A hole in the heart is pretty common among infants and children nowadays. Fetal cardiac abnormalities cause a hole in the heart. Congenital heart defects are problems in the heart’s structure that are present at birth. As a result of these abnormalities, blood flow through the heart is disrupted.
During the previous few decades, the detection and management of these issues have improved. As a result, children with simple congenital heart defects can grow into adults. Because their heart abnormalities may close on their own or be cured, they may be able to enjoy everyday, healthy, and active lives.
- How is it diagnosed?
- Effects of a hole in the heart
- What causes it?
- What problems can occur later in life due to a hole in the heart?
- Natural treatment for a hole in the heart
Most of the time, holes in the heart do not require treatment, but it is necessary for some rare circumstances. The surgery or repair is usually done during childhood or infancy. Some people will have to go through treatment if the condition persists. In many cases, the holes in the heart do not require any medications or surgery and get naturally treated.
Many children are born with a hole in their heart that causes no symptoms. Signs and symptoms might occur in adulthood.
- One of the signs and symptoms of a hole in the heart is shortness of breath, especially when exercising.
- Swelling in the legs, feet, or abdomen
- Symptoms such as chest pains or irregular beats are typical
- A cardiac murmur, which is a whooshing sound, can be detected with a stethoscope.
How is it diagnosed?
A doctor may refer a child to a cardiologist after hearing a heart murmur that signals a hole in the atrial septum. A pediatric cardiologist is a doctor who specializes in detecting and treating heart problems in children and teenagers.
One or more of the following tests may be conducted by the cardiologist:
- X-ray: An X-ray of the heart and surrounding organs is called a chest X-ray.
- ECG: An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a recording of the electrical activity of the heart.
- Echo: A image of the heart and the blood flow through its chambers is called an echocardiogram. This is frequently the first step in diagnosing a hole in the heart.
Effects of a hole in the heart
The left side of the heart normally only pumps blood to the body, whereas the right side only pumps blood to the lungs if not then it causes right heart failure. Blood can move from the left upper heart chamber (left atrium) to the right upper chamber (right atrium) and out into the lung arteries in a child with a hole in the heart.
The extra blood pumped into the lung arteries makes the heart and lungs work harder, and the lung arteries might eventually become damaged if the hole is large.
It’s possible that if the hole is small, it won’t produce any symptoms or difficulties. Many healthy people still have a Patent Foramen Ovale, a little residual hole in the wall between the atria PFO(Patent Foramen Ovale).
Also Read: Hole in Heart Surgery- Cost & Complications
What causes it?
Every infant is born with a gap between the upper chambers of the heart. It’s a common fetal hole that permits blood to bypass the lungs before birth. The hole is no longer required after childbirth, and it usually closes or shrinks within a few weeks or months.
The hole is sometimes larger than usual and does not close after birth. The reason for most children’s holes in the heart is still unknown. Along with the holes in the heart, some children may have other cardiac problems.
What problems can occur later in life due to a hole in the heart?
Untreated holes in the heart in children can lead to health issues later in life, such as an irregular heart rhythm (an atrial arrhythmia) and problems with the heart’s ability to pump blood efficiently. As children with a hole in the heart grow older, a blood clot could form, pass through the hole in the septum, and travel to the brain, putting them at risk for stroke. In older patients with bigger untreated holes in the heart, pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in the lungs) may develop over time. Doctors frequently advise closing holes in the heart early in childhood because of the potential complications.
Also Read: Good Health for the Heart and Women’s Diet
Natural treatment for a hole in the heart
The heart and lungs do not have to work harder if the hole in the heart is small and does not require any medical attention. Small hole found in the heart of the babies often gets close or narrow on their own naturally. No medicine can make the hole shrink or close any faster than it does naturally.
Here are some natural substances and herbal supplements that can boost the heart’s health and even help treat the hole in the heart.
1. Garlic –
Garlic is known for having a strengthening effect on the heart. Garlic contains Allicin that is released when you crush it. This compound can be ingested to help lower the cholesterol level, inflammation and even control blood pressure. Using fresh raw garlic for this purpose works best.
2. Flaxseed –
Flaxseed is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, often included in the most recommended foods for maintaining heart health. Someone with lower to moderate symptoms can use flaxseed to keep a healthy heart and alleviate the effects of a hole in the heart.
3. Vitamin K2 –
Foods such as leafy green vegetables contain Vitamin K2, preventing calcium deposits in blood vessels. It can prevent heart blockages and provide longevity to heart hole patients.
While all of these substances listed above help manage heart health, you should not substitute any prescribed medicine with these before consulting a doctor. However, these can help relieve many symptoms and provide relief in case the heart has a hole.