Our heart is composed of four chambers, the left atrium and ventricle and the right atrium and ventricle. A septum separates the chambers vertically and the bicuspid and tricuspid valves on the left and right sides respectively separate them transversely.
The heart chambers are filled with blood regularly and pump it into the arteries. This happens due to the muscular motions of the heart, that is, expansion and contraction. This movement allows the pumping of blood.
Hypokinesis is the term that refers to the condition of a slow movement and function of the heart due to weakness in it. We talk of global hypokinesis when this weakness involves all the muscles of the heart, and not only a part of it.
In this article, global hypokinesis will be explained along with its symptoms, causes, and treatment, and precautions.
The term hypokinesis comes from the Greek and its literal meaning is “diminished movement”.
Global hypokinesis is a condition characterized by a general weakness of the heart, as well as obstructions or blockages in the coronary blood vessels.
The left ventricle of the heart is in charge of supplying blood to all the parts of the body through the Aorta. This process defines the efficiency of the heart and is measured by the ejection fraction.
It normally ranges from 50 to 70%, and when it becomes less than 37%, it is considered abnormal.
The heart starts failing in performing its required functions and this may affect the other parts of the body too.
The common causes of this failure are cardiomyopathies, ischemic heart disease, heart attacks, etc. This, in turn, might be caused due to inherited conditions.
Hypokinesis may sometimes be regional. For example, global left ventricular (LV) hypokinesis is a common type.
It occurs due to an inefficient functioning of the left ventricle and the thickening of the ventricular and the interventricular septum walls. In this case, the other parts of the heart function normally.
On the other hand, in global hypokinesis, every part of the heart functions abnormally and loses strength. This includes both the ventricles, the arteries, cardiac walls, membranes, etc.
Global hypokinesis results in a lower than required cardiac output. This produces cardiac problems and failure.
The heart becomes unable to pump the necessary blood efficiently and its supply to adv various organs and tissues of the body is reduced. This leads to a decreased flow of oxygen and nutrients throughout the system.
Consequently, the heart may stretch, thicken, or stiffen its chambers to hold an extra amount of blood and compensate the reduced flow to the different organs. A chronic heart failure can become a congestive heart failure.
Symptoms Of Global Hypokinesis
Global hypokinesis implies a generalized weakness of the heart and all its parts. This condition is associated with the following symptoms:
a. Alteration In The Heartbeat
The normal rhythm of the heartbeat is disturbed and it starts to become irregular. The heart beats faster in an attempt to supply the sufficient quantity of blood to the body organs.
The patients can feel their own heart beating strongly all the time in a condition known as the palpitation.
b. Fluid Retention
The insufficient blood supply to the organs of the body, including the kidneys, leads to the retention of water and other fluids.
In addition, the reduced output of blood from the heart means a reduced return to it. It causes detainment of blood in the limbs and abdomen.
All this triggers the gain of body weight, bloating, edema, frequent nocturne urination, nausea, and loss of appetite.
c. Pulmonary Congestion
As fluid retention occurs in the body, they start to accumulate in the lungs cavities too. This leads to problems in respiration during rest, shortness of breath during exercise, wheezing, dry cough and a consequent disturbance in the sleep pattern.
d. General Weakness & Disorientation
The decline in the supply of blood to the vital organs and body tissues causes their rapid weakness and tiredness. This affects the brain and causes confusion, disorientation, and dizziness. The person feels exhausted, suffering from a permanent lethargy.
Causes Of Global Hypokinesis
Global hypokinesis implies a general weakening of the heart. This can arise due to various underlying cardiac abnormalities that cause dysfunction and damage of the heart muscles.
These conditions include:
1. Heart Attack
The sudden obstruction of the coronary artery may cause a cardiac arrest or heart attack. This phenomenon suddenly stops the blood flow within the heart and leads to its damage.
The parts of the heart that do not get a sufficient amount of blood rich in oxygen develop scarring and may become dysfunctional, leading to hypokinesis.
2. Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)
Damage is present in the arteries responsible for the distribution of oxygen-rich blood to the heart. The supply oxygen and vital nutrients decrease due to the clogging of the arteries. This leads to weakening and failure of the heart.
3. Overload Of The Cardiac System
The occurrence of different medical conditions like hypertension, valve abnormalities, thyroid disorders, congenital heart defects, kidney disorders, or diabetes increases the risk of contracting hypokinesis by adding the pressure experienced by the heart.
Simultaneous conditions taking place at the same time severely boost the risk of cardiac diseases and heart failure.
This is the condition of heart deterioration triggered by external factors such as infections, drug addiction, or excessive consumption of alcohol.
5. Other Causes
Various factors cause predisposition to heart hypokinesis. These include genetic predisposition, familial history of cardiovascular diseases, smoking, etc.
Treatment For Global Hypokinesis
The process involved in treating a weakened heart should focus on various aspects like specialized medications, proper monitoring, lifestyle changes, and possible advanced medical procedures.
The treatment of global hypokinesis is done in a number of stages as follows:
It is undergone by patients of global hypokinesis and people that are vulnerable or at a high risk of developing a cardiac disease.
This includes patients of diabetes, hypertension, metabolism disorders, coronary artery disease and people with a history of drug abuse, alcohol addiction, rheumatic fever, or a family background of cardiomyopathy.
The treatment consists in quitting habits like smoking and consumption of drugs and alcohol, as well as regular exercising, treatment of lipid abnormalities and hypertension. The prescribed medications include ACE inhibitors, ARB and beta blockers.
Patients of cardiomyopathy, valve disease, heart attacks and systolic left ventricular dysfunction that have not had symptoms of heart failure in the past are treated.
The treatment includes the prescription aldosterone inhibitors in addition to the medicaments used in the first stage. Surgical repair or replacement of the heart component that is damaged may also be carried out.
Patients of systolic heart failure with symptoms of fatigue, low stamina, shortness of breath are treated with the medicaments of the first two stages and with digoxin, diuretics, and a nitrate/hydralazine combination for chronic symptoms.
This stage also includes a cardiac resynchronization therapy that consists of a biventricular pacemaker, weight monitoring, a restriction in the intake of salt and fluids, and the strict discontinuation of drugs that aggravate cardiac abnormalities.
This stage is for the patients that suffer from a systolic heart failure with severe symptoms even after an efficient medical care.
The treatment of this stage involves the methods used in all the previous stages.
It also includes ventricular assistance devices, continuous intravenous administration of inotropic drugs, heart transplant, research therapies, surgical interventions, and intensive medical care.
Ayurvedic Supplements For Global Hypokinesis
Nature provides us with many therapeutic herbs suitable for different health conditions. Several herbs help in strengthening the heart and keeping the cardiac system healthy.
They enhance the recovery from the disease and can make the treatment easier and shorter, especially when taken its initial stages.
Ayurvedic supplements are known to prolong life expectancy and prevent disorders from worsening or recurring.
Make sure that these herbs are used under a proper guidance and as regularly as recommended.
Herbal supplements that are beneficial in mending global hypokinesis include:
1. Arjuna (Terminalia Arjuna)
Capsules made from the pure, dry and powdered extracts of Arjuna are a strong booster of health. They stimulate the cardiac system and strengthen the cardiac muscles, veins, and arteries.
They also prevent excessive lipid accumulation, arteriosclerosis, and age-induced deterioration of the heart.
2. Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica)
This herb is also called as Mandukparni. It is known for its rejuvenating properties. It enhances the overall body strength and increases the resistance of the heart to failure.
Gotu Kola improves the flow of blood and combats the weakness and tiredness generally experienced by the patients of cardiac disorders. It prevents Coronary Artery Disease (CAD).
3. Giloy (Tinosporacordifolia)
The capsules made from extracts of this herb improve the pumping process of the heart and the overall immunity.
It soothes the symptoms of diabetes, thyroid disorders, and other metabolic problems; hence preventing secondary infections caused due to them. The herb has a revitalizing effect on the heart.
4. Punarnava (Boerhaviadiffusa)
This herb has diuretic properties and helps in reducing the excessive accumulation of water in the body organs caused due to global hypokinesis.
It relieves breathing problems and regulates heartbeat, especially when combined with other herbal supplements like Arjuna and healthy habits and diet.
5. Ashwagandha (Withaniasomnifera)
It is a powerful stimulant for the heart. It improves general strength and reduces the symptoms of aging and fatigue.
Ashwagandha aids in the proper functioning of the nervous system and cardiac system by helping to maintain a normal blood pressure and preventing fluid retention in various body organs.
6. Shankhapushpi (Convolvulus Pluricaulis)
It protects the heart from suffering excessive strain and maintains an efficient blood pressure. It regulates the heartbeat and the pulse.
7. Total Heart Support Capsules
Capsules made from the purified extracts of several herbs such as Arjuna, Brahmi, Ashwagandha and Shankhapushpi help in strengthening both the cardiac and the nervous system.
They mitigate the symptoms of disorders like CAD, hypertension, congestive heart failure, high cholesterol, and general weakness.
Home Remedies For Global Hypokinesis
Heart diseases like global hypokinesis and other cardiac disorders should be treated medically under the supervision of a professional physician.
However, their recurrence can be prevented at home with the help of natural remedies that we can commonly find in our kitchen.
A healthy diet supplemented with the properties of these ingredients will help in regulating the fats and cholesterol level, blood glucose content, and blood pressure in the body. These include:
This has been traditionally used for its medicinal properties. It can keep the body cholesterol within its limits and reduce the risk of arteriosclerosis.
It helps in maintaining a regular flow of blood and its healthy pumping by the heart. The intake of four to five cloves of garlic a day can keep heart diseases like global hypokinesis at bay.
The healing properties of ginger make it a very popular home remedy for various types of conditions. This spice contributes to the health of the cardiac system by lowering cholesterol levels and preventing the clotting of blood.
Hence, it avoids the clogging of the blood vessels by cholesterol and allows an appropriate flow of blood through them. The blood pressure is also reduced. Ginger can be consumed every day to get its benefits.
3. Fenugreek Seeds
The seeds of this plant have been commonly used for treating high blood sugar levels in a natural way. However, they have beneficial properties for the cardiac system too.
The seeds help in decreasing the blockage in heart capillaries and the cholesterol level in the blood. They can be consumed in powdered form or chewed directly after soaking them in water overnight.
4. Red Chilies (Cayenne)
Capsaicin is the component found in chilies that is extremely beneficial for the heart.
It keeps the walls of the blood vessels elastic and strong, and it promotes blood circulation. It also regulates the cholesterol level and prevents clotting of the blood.
The consumption of chilies as a food ingredient not only increases its taste but also helps the individual in maintaining the health of their heart and blood pressure.
This fruit helps in maintaining a proper flow of blood throughout the body. It is beneficial in many other disorders also. Except for pregnant women and allergic people, bilberry can be consumed by everyone every day.
6. Grape Juice
These fruits contain numerous beneficial components like polyphenols, anthocyanins, phenolic acids, and resveratrol that prevent the excess of cholesterol in the blood and protect the heart from strokes, weakness, or failures.
Grapes can be consumed as it is or in the form of juice every day to maintain a healthy cardiac system.
7. Green Tea
The leaves of the plant Camellia sinensis are the main components of green tea.
This extract prevents numerous disorders like obesity, high cholesterol, and heart problems. To improve cardiovascular health consume this drink from one to two times a day.
8. Aloe Vera
This plant is considered an all-rounder in terms of health maintenance. Some of the disorders it prevents are diabetes, epilepsy, asthma, arthritis, high cholesterol, heart strokes, heart attacks, pain in the chest, etc.
It has numerous minerals necessary for the well-being of an individual like vitamin B, calcium, zinc, iron, manganese, enzymes, sulfur, nitrogen, etc.
The plant extracts can be consumed in the form of juice along with water daily.
Precautions To Be Taken In Global Hypokinesis
There are certain actions that should be done in order to maintain an overall good health. Their necessity increases in case of the occurrence of a cardiac disease, as the heart is the engine room of the body.
However, these precautions should not be taken as part of the treatment, but also for the sake of prevention. They include:
a. Regular exercise to maintain a fit body and a healthy mind. This should be performed in accordance to the capacity of each individual keeping in mind their age and other factors. Therapy exercise should consider the stage of the disease and the patient’s endurance, and it should be monitored.
b. Avoiding the abusive consumption of alcohol and strictly staying away from drugs and smoking These could lead to the intoxication of the blood and an overall deterioration of the health.
c. Modifications and improvement in the diet to regulate the intake of lipids and fats. Processed and refined foods should be avoided and nutritive ones like vegetables, fruits, legumes, fish, eggs, should be added.
d. Monitoring of body weight in the case of its excess and taking the appropriate measures to control it. This will help in keeping a healthy condition of the cardiac system.
e. Giving special attention and care to potential causative factors of cardiac disorders like thyroid, hypertension, or diabetes. This includes taking the proper medication for them as prescribed and following the advice of your doctor.
Global hypokinesis is a condition of the heart that is can take place due to different causes. Predicting its occurrence might be difficult, but preventing it is rather easy.
All that is required is the maintenance of an overall good health by following the right physical and dietary habits.