Coronary artery disease is characterized by accumulation of plaque in the coronary artery that chokes blood supply to the heart. This plaque buildup usually starts with cholesterol accumulation and gradually other particles such as calcium and lipoproteins get deposited as well. Over time, the plaque accumulates, making the blood vessels narrow and choking the supply of blood. In some cases, if the plaque ruptures, it may lead to formation of blood clots resulting in stroke.
The symptoms of coronary artery disease are:
- Breathing difficulties: This disorder may lead to shortness of breath as the blood pumping mechanism of the heart is impaired; this usually results in fatigue and exertion. It is advised to avoid advanced cardio exercises such as the high intensity interval training.
- Chest pain: Stress related activities may cause intense pressure or tightness in your chest, resulting in pain in the middle or left portion of your chest. If you discontinue the activity, the pain would usually subside. In some cases, you may feel the pain in the arm and the neck.
- Heart attack: If the level of plaque accumulation is excessive, then it may result in a heart attack. It is characterized by breathing difficulties, pain, tightness in the chest and sweating. You may also experience pain in the neck and the jaw.
The causes of coronary artery disease are:
- Smoking and alcohol consumption
- Leading a sedentary lifestyle ups the risk of coronary artery disease
- High cholesterol levels in the body
- Blood sugar problems
- Get your blood pressure under control: If you suffer from high blood pressure, then it is recommended to get it under control to prevent coronary artery disease.
- Quit smoking: If you are a habitual smoker, then it is time to nip the habit in the bud. Smoking is known to constrict blood vessels as it is a vasoconstrictor.
- Eat healthy: Eat a well balanced diet consisting of vegetables and fruits so that your body receives the essential nutrients to function well.
- Beat stress: You need to control your stress levels through exercise or meditation. Take time off work and do activities that make you happy.