Acyanotic heart disease or defects are congenital (present from birth) malformations in the heart that usually affect the ventricular or atrial walls, large blood vessels or heart valves. There can be various reasons resulting in this unfortunate situation like genetic defects, use of alcohol or drugs by mother during pregnancy or infections to mother specifically rubella while she was pregnant. Acyanotic congenital heart disease or defects result in right heart hypertrophy and pulmonary hypertension. Causes of congenital heart diseases can be many, however they can be categorized into two types, one resulting in increased pulmonary vascularity and other having normal vascularity. In this article we have written all about the acyanotic congenital heart disease and a few herbal remedies to manage it.
Acyanotic congenital heart diseases are also known as left to right shunting lesions which are the most common type of congenital heart defects or diseases. Most of these defects get corrected with time spontaneously but some of them may remain significant usually if the child is premature. Even certain congenital heart defects previously are manifested as acyanotic congenital heart diseases and later in stages get converted to cyanotic congenital heart disease. Understanding it more clearly, left to right shunt lesions initially are acyanotic which over the time get converted due to certain maladaptive changes in the pulmonary vasculature and right ventricle, into cyanotic heart diseases causing Eisenmenger syndrome and pulmonary hypertension. In this situation the shunt is reversed leading to entrance of deoxygenated blood into the systemic circulation.
Earlier when the defect is acyanotic, due to a certain structural defect like hole in the interventricular septum, the blood flows from left to right side of the heart but in the systemic circulation the oxyhemoglobin saturation remains same. However there occurs maladaptive changes over the time resulting in reversing of shunt and blood becomes deoxygenated causing cyanosis.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
There are certain signs and symptoms which characterizes the disease condition:
- Congestion is chest and cough
- Fatigue and weakness
- Shortness of breath
- Recurrent respiratory tract infections
- Heart murmur causing machine like sounds
- Increased heart rate
- Abnormally rapid breathing
- Respiratory distress
- Too much sweating
- Mild cyanosis
- Poor development and growth
- Feeding difficulties
- Pain in chest
- Cyanosis when present causes a bluish color of baby’s skin
Acyanotic congenital heart disease is caused due to the developmental defect in the structure of the heart. Normal blood flow in the heart is disturbed due to the defect resulting in various signs and symptoms. However the exact cause behind acyanotic congenital heart disease is not known but there are certain factors which can lead to this condition:
- Genetic predisposition, i.e. the defects or anomalies in heart run in the family
- Usage of certain drugs and alcohol during pregnancy by mother
- Taking over the counter medications or certain prescribed medicines by mother can lead to congenital heart defect
- Viral infection like rubella to mother during pregnancy’s first trimester may increase the chances of heart defects
- Diabetic mother having increased blood sugar levels during pregnancy predisposes for early developmental defects in heart
Acyanotic congenital heart defects or disease is often diagnosed through ultrasound of the mother during pregnancy. During an ultrasound when an abnormal heart rhythm is detected, the doctor usually suggests further investigations which become the means for diagnosis. These tests are:
- MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging) scan
- Chest X-ray
- Electrocardiogram (ECG)
- Pulse oximetry
- Cardiac CT (Computed tomography) scan
Type and severity of the defect or disease define the mode of treatment as few defects go away on their own with passage of time. However severe defects require immediate treatment and intensive care. Conventionally there are certain medications given for the prevention of formation of blood clots and to regulate the arrhythmic heart beats. There are certain implantable heart devices used in treatment like pacemaker or implantable cardioverter defibrillators. In severe care open heart surgery may also be advised and performed in order to close the defect, usually a hole, widen the blood vessels or repair valves of the heart.
In such cases Ayurveda can help in supporting the treatment and improving certain complaints with the help of herbal remedies which possess natural therapeutic properties for the heart. Giving some Ayurvedic remedies along with the conventional treatment can increase the chances of success of given treatment and also relieves the existing signs and symptoms. These time tested Ayurvedic remedies also strengthen the inner musculature of the child so that the certain defects can heal on their own with time.
HERBAL REMEDIES BY PLANET AYURVEDA
Planet Ayurveda is a well known name in the field of Ayurvedic and herbal pharmaceuticals which deals with the production of herbal remedies as per the strict Ayurvedic principles mentioned in classical literature. Authenticity and quality of each and every ingredient used in these products are tested through various quality check processes and all of these are prepared under the strict and expert supervision of MD Ayurveda doctors. All these herbal medicines and products are purely vegetarian, organic and herbal without any chemicals, additives, preservatives, yeast, binders, colors or fillers being used in them. For Acyanotic congenital heart disease Planet Ayurveda offers two specific herbal remedies which act as supportive treatment when given along with the conventional treatment to the child and increases the chances of success of the ongoing treatment.
- Arjuna Powder
- Energo Plan Syrup
1. Arjuna Powder
It is the single herb powder, i.e. Arjuna (Terminalia arjuna) which is a very well known and widely used herb for the treatment of various cardiac troubles. Arjuna powder possesses many medicinal properties specifically related to heart like cardioprotective. This powder helps in preventing and treating any damage and defect in the heart by strengthening it. It also improves the blood circulation in the coronary arteries and ischemic damage to the heart is also prevented by Arjuna herb. Along with these properties Arjuna powder also helps to regulate the blood pressure by relaxing and dilating the blood vessels.
Dosage : ½ teaspoon twice daily mixed with the syrup
2. Energo Plan Syrup
This multi herbal syrup is prepared using several herbs like Jeevanti (Leptadenia reticulata), Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus), Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Pippali (Piper longum), Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), Gokshura (Tribulus terrestris) etc. As the name suggests this syrup helps in re energizing the body and treats the complaints like fatigue, weakness and dizziness.
Dosage : One teaspoon twice daily with plain water
Acyanotic congenital heart diseases can affect the life quality as well as life expectancy of a baby. These defects are usually structural anomalies in the septum of the heart resulting in improper blood pumping and sometimes deoxygenation of blood. Some of them heal on their own and others require extensive treatment. Conventional treatment along with the herbal remedies discussed above when given, increases the chances of successful treatment.