Degenerative Diseases, Types, Symptoms, Risk Factors

Degenerative disease is a type of disease in which the function or structure of the affected body tissues or organs changes, which affect body function and goes worsen over time. Aging is one of the most common risk factors for many degenerative diseases.

It may affect many of your body’s activities, such as body balance, body movement, breathing, talking, nerve functions, spine functions, joint functions, and heart functions.

Though considerable progress has been made in the field of medicine and treatment of the diseases, yet include of other types of diseases of the heart and brain are on the increase.

The human being is solely responsible for the increase in heart and brain diseases.


Cardiovascular diseases are commonly known as heart diseases. Heart diseases are mainly age-old diseases. Many individuals are born with a damaged heart. This is known as congenital heart disease. On the other hand, many heart diseases develop in the lifetime of an individual after birth.

Though there could be indefinite causes of heart diseases in which, important and chief reasons that cause heart diseases are:

  • Congenital defects
  • High blood pressure
  • Rheumatic heart disease
  • Aortic stenosis
  • Anemia
  • Arterosclerosis
  • Over weight
  • Bacterial infection
  • Viral infection, etc.

Heart attack

The most common form of heart attack is coronary artery disease or arteriosclerotic heart disease. When one of the coronary arteries becomes blocked by a blood clot or blood vessels get constricted or damaged, a patient suffers from coronary thrombosis which is a true heart attack. Another term for this is myocardial infarction.

Coronary artery disease (CAD) or arteriosclerotic heart disease

Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) or Arteriosclerotic Heart Disease
Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) or Arteriosclerotic Heart Disease

Coronary artery disease is the most common of all forms of hearts disease today. Like arteries in other parts of the body, the coronary arteries can undergo certain changes known as atherosclerosis.

In this condition, the elastic wall of these arteries is damaged in some way and the damaged cells are replaced by a soft, pasty material that often interferes with the normal flow of blood. Eventually, these soft substances are replaced with the deposition of lime or calcium.

The vessels become hard and lose their elasticity. This further stage is known as arteriosclerosis. Because of hardening sometimes capillaries in the heart muscles rupture which is often referred to as hemorrhage.

The true cause of coronary artery disease is still not well known. However, people who live on a high-fat diet that includes cholesterol seem far more likely to develop coronary artery disease.

Symptoms of heart attack

  • The patient usually complains of severe crushing pains in the chest which may continue for hours or days
  • It is accompanied by extreme shortness of breath and possibly nausea, vomiting, and weakness that prevails
  • The skin is pale cold and moist and the lips become bluish in color
  • Pulse becomes weak and slow and there is an impairment of rhythm of the heart beat


It is a characteristic disease of the modern complex urban life. Under hypertension blood pressure increases.

The true cause is not known. It may be due to nervous tension or an increase in blood hormone levels. We certainly know what is taking place within the body but why is it taking place, we cannot explain.

Doctors say it is a part of life. Hence, they call it essential hypertension which is different from malignant hypertension when rapid deteriorating changes in the body occur.

Symptoms of hypertension

Following are the general symptoms identified for the disease:

  • Palpitation of heart last longer than normal
  • Heamorrhage in the retina and interference in the vision
  • Stress and strain on the central nervous system causes headache in the back region of the head and neck
  • Tiredness and fatigue may be another indication of hypertetion
  • Women with high blood pressure ae more likely to develop taxaemis during pregnency

Heart failure

When the heart is not to do its normal work due to one or the other diseases it is recognized and referred to as heart failure.

When the heart is tired or weakened by disease, the blood flow tends to slow down and fluid will accumulate in certain areas, particularly the ankles and legs.

The lungs may begin to fill up with fluid making breathing difficult.

The important causes of heart failure are hypertension, coronary thrombosis, kidney disease, rheumatic fever, and hypothyroidism.

Rheumatic heart diseases

Rheumatic fever also affects as a whole but serious permanent damage occurs in the valves that regulate the flow of blood within the heart.

Due to infection in bicuspid or mitral valves, it gets thickened or damaged.

The chordae tendineae supporting the valves tend to become shortened and fused together so that valve can neither open nor close properly. Because of the narrowing, the blood has difficulty in passing from the left atrium to the ventricle. This causes a diastolic murmur.

Smoking and heart disease

Smoking stimulates heart heat. It is believed that during smoking heartbeat increases due to nicotine which is present in tobacco filled in cigarettes.

The rise in blood pressure, during smoking, has been attributed to the constriction of peripheral capillaries under the influence of nicotine. Although smoking cannot be attributed to being the sole cause of high blood pressure and consequently death, there is definite evidence that if people leave smoking there is a considerable effect on their longevity.



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