Nov 02, 2022
Coronary artery disease or simple CAD is a heart condition found among people all over the world. It occurs in the arteries carrying insufficient blood supply to the heart. Coronary artery disease can be present in the heart muscle from infancy to old age when plaque, a build-up made of cholesterol and fat, begins to settle in the arteries. Since coronary artery disease (CAD) presents itself after a few decades of plaque formation, the risk of severe symptoms is high. Read on to learn more about coronary artery disease, its symptoms, causes, preventive steps, and treatment:
The heart gets oxygen-rich blood from coronary arteries. These arteries not only provide blood supply to the heart but also ensure its proper functioning. There are two primary coronary arteries located outside the heart, the one on the left supplies blood to the left ventricle and atrium while the right coronary artery is responsible for supplying blood to the right ventricle and atrium. The symptoms of CAD tend to exhibit when there is plaque present in any of these arteries. This is because the supply of blood to the heart can reduce significantly in individuals with CAD mainly because their coronary arteries get narrowed due to plaque formation. Diagnosing coronary artery disease in time can reduce the risk of severe heart-related issues. It is best to get proper treatment for coronary artery disease from an experienced cardiologist at a reputed hospital.
As this disease takes years or even decades to develop in the heart, an individual might not experience any signs or symptoms. This is primarily because the plaque takes time to build up in the coronary arteries. Once extensive damage occurs, coronary artery disease symptoms begin to exhibit in arteries surrounding the heart. These include shortness of breath, chest pains, tightness in the middle part of the chest, etc. Coronary artery disease is known to get triggered due to stress and anxiety in a lot of people. The most common sign of CAD is a sharp pain that settles down after a few minutes known as angina. On the other hand, the severest symptom of coronary heart disease is a heart attack. This occurs when the entire artery of the patient is blocked by plaque. Sweating, chest pain, and fatigue can be some of the indicators of a heart attack.
One of the main causes of coronary artery disease is a high level of cholesterol in the body. Fatty deposits that are made of cholesterol tend to form plaque in the coronary arteries resulting in partial or complete blockages. Coronary artery disease risk factors include unhealthy lifestyle habits such as alcohol abuse and smoking. Overweight individuals who do not lead an active life and tend to avoid exercising are at a greater risk than those who maintain an active lifestyle. Also, it has been observed that people who have high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and insulin resistance may often develop blockages in their coronary arteries. A family history of heart-related issues is also one of the most commonly observed causes of coronary artery disease. If either or both parents have suffered from coronary heart disease, then the chances of the children getting CAD are very high.
The prevention of coronary artery disease is possible in many ways. People who have unhealthy lifestyle habits like drinking excessive amounts of alcohol and smoking tobacco should quit as soon as possible. Besides this, people who are overweight should focus on exercising regularly and losing weight in a steady manner. High blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and insulin resistance are recommended to be controlled and managed in order to avoid plaque formation in the coronary arteries. Along with this, stress and anxiety-related issues should be also monitored to avoid unwanted damage to the arteries supplying blood to the heart.
For proper diagnosis of coronary artery disease, a series of tests are prescribed by a medical practitioner. These include ECG, echocardiogram, exercise stress test, angiogram, and cardiac CT scan. Once the extent of the damage to the heart is calculated, a treatment plan for coronary artery disease can be planned out. Consuming a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and quitting smoking and alcohol are a few steps that need to be taken seriously. Medications are provided to regulate cholesterol, blood clotting, blood pressure, and chest pains. Surgical procedures such as angioplasty and stent placement are prescribed for people with severe blockages. In cases where no other treatment plan works, coronary heart bypass surgery is required in order to create blood flow to the heart by bypassing the blockage.
Coronary artery diseases (CAD) require proper treatment by a specialist so that all blockages can be cured efficiently.
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