The heart is a crucial part of the body: it facilitates blood circulation to all parts of the body. Medicine has significantly advanced, and with the help of modern technology, nearly every heart disease can be managed successfully when detected at the right time. Congenital heart disease, also known as CHD, is a defect or malformation of the heart or a large blood vessel next to the heart. This is a condition that infants may be born with and is one of the most popular types of birth malformations in newborns.
The condition is diagnosed within a week from when the infant is born and becomes an issue after birth. This is because the circulation of blood varies depending after birth. The fetal circulation obtains nutrients and oxygen from the mother via the placenta. The circulation plays a vital role in passing messages from the great blood vessels in the heart and the upper heart chambers. The majority of the types of congenital heart disease are tolerated during fetal development.
Causes of congenital disease
The disease can have varying causes, like:
- Environmental matters like drugs and chemicals contribute to the condition. For instance, if a pregnant mother contracts measles during pregnancy, the infection can affect the growth of the unborn baby’s heart and other organs. Similar effects can be experienced if the mother takes alcohol during the pregnancy.
- Abnormalities of chromosomes. An abnormality of a common chromosome for the cause of the disease is Down’s syndrome. Around 50% of infants with Down’s syndrome have congenital heart disease.
- Maternal diseases of the mother. The risk of suffering from congenital heart disease is higher for unborn babies with mothers experiencing maternal diseases.
- Hereditary factors. Heredity may be a contributing factor in causing the condition. If the mother has any congenital issues or defects in the heart, there is an increased possibility, though minimal, to have the newborn suffering from the defect at birth. There should be genetic guidance and counseling to help a couple before embarking on pregnancy plans for such cases.
How do you treat congenital heart disease?
The treatment is based on the needs of the person. There are distinct occurrences of the condition in different cases. Each aspect needs to be addressed to have an effective treatment program. The treatment type can only be decided on after going through an appropriate diagnosis from a specialist. As much as exercising and healthy diets assist, the congenital disease requires a strict follow-up on the doctor’s instructions: you cannot be under any self-medication or treatment. Guidelines and information are available both from visiting the doctor’s office and on various online sites. Find out more details on the disease to know how to cope with the condition.
Every pregnant mother, especially during the first trimester (first three months), should be kept safe from the contraction of any viral infection. The mother should be prevented from infection caused by the German measles virus. It is vital to be keen on the management of any heart disease, considering the important function that the heart plays in the body.