How Does Smoking Affect Heart Health?

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In the current day, smoking is the new concern. As irrespective of age several people have picked up the habit of smoking. Commonly smoking is assumed to cause cancers and mostly lung cancer, unfortunately people do not understand the other several effects of smoking in heart health. 

What are the chemicals in cigarettes that play a role?

Each puff of a cigarette delivers a cocktail of 7000 chemicals, many of them are toxic and extremely dangerous to your heart health. Some of the key chemical culprits are:

Nicotine:

This addictive compound makes you smoke and develops an addiction. This compound is known to narrow blood vessels, raising blood pressure, and making it harder for blood to reach your heart and other important organs.

Carbon monoxide:

This gas displaces oxygen from red blood cells, reducing the oxygen supply to your heart muscles and affecting their ability to function properly. 

Tar:

This sticky substance damages the lining of your blood vessels, promoting plaque buildup and narrowing arteries. 

Free radicals:

These unstable molecules contribute to inflammation and damage heart cells over time. 

How does smoking cause heart health problems?

The chemicals in cigarette smoke attack your heart and blood vessels in several ways:

Atherosclerosis:

Smoking accelerates the buildup of plaque which is a fatty substance in the arteries. This plaque buildup known as atherosclerosis, narrows the arteries and reduces the blood flow to the heart. This restricted blood flow can lead to angina (chest pain) and increase the risk of heart attack. 

Blood clots:

Smoking damages the inner lining of your blood vessels, making them more prone to forming blood clots. These clots can block arteries completely, causing a heart attack or stroke and other heart health disorders. 

Arrhythmias:

The harmful chemicals in cigarettes can disrupt the electrical signals that control your heartbeat leading to irregular heart rhythms. 

Inflammation:

Smoking triggers chronic inflammation throughout the body, including in your blood vessels. This inflammation further damages your arteries and contributes to heart health disease risk. 

Weakened heart muscle:

Due to reduced oxygen and nutrient supply, smoking weakens your heart muscle, making it harder for it to pump blood effectively. 

What are the heart health related diseases caused by smoking?

Smoking significantly increases your risk of developing several heart-related diseases, including:

Coronary artery disease:

This is one of the leading causes of fatality and is directly linked to smoking. CHD occurs when plaque buildup in the coronary arteries reduces blood flow to the heart muscle. This can lead to angina (chest pain), heart attack, heart failure. 

Heart attack:

When a blood clot completely blocks a coronary artery, it can lead to a heart attack. During a heart attack, the heart muscle is deprived of oxygen and nutrients, causing permanent damage or even death. 

Stroke: 

Smoking also increases your risk of stroke, which occurs when a blood clot blocks blood flow to the brain. Stroke can cause paralysis, speech problems, and cognitive impairment. 

Peripheral artery disease:

Smoking narrows arteries throughout the body, not just those supplying the heart. PAD affects the arteries in the legs, causing pain, cramping, and even difficulty walking.

Aortic aneurysm:

Smoking weakens the aorta, the largest artery in your body. This can lead to an aneurysm, a potentially life-threatening bulge in the artery wall. 

If you are someone who smokes, reach out to the best cardiologist in Coimbatore to seek timely diagnosis and treatment.

What are the signs that indicate heart health problems?

When a person smokes on a regular basis, they can develops at a certain point, it can cause symptoms like, 

  • Breathlessness 
  • Heart failure 
  • Chest pain
  • Arrhythmia
  • Lightheadedness

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms it is important to seek medical help to avoid major complications. 

What are the benefits of quitting smoking?

Quitting smoking can benefit in several ways, as it can reduce life-threatening conditions, here are some of the benefits of quitting smoking:

  • Life expectancy rate increases drastically
  • Carbon monoxide levels return to normal within 12 hours of quitting smoking
  • The heart disease risk decreases after 12-24 hours of quitting smoking
  • The heart rate drops to the normal level after 20 minutes after you quit smoking
  • After 2-3 days of quitting smoking your sense of taste and smell increases
  • After about four years of quitting smoking your risk of developing stroke reduces drastically. 

How do you quit smoking?

Quitting smoking is definitely difficult, but it is definitely not impossible. With the right dedication and determination you can become a non-smoker in a short period of time. Smokers who quit report several positive changes in their overall health. It improves heart health and reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Important Takeaway:
Unfortunately smoking claims several lives every year. Smokers should understand that there are several benefits of quitting smoking. To live a healthy life and avoid smoking it is important to follow several steps. Reach out to the best cardiology hospital in Coimbatore in case you are looking to seek expert care and treatment.