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Coronary Artery Disease - How To Manage It?

Coronary Artery Disease - How To Manage It?
Coronary artery disease, also known as coronary heart disease or CHD, is a kind of disease in which a wax-like substance called plaque, builds up in the coronary arteries.

Function of Coronary Artery
The task of coronary arteries is to supply oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscles. When there is the growth of plaque in these arteries, the condition is termed as atherosclerosis. Plaque builds up over the years, and it hardens or ruptures with time. When plaque gets hardened, it narrows the coronary arteries and thus disrupts the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscles causing coronary heart diseases. Millions of people are diagnosed with heart diseases, nowadays.

Though it is true that living with heart disease is not easy, it is not impossible either. Many people are successfully leading a happy life in spite of having such diseases. With some major changes in your lifestyle, food habits and with the help of exercises and a healthy diet, it is possible to enjoy a happy life, irrespective of your diseases.

Here are six ways that would help you to lead a better life, even if you have been diagnosed with coronary artery disease.

Lifestyle changes: This is the first point that needs to be kept in mind if you are a CAD patient. Lifestyle changes are essential to make for better health and life. Smoking and drinking have to be given up completely. It is advised to avoid secondary smoke, as much as possible.
Exercises: This is the next important activity that needs to be a part of your daily routine to lead a healthy life. Consult with your doctor about the types of exercise that would suit your conditions. Some common exercises that would help are walking, jogging, and swimming, for at least 30 minutes at the most. Choose whichever activity you like doing. The motive of exercises is to get your heart-rate up.
A Heart-healthy diet: Get a chart prepared for your diet by a dietitian or by your doctor. This will keep your disease from getting worse. Stick to a heart-healthy eating plan, which consists of foods that can lower your risk of heart attack, stroke, etc. Include more fruits, vegetables, and other high fibre foods in your daily diet. Go for foods that are low in saturated fats, trans-fats, and cholesterol. Try to include fish in your diet.
Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese aggravates any disease. So it is important to keep your body weight perfect.
Taking medicines as prescribed: It is important to take medicines regularly and as prescribed by the physician.
Keeping tensions, anxiety to a minimum: These will make the situation worse if you are CAD patient. So try to keep tension and anxiety away and lead a healthy life.
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Coronary Artery Disease - 7 Ways To Prevent It!

Coronary Artery Disease - 7 Ways To Prevent It!
The heart pumps pure blood to all parts of the body through a network of arteries. These are thicker in the beginning and become finer and thinner as they reach the various organs. These arteries are lined by a layer of epithelial tissues and as blood flows through them, the heavier cholesterol / fat molecules settle down along the walls.


This attracts more and more fat molecules to settle down. This is known as atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Over a period of time, the vessels circumference reduces and the blood supply to the target organ reduces. This impacts proper functioning of these organs and when this happens to the major organs like the heart, kidney or the brain, conditions like stroke or thrombosis or heart attack can occur.


This condition, known as coronary artery disease, is becoming a major cause of deaths. While that is the bad news, the good news is that it is largely lifestyle dependent, and if steps are taken, it can be prevented, and in the early stages, the damage completely reversed.


Preventive measures:
1. Diet: A low-fat, high-fiber, heart-healthy diet consisting of Omega-3 fatty acids is recommended by doctors, especially to people who are prone to develop heart disease. This also requires reduced salt, increased unsaturated fats, reduced triglycerides and reduced sugar. Include loads of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds and fish oils. Include multivitamins or other supplements after checking with your doctor.


2. Exercise: Regular exercise in any form increases the efficiency of the circulatory system, keeps the cholesterol levels in check and helps in blood pressure management. Exercise in any form is advisable, based on individual preference. A moderate physical activity of 30 to 45 minutes per day is advisable.


3. Smoking: This is one of the major risk factors for smoking, and quitting or controlling smoking is one of the best methods to prevent coronary artery disease.


4. Alcohol consumption: While moderate alcohol consumption is believed to be healthy for the heart, excessive alcohol consumption is a strict no-no. Binge drinking especially is shown to cause heart attacks.


5. Weight management: Check with your doctor on what is ideal BMI for you and work out a plan to keep your weight under check.


6. Regular medications: If you are on blood pressure or diabetes medications, ensure you do not miss them. Keep a constant check to ensure your readings are managed well.


7. Watch out: Ask your doctor if there are specific symptoms that you need to watch out and seek medical support if you see any of them.


Coronary disease is not treatable fully, but can be prevented and managed effectively to improve the overall quality of life.
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The Warning Signs Of Clogged Arteries!

The Warning Signs Of Clogged Arteries!
Heart Blocks are a result of plaque buildup in your arteries, which blocks blood flow and circulation to the heart, causing heart muscle damage and heightens the risk for heart attack and stroke.
Arteries which have smooth and elastic walls become thick and restrict blood flow from the cholesterol deposits over the years. Blood clots can also block the arteries that supply oxygen rich blood to the heart. These can eventually lead to strokes and heart attacks.

Some warning signs that you may be at risk of heart blockage:

Have you had a mild stroke: Plaque that accumulates in the carotid artery supplying oxygen rich blood to the brain can cause a stroke. People who have had strokes are more prone to heart attacks.
Do you often feel fatigue and dizziness: Reduced oxygen from poor circulation and blood flow can result in fatigue and tiredness as well as dizziness.
Experiencing shortness of breath: Poor blood flow can lead to shortness of breath from even mild forms of exercise or even from carrying out daily chores or walking.
Sudden chest pain: Chest pain or angina result from reduced supply of blood to the heart. It can be felt as pressure, tightness in the chest, squeezing in the chest, numbness or burning.
Unexplained lower back pain: This can result from pressure in the spine as a result of pinched nerves due to compressed vertebrae discs as a result of poor blood flow.
Erectile dysfunction in men: If an erection becomes difficult or impossible, it could be a warning sign of clogged arteries. These arteries supply blood to the pelvis area and help achieve an erection.
Calf pain: Blocked leg arteries can cause calf pain, especially in smokers . THis is an early sign of possible heart blocks.
Painful, numb and cold hands and feet: Plaque build up in the arteries of the extremities can cause numbness and coldness in the hands and feet.
Remember early detection is the key to prevent or delay heart attacks.
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High Cholesterol Level - Does It Lead To Carotid Disease?

High Cholesterol Level - Does It Lead To Carotid Disease?
Carotid artery disease occurs when an oily, waxy substance called plaque builds up inside the carotid arteries. These are arteries that supply oxygenated blood to your brain, face, scalp, and neck.
Carotid artery disease is very serious as it can cause a brain stroke. It, in fact, starts with damage to the inner layer of the carotid artery. To stem this damage your body starts a healing process and this leads to a build up of plaque at the point where the artery is damaged.

When this plaque ruptures, platelets are rushed in and these create an obstruction to the flow of blood to the brain. When the blood supply to the brain is cut off, which happens in carotid disease, the brain cells begin to die causing a stroke. This neural death impairs the parts of the body that these brain cells control. So, you can get paralyzed, become speech or vision impaired, have long term effects like paralysis or even die due to a stroke.

Causes of carotid disease

Smoking
High cholesterol levels
High blood pressure
High levels of sugar in the blood due to diabetes
What s even more worrisome is that carotid artery disease may not cause any signs or symptoms until the carotid arteries are severely narrowed or blocked. And what usually happens is that a stroke becomes the first sign of the disease.

How scary is that?
So, the next question that comes to the mind is - Can this condition be cured? Let s learn more about management and prevention of the same-

Prevention
Lifestyle changes are key. Since hypertension, uncontrolled diabetes, sedentary lifestyles and imbibing too much fat are all risk factors, taking care of them minimizes the risk of carotid disease and strokes. Healthy lifestyle changes that include moderate exercise are a great way to prevent carotid disease.

Treatments
Treatments for carotid artery disease include:

Medicines: Sometimes lifestyle changes do not stem the rot. You need medicinal help. Doctors usually prescribe statin medications to control your cholesterol levels. These lower the bad cholesterol that can narrow your carotid arteries and cause brain strokes and damage. Statins are usually prescribed for people who have:

Heart disease
Those who ve had a stroke
Diabetes
High LDL or bad cholesterol levels
Medicines like Aspirin and Clopidogrel to prevent blood clots are the mainstay treatment if you suffer from carotid disease. They prevent platelets from clumping together inside your carotid arteries and forming blood clots. Apart from these, your doctor may also medicate you for conditions that can damage your carotid arteries and cause strokes. These medicines are for lowering your BP, blood sugar levels, preventing the formation of blood clots anywhere in your body including inside your heart, and preventing and reducing inflammation.

Medical Procedures
These are used to open narrowed or blocked carotid arteries.

The two common procedures are:
Carotid endarterectomy: It s mainly for people whose carotid arteries are blocked 50 percent or more. In this, the inner lining of the carotid artery that is blocking blood flow is removed.
Carotid artery angioplasty and stenting: Here, doctors use a procedure called angioplasty to widen the blocked carotid arteries and restore blood flow to the brain. A stent is inserted into your carotid artery to broaden the lumen.
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Blockages In Heart Arteries - What Should You Know?

Blockages In Heart Arteries - What Should You Know?
Blockage in heart is a common term used for narrowing of coronary arteries. Coronary arteries are vessels, which supply blood and thus oxygen and food to continuously working heart muscles. Heart muscles, which are not tired working from the birth till death, however, cannot sustain long without blood supply.

A reduction in blood supply gives rise to ischemia of heart muscles commonly manifested as chest discomfort or angina. A sudden complete shutdown of blood supply leads to heart attack leading to permanent damage to heart (if blood flow not reestablished promptly).

But what causes these arteries to block? Deposition of LDL cholesterol (low density cholesterol) in inner surface of coronary arteries is the primary reason of these blockages. LDL a normal component of blood (upto certain limit) starts depositing in arteries as early as 10 years of age!

Deposition of billions of LDL molecules over several years on inner surface of arteries gives rise to visible narrowings in these arteries. Flow ahead of these narrowings is reduced in proportion to the narrowing. At a level of 70 % narrowing the flow is reduced to give ischemia (and angina) during exercise. Gradually increasing degree of narrowing reduces the exercise needed for ischemia and angina; a narrowing of more than 90 % can give symptoms at rest. A sudden clot formation at any of these stages can block the flow suddenly giving a heart attack.



If LDL is a normal component of blood, why it is deposited in the arteries at first place?
LDL above a certain limit in blood starts depositing in the arteries. Diabetes, Hypertension, smoking, less exercise and genetics makes it more sticky thus making narrowing faster. This is why these risk elements need to be properly attended for prevention from heart disease.

For treatment medicines are important for stopping the progression of narrowings; angioplasty is a method of fast resolution of blockage; and bypass surgery is the method of creating a whole new blood supply for the affected part of the heart.
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Coronary Artery Disease - How To Administer It?

Coronary Artery Disease -  How To Administer It?
Coronary artery disease is one of the major killer diseases of modern society. It is not a solitary problem but brings with it a multitude of issues including obesity, diabetes, stroke, and other metabolic disorders. A thorough understanding of what causes it and how to manage it can help save thousands of lives.

Causes: The circulatory system is mainly made up of the heart and a complex network of arteries and veins. The inner walls of these are lined with smooth muscles, allowing for free flow of blood. Gradually, over a period of time, given the density, the fat from the blood flowing through these vessels settles along the walls of these vessels. This attracts more fat, lipoproteins, and other inflammatory cells and so the process continues. This reduces the diameter of the blood vessels, therefore reducing the amount of blood supply to the target organs. If the target organ is a vital one like the brain or the heart, then it could lead to stroke or heart attacks.

Main causes of coronary artery disease include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sedentary lifestyle, obesity, smoking, diabetes, and stress. Men are more prone than women, and family history and age puts them at higher risk.

Symptoms: Reduced blood supply to the target organ causes the following symptoms:

Shortness of Breath: A person with coronary artery disease will feel short of breath and tired with most activities, even like walking a few meters.

Chest Pain: A strong pressure sensation on the left side of the chest is an indication of coronary artery disease. Known as angina, it comes with stress and goes away once the stress is removed. It could sometimes radiate to the shoulder, down the arm, or up into the jaw also. These are classical symptoms of angina or heart attack and is considered an emergency. Of note, this is often mistaken for indigestion.

Palpitations: A sensation where you are able to hear your heartbeat.

Nausea and Excessive Sweating: Nausea and excessive sweating are also seen during angina.

Treatment: There are 3 modes to manage this.

Medications:

Aspirin to reduce the viscosity of the blood.

Statin to control the cholesterol levels.

Beta blockers to control hypertension.

Nitroglycerin for temporary relief of angina pain.

Surgical Procedures: Surgical procedures including balloon angioplasty followed by placement of drug-eluting stents and coronary artery bypass surgery are done to manage more severe cases.

Lifestyle Change: Lifestyle changes including reduced fat consumption, decrease body weight, stop smoking, increased physical exercise, and reducing stress are highly important in preventing further damage.

Once suspected, coronary artery disease can be effectively managed and the extent of damage controlled using the above techniques.
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What Are Blockages In Heart Arteries?

What Are Blockages In Heart Arteries?
Blockage in heart is a common term used for narrowing of coronary arteries. Coronary arteries are vessels, which supply blood and thus oxygen and food) to continuously working heart muscles. Heart muscles which are not tired working from the birth till death, however, cannot sustain long without blood supply.

A reduction in blood supply gives rise to ischemia of heart muscles commonly manifested as chest discomfort or angina. A sudden complete shutdown of blood supply leads to heart attack leading to permanent damage to heart (if blood flow not reestablished promptly).

But what causes these arteries to block? Deposition of LDL cholesterol (low density cholesterol) in inner surface of coronary arteries is the primary reason of these blockages. LDL a normal component of blood (upto certain limit) starts depositing in arteries as early as 10 years of age!

Deposition of billions of LDL molecules over several years on inner surface of arteries gives rise to visible narrowings in these arteries. Flow ahead of these narrowings is reduced in proportion to the narrowing. At a level of 70 % narrowing the flow is reduced to give ischemia (and angina) during exercise. Gradually increasing degree of narrowing reduces the exercise needed for ischemia and angina; a narrowing of more than 90 % can give symptoms at rest. A sudden clot formation at any of these stages can block the flow suddenly giving a heart attack.

If LDL is a normal component of blood, why it is deposited in the arteries at first place?

LDL above a certain limit in blood starts depositing in the arteries. Diabetes, Hypertension, smoking, less exercise and genetics makes it more sticky thus making narrowing faster. This is why these risk elements need to be properly attended for prevention from heart disease. For treatment medicines are important for stopping the progression of narrowings; angioplasty is a method of fast resolution of blockage; and bypass surgery is the method of creating a whole new blood supply for the affected part of the heart.
980 people found this helpful

Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery

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Your heart is the most important and vital organ of all and regulates the flow of heart to all parts of the body. Thus, the valves and the arteries which take the blood to your heart are also an important component in ensuring that the circulation is constant. Thus, any hindrance to this process will put a lot of pressure on your heart and lead to more serious problems in the long run. Coronary artery disease is one such problem and can seriously put the health of your heart at risk.
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