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Coronary Artery Disease - Know the Primary Signs!

Dr. Pramod Kumar Sharma 93% (118 ratings)
MBBS, MS (Gen. Surgery), M.Ch - Cardio Thoracic & Vascular Surgery, DNB (CTS)
Cardiologist, Noida  •  46 years experience
Coronary Artery Disease -  Know the Primary Signs!

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.

What is coronary heart disease?
Coronary arteries are very important blood vessels, which carry nutrients, blood and oxygen to your heart. If the level of bad cholesterol is high in your blood, it will start leaving deposits on the walls of the arteries which are commonly known as plaque. This plaque will start building up over time causing blockage of the arteries and disrupting proper blood flow. Excessive build up of the plaque may then rupture the lining of the plaque. This will then induce blood clotting and further prevent the normal flow of blood.

Symptoms
Primary symptoms may include

  1. Shortness of breathThis may occur while you are exercising or performing activities which are mildly exerting.
  2. Heart beats very hard and fast: Your heart may beat very hard and fast, especially when doing everyday activities such as climbing stairs or walking for a prolonged distance.
  3. Angina or chest painYou may experience pain in your chest as if someone was pressing against it with a lot of force. Angina is also triggered due to stressful activities or even emotional stress. It usually occurs on the left or the middle of the chest and may even be felt in the back, arms, and neck.
  4. Heart attackHeart attacks are the most common and the most serious complications of coronary heart disease. You would feel extreme pain, akin to crushing on your chest, shoulder, or arm. It may even be accompanied by jaw pain, and sweatiness.

Treatment
Non invasive forms of treatment are always preferable rather than invasive surgeries or procedures to treat coronary heart disease, especially where the risk of serious complications such as heart attack are still on the lower side. Some of the treatments used for coronary heart disease are as follows:

  1. Making lifestyle changes: Quit smoking, reduce alcohol consumption along with consumption of regulated diet will automatically start cleaning plaque that has built up within the arteries. Losing weight also tends to help.
  2. Medications: Special medications can take care of cases wherein the deposits are still lesser and the plaque buildup can be removed without the requirement of extensive surgery. Anti-cholesterol medications are one example of this.
  3. Surgical procedures: These are usually employed when the blockage is severe and cannot be corrected by the conventional methods mentioned above. Some of the procedures are angioplasty, stent replacement, as well as coronary artery bypass surgery. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a cardiologist and ask a free question.
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