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Learn Everything About Coronary Artery Disease

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Learn Everything About Coronary Artery Disease

Cardiac Sciences | Posted on 02/02/2023 by



Do you know that coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease in developed and industrialised countries? Have you heard that CHD is responsible for over half a million deaths in the United States and more than 150,000 deaths alone yearly? So, what is this Coronary Heart Disease and what are the causes? If you want to comprehend everything about CAD and what causes it, then follow this write-up.  

What is coronary artery disease?

Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) is a disease of the coronary artery, a condition in which the artery that supplies blood to the heart is clogged or blocked, reducing blood flow to the heart muscles and requiring oxygen from the blood supply causing complete artery blockage. When this happens in the heart, it results in a heart attack medically known as myocardial infarction.

Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) is caused mainly by the formation of plagues or fatty deposits in the lining of the arteries, rupture of this plaque and subsequent development of a blood clot known as thrombosis in the artery. Plaques narrow the arteries so that less blood flows through them thereby depriving the heart muscles of the much-needed oxygen. If the blood supply is not restored, there is permanent damage to the heart.

What are the symptoms of coronary artery disease?

When the heart is not getting sufficient arterial blood, one can experience different symptoms. One of the most common symptoms is angina and other symptoms are:

  • Heaviness in the chest
  • Tightness
  • Burning sensation
  • Squeezing
  • Chest pain

However, these symptoms can be misunderstood for other conditions such as indigestion or heartburn. So, it is important to note other signs such as:

  • Shoulders or arms pain
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating

What are the contributing risk factors of coronary artery disease?

Comprehending the risk factors contributing to coronary artery disease can assist in preventing the probability of growing the condition. The risk factors:

  • Sedentary and inactive lifestyle
  • High blood cholesterol levels
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Resistance to insulin
  • Consumption of alcohol
  • Preeclampsia history during pregnancy
  • Emotional stress

What is the procedure to diagnose coronary artery disease?

The procedure for diagnosing CAD needs a clinical review of the patient, a physical evaluation, and clinical testing. These tests are:

  • Electrocardiogram- It helps in monitoring the electrical signals traveling through the heart.
  • Echocardiogram- With this imaging test, the doctor can view the heart functions properly
  • Stress test- It assists in measuring the stress levels on the patient’s heart while at rest or during physical exertion.
  • Cardiac catheterization- In this test, a special dye is injected into the arteries through a catheter through an artery in the wrist or groin. It helps in improving the radiographic picture of the arteries for identifying the blockages
  • Heart CT scan- It is an imaging test that is used for checking the calcium deposits in the arteries

How is coronary artery disease treated?

It is essential to control the risk factors and seek treatment for reducing the probability of a heart attack if you are diagnosed with coronary artery disease. The treatment for CAD completely relies on your present health condition, overall well-being, and risk factors. The most common treatment is giving medication to control the symptoms of CAD. Learn more below about coronary artery disease treatment:

Lifestyle changes

Lifestyle changes play an important role to lessen the risk of heart stroke and disease. So, make sure to:

  • Quit smoking or any kind of tobacco
  • Reduce or entirely stop alcohol consumption
  • Make sure to exercise regularly
  • Get yourself involved in healthy eating

If there is no improvement in the condition, then the doctor will suggest surgery to improve the blood flow to the heart. Here are the surgical options:

  • Balloon angioplasty- This surgery helps in widening the blocked arteries and removing the plaque build-up. To perform this procedure, the doctor involves stent insertion
  • Coronary artery bypass graft surgery- It benefits in restoring blood flow to the heart
  • Enhanced external counterpulsation-  It is useful in stimulating the small blood vessels formation and benefits in bypassing the clogged arteries naturally in a non-invasive process

Conclusion

Knowing about coronary artery disease can lead to several emotions. You might feel overwhelmed and confused believing that you could have done something to avoid the disease. If you feel these emotions, then you should look forward and commit to forming a plan that will help your heart. Work with your healthcare professional and include all the lifestyle changes recommended. Gather information about the treatment options for you, including medications.

FAQs

What are the complications caused by coronary artery disease?

Coronary artery disease over the years can cause heart weakness and leads to complications such as cardiac arrest, heart failure, cardiogenic shock, and heart failure.

Is there any cure for coronary artery disease?

Coronary artery disease is not curable, however, you can include measures to manage the condition and avert it from getting worse. Get in touch with the doctor and follow the plan of treatment as suggested. You can easily lead a long and healthy life even with CAD if controlled in the right manner.