How Does Heart Operates?No other organ of the body is as wonderful as the heart. It begins beating before birth and continues without interruption for threescore years and ten and even longer in many cases ; It cannot rest for longer than a fraction of a second at any one time, for if it were to rest for an unbroken period of even three minutes the
individual concerned would lose his mental powers ; a little longer and the person would die.
Because the heart is the" vital organ"and also because of many vague and erroneous ideas held about it, a study of its anatomy and functions and a brief survey of diseases that affect it will be profitable and interesting.
There are four chambers in the heart, two above and two below. Looking at the diagram , you will see a semi-diagrammatic view of the heart.
The upper right chamber receives the impure blood returning from the body through the inferior and superior
vena cava the contraction of the auricle forces the blood to the lower chamber (right ventricle) which in turn sends the blood into the lungs.
Returning from the lungs through four vessels leading directly into the left auricle, it goes to the left ventricle below and is forced into the aorta and on through the body. In the wall of the right auricle is an area which sends out the impulse for
the auricles to contract. This impulse extends in a circular direction through both auricles. When it reaches the septum
or the dividing wall of the lower chambers (ventricles) it contacts what is known as the "Bundle of His." This transmits a signal to the lower chambers (ventricles) to stimulate their contraction. The signal is so precisely timed that the contraction of the ventricles follows that of the auricles just enough later that the blood in the auricles is forced into the ventricles to fill them before the ventricles contract. Both auricles contract
at the same time. Both ventricles contract a fraction of a second later.
After this, stimulation, to contract is suspended for an instant, during which period the heart rests, thus getting its
rest piecemeal instead of in long stretcher as other muscles do.
The circulation of the blood in the heart muscle itself comes from the aorta and flows through two arteries called the anterior and the posterior coronaries.
Occasionally infants are born with deformities of the heart that do not allow the blood to circulate properly. The result is a lack of oxygen carried to the tissues, from which fact the term "blue babies"has evolved. Most of these babies die early but
some of them can be cured by surgery.
If a baby's heart at birth is normal there is no need to worry about its functioning properly. It will do its work without special attention till the degenerative process of old age sets in. The only exception to this rule is in cases where an infection such as syphilis, diphtheria or rheumatic fever disables the heart.
Of all such possibilities the latter is by far the most common. A person born with a good heart will rarely have any trouble with it before the declining years of life unless he contracts one. of the above named diseases.
That's all about the heart of the matter. Let discuss further what causes heart failure
Treatment of Heart DiseasesMuch can be done for the heart patient, thanks to careful study and research of recent years and resultant medications
Diet : As important as anything else is the food the patient eats. Food should be very light and not taken in large amounts. In severe heart cases five small feedings per day are often advised. The point is to avoid a full stomach, for this places a heavy burden on the heart.
Animal fats should be definitely restricted. Eggs, butter,cheese, and meat should not be included in the diet. Fats
should all be of vegetable origin. Safflower oil (kardi) is the best.
Corn oil is next best. Groundnut oil is good. Coconut oil, unfortunately, is not good.
A low salt diet is also indicated. Salt should be used only moderately, by all in fact, and those who are accustomed to
using it liberally should change the habit. The use of enough salt to cover a flat taste is sufficient. But the heart patient must
be especially strict. It would be well for the patient to limit the intake to 250 milligrams per day. A low salt diet must never exceed 500 milligrams per day. For a list of the salt content of foods and choose your diet from
those low in salt. If you desire you may get a salt substitute at the chemist's shop.
Example of salt content in common foods in milligrams per 100grams- Apples 0.2salt (mg)
- Avocado 3.0salt(mg)
- Asparagus 2.0salt(mg)
- Apricots 0.6salt(mg)
- Bananas 0.5salts(mg)
- Beans cooked 1.0salts(mg)
- Barley 3.0salts(mg)
- Cabbage (raw) 5.0salt(mg)
- cauliflower 24.0salt(mg)
- Cherries 1.0salt(mg)
- Coconut 16.0salt(mg)
- Corn 0.3salt(mg)
- Dhal 3.0salt(mg)
- Egg 81.0salt(mg)
- Figs 37.0salt(mg)
- Grapefruit 0.5salt(mg)
- Guavas 0salt(mg)
- Honey 7.0salt(mg)
- Lemons 0.7salt(mg)
- lime juice 1.0salt(mg)
- Margarine 58.0salt(mg)
- Milk,goat 34.0salt(mg)
- Olives 980.0salt(mg)
- Onions 1.0salt(mg)
- Peaches 5.0salt(mg)
- Pineapple juice 0.5salt(mg)
- Potato chips 340salt(mg)
- Potatoes, sweet 0salt(mg)
- Rice,white 2.0salt(mg)
- Radishes 9.0salt(mg)
- Soya beans (dry) 4.0salt(mg)
- Spinach 0salt(mg)
- Squash 2.0salt(mg)
- Sugar 0.3salt(mg)
- Soojee 11.0salt(mg)
- Tangerines 2.0salt(mg)
- Tapioca 5.0salt(mg)
- Tomato juice (commercial) 230.0salt(mg)
- Tomato ketchup 1300.0salt(mg)
- Tomatoes (raw) 3.0salt(mg)
- Turnips (cooked) 0salt(mg)
- Walnuts 2.0salt(mg)
- Water melon 0.3salt(mg)
- Wheat flour 11.0salt(mg).
And much more.
- The New Health and Longevity by A. C. Selmon a. The Oriental Watchman Publishing House, 1960.
- The New Complete medical and health(volume 1,2,3,4)
Richard J. Wagman, M.D., F.A.C.P.