Monthly Archives: March 2021

Left Ventricular Hypertrophy (LVH) – Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Left Ventricular Hypertrophy or LVH is a heart condition that causes mortal danger to one’s life if left untreated. LVH, as it is popularly known, is the thickening and enlargement of the heart wall in the heart’s left ventricle, a prominent blood-pumping chamber.
The thickening causes the heart muscles to lose their elasticity and become rigid. The condition adds extra pressure to the heart to fill up the chamber and pump the blood. In the long run, LVH declines the heart capacity to produce enough pressure to pump blood to the body.
The condition develops gradually, and at times goes unnoticed until it reaches critical stages. Regular heart health checks, hence, make a huge difference in keeping up with the heart-wellness.

Left Ventricular Hypertrophy

LVH

Concentric LVH

Concentric LVH is one of the sub-types and results from the heart adapting to hypertension or other heart-related diseases. It affects men and women alike. The symptoms of concentric hypertrophy found in ECG/EKG include

  • Increased heart wall thickness
  • Normal Left ventricles cavity
  • Increased Relative wall thickness
  • Increased Left Ventricular mass

Left Ventricular Hypertrophy (LVH) Symptoms

Left ventricular hypertrophy occurs commonly in people with a history of high uncontrolled blood pressure. Hence, having blood pressure in control is one of the main ways to avoid LVH. LVH leads to a higher risk of congestive heart failure and irregular heart rhythms, which are life-threatening heart conditions.
Some of the general traits experienced by people with LVH are:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue, Dizziness, or fainting
  • Chest pain after exercising or performing a strenuous activity
  • Heart palpitations or fluttering of the heart

Causes of LVH

The most common cause of LVH is uncontrolled high blood pressure. Other causes might include

  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a genetic condition that causes the heart wall to b slightly thicker than the average heart walls.
  • The heart valve regulates the blood flow direction in the heart. Irregular or malfunctioning of these heart valves exerts extra pressure in the heart chambers, leading to thickening muscles.
  • Congenital heart diseases that form during pregnancy do not allow the heart to develop as it should. If the cases are mild most of the times, it does not require rectification. In severe cases, the defect may be corrected via medications or surgery.
  • Aortic valve stenosis is when the aortic valve that supplies blood to the body and is present between the lower left chamber of the heart is narrow. This condition can occur as congenital heart disease or in people over 65 due to calcium deposits in the valve.
  • Athletic Training is one more reason that causes more stress exertion on the heart. In most cases, it is not fatal until another condition exists along since heart enlargement is common among athletes.
  • Similar to calcium deposits mentioned, there are chances that protein deposition can also cause Left Ventricular Hypertrophy. This process or condition is called Amyloidosis.

When to see a doctor?

LVH goes undetected in the early stages since the heart is trying to adjust to the changes in the best possible way without realizing it’s an abnormality. The symptoms often manifest in the later stages. Experiencing a combination or at least two of the following problems indicates that one should consult a doctor as soon as possible.

  • Frequent chest pain that lasts longer than minutes each.
  • Difficulty in breathing after exercising or after mild activities
  • Sudden headaches, difficulty in speaking, weakness in a particular part of the body for no reason
  • Nausea, constant lightheadedness, or loss of consciousness frequently

Left Ventricular Hypertrophy (LVH ) Diagnosis

A combination of the following tests diagnoses LVH as it does not have a standalone test.

  • Electrocardiogram: This is the first step in determining if LVH exists. The electric signal is sent through the heart to observe the pattern. Any deviation from the regular pattern is an indication of an underlying problem in the heart.
  • Echocardiogram: If the doctor has a reason to suspect LVH, the second step they recommend is for the patient to undergo Echocardiogram. It is the process of producing live-action images of the heart and revealing the structure of the heart using sound waves.
  • MRI: Until the cardiologist has second doubts regarding the diagnosis, MRI is not suggested to determine LVH. It is the process of heart imaging to diagnose abnormalities in the heart.

Left Ventricular Hypertrophy (LVH) Treatment

Getting blood pressure under control should ease the LVH condition. In most cases, the medications are taken to maintain regular blood pressure help prevent further enlargement of the heart and help reverse LVH. In various instances, like calcium or protein deposits found in the valves or heart, the medications might slightly differ.
The medications widen the blood vessels, lowers pressure on the heart, and decrease the pressure on the heart by improving the blood flow. The examples of these medications are:

  • Calcium channel blockers are the medications that prevent calcium from entering the heart and also widen the valves.
  • Angiotensin Receptor Blockers (ARB)
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
  • Diuretics
  • Beta-blockers are not usually recommended as the first medication. Only when other drugs fail to produce the expected results, doctors prescribe beta-blocker since they cause variations in the hormones.

The final option is surgery to repair the valves or the vessels, restricting the blood’s proper entry to the heart.

What can you do at home?

One of the best ways to avoid LVH is to follow a healthy lifestyle at home. Following a disciplined routine can help one avoid not only heart complications but other health problems as well.

  • Quitting Smoking is the easiest way to avoid blockages in hearts and lungs since the residue from the smoke causes them.
  • Losing weight can decrease the risk of LVH in obese people since they tend to have a slightly larger heart than ordinary weighing people. Studies have shown that losing weight can also help in reversing the condition in some cases.
  • Following a heart-healthy diet that involves fiber-rich food like fruits, green leafy vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, and good fats like olive oil and ghee can help avoid calcium and protein depositing in the heart.
  • Avoiding extra salt intake helps maintain the proper blood pressure, thus enabling the heart’s efficient working.
  • Quitting or avoiding alcohol consumption helps decrease blood pressure since alcohol is said to increase the same.
  • Following a regular exercise routine for at least 30 minutes daily is a sure-shot way of avoiding health complications.
  • Effective stress management is the primary way to decrease the pressure on the heart. Stress varies the levels of the hormones, thus affecting the heart and body’s efficient performance.
  • Follow medications routine prescribed by the cardiologist if you are diagnosed with LVH. Do not change the dosage of the medicines without consulting the doctor.

Also, Read Seven Simple Tips to Strengthen your Heart

How to Get Rid of a Boil: Causes, Symptoms & Home Remedies

Boils or furuncles are skin infections and occur due to the clogging of the oil glands, hair follicles, or skin pores. The area surrounding the boils is usually reddish when they appear on the skin. Gradually as the day passes, pus forms under the patch and can be painful.

Often the boils can be treated at home and do not need medical attention unless it grows big and starts paining immensely.

how to get rid of a boil

how to get rid of a boil

Types of Boils

Large boils are medically known as skin abscesses. They usually occur on the back, chest, face, or buttocks. Other areas they can occur are the underarms or groin. Most of the skin abscesses will go away without treatment or with the usage of available Over-the-Counter drugs. They rarely become challenging to treat and may require consultation with a dermatologist, who will drain the boil and advise proper medications by studying the underlying cause.

Carbuncles are another type of boils. Carbuncles usually occur in a group and are more frequent in middle-aged men. They are a result of more widespread infection compared to boils and are severe as well. It is safe to consult a medical practitioner in such cases as improper handling can lead to disastrous results.

Another type of boils is the one that occurs on the eyelids and is called Sty(Stye). An infection in the sebaceous glands of the eyelids causes Sty. Since eyes are delicate organs, it is better to consult an Ophthalmologist instead of treating them at home.

Causes of Boils

Boils commonly occur in areas that come in frequent contact with the clothes. The constant rubbing often irritates the skin and can cause minor cuts or bruises. Germs or bacteria entering through these cuts are the primary reason why boils occur.

The leading causes of boils are

  1. The bacteria staphylococci that are present on the skin enter the skin via minor cuts or burns and causes boils
  2. Having close contact with people who have boils and sharing the products used by them
  3. Weak immune system due to conditions such as HIV or chronic disease like diabetes
  4. Existing skin disease such as eczema, psoriasis, or oily skin prone to acne outbreaks
  5. Allergy to medications or medications that can weaken the immune system
  6. Ingrown hair that cannot come out
  7. Splinters or small foreign particles logged in the skin
  8. Poor nutrition and personal hygiene

Symptoms of Boils

The first symptoms of boils are the appearance of reddish spots on the surface of the skin. After a few days, the spots not only turn painful, but pus starts accumulating beneath the skin.

The symptoms of severe infection are:

  • The skin around the boils turns red, painful, warm, and swollen.
  • Increase in the size of the boil
  • Several boils may form around the original boil forming a cluster and severe infection.
  • Developing a fever or chills after a few days of the occurrence of the boil
  • Swelling of the Lymph nodes

Though boils appear similar to acne, they are much more severe and painful. The treatment also varies for both skin conditions.

Treatment for Curing a Boil

Often when they appear, the main question will be how to get rid of a boil since they look ugly and are painful.

Sometimes the boils need not be treated; they disappear on their own. Only when it grows painful and does not go away after a week of appearing will it have to be treated by medical practitioners.

We have a few home remedies to treat boils when they are at the initial stages. They are

home remedies for boils

home remedies for boils

  • Keep warm towels against the boils for 10 mins at least four times a day. This enhances blood circulation around the area, and thus, the WBC’s present in the blood will be able to fight off the infection faster.
  • Put indirect pressure on the boil and take care not to burst them since it increases the risks of expanding the contamination to the nearby skin surfaces.
  • Clean the infection if pus starts oozing out of the boil with anti-bacterial soap. Then dress the wound appropriately with gauze. Clean the wound area at least three times a day till it heals completely.

Do’s and Don’ts for boil treatment at home.

The home remedies for boils help in avoiding complications are later stages. However, one has to follow specific protocols for proper healing of the boils.

  • If boils have developed on the face, do not repeatedly touch them or squeeze them.
  • If the boils have developed due to shaving, avoid shaving the area until the boil has ruptured and healed to avoid the infection’s spread.
  • Do not use sharp objects for popping the boils, as they increase the chances of infections. Usually, the boils rupture on their own with heat compress within a week to ten days.
  • Do not share the towels or clothes with others to minimize the chances the spreading the infection.
  • Do not use swimming pools.
  • Wash the hands frequently to avoid infecting the area with cuts and burns.
  • If there are nicks and cuts, ensure sterilizing the area immediately with alcohol-based solution, and do not touch the area with unclean hands until the wound is healed.
  • Regularly wash commonly used towels and bed-sheets.

Boils usually can be tended at home and do not require a medical practitioner’s attention. However, when one develops high fever and chills or more boils making the condition severe, consult a physician or a dermatologist to help treat the boil. Another scenario to consult a medical practitioner is when boils appear on the face. They will drain the pus carefully and prescribe antibiotics to heal the wound. In case the boils are really large, the pus sample may be sent to the lab to determine the type of infection, and antibiotics will be prescribed based on the results.

Despite taking all the precautions, one cannot avoid developing boils. Once they appear, one cannot get rid of a boil immediately or overnight since it is an infection. Treating it right is the only way to cure the boils, but one has to make efforts to stay healthy and follow personal hygiene to avoid complications.

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