthorn, hempseed, barley, and bilberry are said to be excellent herbs to treat or manage cardiovascular health problems.
- Heart Guard Capsules from Organic India can help protect your heart from free radical damage, improving the body’s cardiac performance. These capsules not only fight damage from free radicals but also guard against lipid disorders and high blood pressure. Made from a mixture of Arjuna Bark, Sahijan Lead and Reetha Fruit, this energy-boosting heart tonic nourishes the blood, improves circulation and rejuvenates your cells.
For second-degree or third-degree heart blockages, the doctors might give you a battery-operated device called a pacemaker in your chest (near the collarbone). This involves a minor surgery and once the artificial pacemaker is installed, it enables your heart to beat normally, providing backup if and when the heartbeats are irregular. The pacemaker basically detects any irregularity in the heartbeat and produces an electronic impulse to normalize it. Without a pacemaker, serious heart blocks can result in fatal heart attacks. It is important that you know about the making of your pacemaker and informs all your near and dear ones about the latest developments in your treatment. It is also advisable to steer clear of electrical devices that have strong magnetic fields since it may interfere with the functioning of your pacemaker.
Heart health is an underrated concept, especially here in India. It is important that you equip yourself with abundant knowledge about it and maintain a basic level of overall fitness to ensure that your heart stays healthy, especially as you grow older. In case you have a history of heart problems that run in the family, it becomes essential that you take care of your cardiovascular health to a greater extent. If and when you feel something abnormal or experience any of the symptoms mentioned above, get yourself checked immediately.
Remember, the heart silently does its job of keeping you fit and running, beating at least 60 times in a minute. If you notice any sudden changes in performance, it might call for medical intervention.
At Seniority, we promote the wellbeing of your heart and overall health by offering a massive range of wellness products, supplements, and devices that are designed to help you live better and longer.