Alternative options: Aortic valve replacement surgery is done for rectification of damaged aortic valves. In this procedure, a different artificial valve replaces patient’s aortic valve. The aortic valve keeps the oxygenated blood flowing away from our heart for the requirement of our body. It acts as one-way swaying door that lets the blood flow in a forward direction and does not let the blood come back into the heart. This valve usually has three flaps and can be inflicted with disease due to a number of causes. The net result of these may make the valve either too narrow or it may let the blood slip back into the heart by becoming leaky. Open heart surgery is typically required to replace the valve if it becomes dysfunctional. Until recently, this procedure could only be done by open-heart surgery.

In the Hindu epic Mahabharata, there is a famous riddle contest between Yudhishthira and a Yaksha. All the Pandavas have been killed by Yaksha on account of their inability to answer his probing questions. The last man standing is Yudhishthira who tries to answer the perplexing queries of the Yaksha tactfully. His reply to one of the Yaksha’s puzzling questions as to what is the greatest wonder and mystery of the world is, that despite death being the ultimate truth and eventuality, we all believe that it would never come to us.

All of us feel culpable, accountable and guilty after devouring a yummy fried snack. Those who are confiscated while eating a triple chocolate fudge cake or that delicious lip-smacking cookie usually makes an ignominious excuse and feel blameworthy. The primary explanation for this disposition is the relentless preaching for decades about detrimental effects of cholesterol by the cardiologists. It is believed that blood cholesterol is directly responsible for heart disease and stroke. It is assumed that those who have high cholesterol levels are at higher risk of getting a heart attack and stroke. However, as was discovered with time, the majority of patients who develop heart attack have normal levels of cholesterol. In addition, many of those who have high cholesterol levels never develop heart disease. Clearly either we are missing a bit or there is something more than the cholesterol in the development of this deadly disease.

Love is not the only reason for sugary hearts. High blood sugars or diabetes could also be the reason for the same. Unlike candy hearts of love diabetes always means catastrophic consequences.

High blood sugar or diabetes is a complex problem and is usually due to the inability of the body to utilize sugar or glucose. As a result, blood sugar levels increase. The utilization of blood sugar for metabolic purposes is mediated by insulin; a hormone produced by the pancreas and diabetes is due to the relative or complete deficiency of insulin.

Since ancient times man has always searched for that quick magic potion which could give him infinite energy and vigor to attain his aspirations. Energy drinks have slowly invaded the markets and promise just the same objective. These drinks are especially popular with the athletes, party animals and the younger lots. They are being promoted as non-alcoholic, action-packed, vitaminised energy drink formulated to deal with the physical and mental fatigue. There is dearth of clinical scientific data on the probable detrimental effects of such drinks on the health. It has recently been realized that these seemingly harmless drinks may not be safe for the heart especially for those who are suffering from preexisting heart ailments.

The power of our mind over our body is well known and we all believe and know that our thoughts mould our behavior and phenotype. The evolution of our individual self is depended on thought processes of our mind which help us in adapting to environmental threats and encourage developing surviving fitness skills. Thus the influence of the mind is immense and perpetual during our entire life span.

It is often perceived and alleged that modern physicians are actually outstanding technicians, but awful healers. More often doctors remember their patients because of their anatomical disease instead of recalling them with their names and disposition. Doctors tend to give more emphasis on modern diagnostic and therapeutic interventions while forgetting somewhere along the course that they are actually treating human beings with souls and emotions.

Since time immemorial men and women think, behave and speak differently as if both are different species. However, recent evidence suggests that on suffering illness and becoming unwell the two are taken care differently too. This is particularly noticeable as far as cardiac care is concerned. Experts estimate that one in two women will die of heart disease or stroke during their lifetime proving that cardiovascular disease is a major killer of women worldwide. However gender differences persist in diagnosing female patients with heart disease, treating them aggressively and also in the response of the treatment offered to them. In a recent study it was found that in United States 42 percent of women who have heart attacks die within 1 year compared with 24 percent of men. The observed disparities could be due to women having atypical symptoms of heart attack compared to men, patient or physician refusal to recognize the problem, their failure to note the seriousness of the situation along with social and cultural inconsistencies for care of two genders.

Passive Smoke

When someone smokes, those around him or her smoke too. Similarly, a pregnant woman, who is smoking, is actually subjecting her fetus to the harmful effects of smoking and it is not difficult to understand that smoke from cigarettes, which is so dreadful for the smoker, is also damaging to others. Passive smoking is a serious public health risk for both children and adults. It is also a major source of indoor air pollution. It was estimated that prolonged passive smoking increases the risk of lung cancer by approximately 20 to 25 per cent. Smoking during pregnancy increases risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and passive smoking is known to be one of the main contributing factors in the development of childhood asthma. Female fertility can suffer because of passive smoking, making it harder to conceive a child.

Sociocultural responses to alcohol consumption are diverse and varied across cultures. We have societies in the western world like the Mediterranean countries, where consuming alcohol is not frowned upon and accepted as an integral part of celebratory occasions unlike countries like India in which alcohol consumption is still fraught with cultural and social disapproval. Similarly, health establishments too may differ widely in their opinions on alcohol consumption. While some may advocate a regular consumption of moderate amounts, others may endorse, restrain or even suggest complete abstinence. This has led to a credence ambiguity for alcohol in the public. Those suffering from heart disease are no exception and some may even have the misconception that consuming liquor in small amounts has a great curative effect.