Coronary Artery Disease: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment & Prevention

Tanuja Bisht

, Treatments

The coronary artery disease (CAD) is defined as a disease that causes impaired blood flow in the arteries blood vessels that supply blood to the heart. The disease is also known as the coronary heart disease (CHD).


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CAD is the most common kind of heart disease that affects millions of people over the age of 20.


It is said that the disease is also the leading cause of death, estimating that every 40 seconds, someone has a heart attack.


A heart attack can come from an uncontrolled form of the coronary artery disease.




What is Coronary Artery Disease?


The disease develops when the major blood vessels that supply blood, oxygen, and nutrients (coronary arteries) to the heart become damaged or diseased. Cholesterol-containing deposits (plaque) in the arteries and inflammation are usually to blame for the disease.


When the deposition of plaque builds up, it narrows the coronary arteries blood vessels, that decreases the blood flow to the heart. Ultimately, the decreased blood flow may cause chest pain, breath shortness, or other signs and symptoms. A complete blockage of the vessel can cause a heart attack.


Because the disease often develops over decades, the patient might not notice a problem until having a significant blockage or a heart attack. But there are several ways to prevent and treat the disease. A healthy lifestyle can make a huge impact.




What are the Symptoms of Coronary Artery Disease?


Following are the symptoms of the disease including;



  • Heaviness


  • Burning


  • Tightness


  • Squeezing


  • Pain in the arms or shoulders


  • Sweating


  • Shortness of breath


  • Dizziness


  • Nausea


  • Vomiting


  • Jaw pain



  • Shortness of breath without feeling chest pain



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What are the Causes of Coronary Artery Disease?


The disease is supposed to start with a damage or injury to the inner layer of a coronary artery.


This damage causes the deposition of fatty plaque at the site of the injury, which are consist of cholesterol and other cellular waste products. The process of accumulation is called atherosclerosis.


When the pieces rupture, the platelets will clump the affected area for repairing the blood vessel. This clump up of platelets can block the artery that ultimately reduces or block the blood flow and leads to a heart attack.




What are the Risk Factors for Coronary Artery Disease?


Following are some of the risk factors of the disease including;




  • High blood cholesterol levels


  • Insulin resistance/hyperglycemia/diabetes mellitus


  • Inactivity


  • Unhealthy eating habits



  • Obstructive sleep apnea


  • Excessive alcohol consumption


  • Emotional stress


  • History of preeclampsia during pregnancy




What are the Treatments for Coronary Artery Disease?


Well, it is important to reduce or control the risk factors for the disease to seek treatment for lowering the chance of a heart attack or stroke if a person is diagnosed with coronary heart disease.


Its treatment also depends on the current health condition, risk factors, as well as the overall wellbeing of the patient, For example, the treatment depends upon the prescribed medication therapy by a doctor to treat high cholesterol or high blood pressure, or the patient may receive medication to control blood sugar if the patient has diabetes.


Some lifestyle changes can also reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.




How Can You Prevent Coronary Artery Disease?


The same lifestyle habits that help in treating this disease can also help in the prevention of developing in the first place. If a person is leading a healthy lifestyle, then it can help in keeping the arteries strong and clear of plaque. To improve the heart health, some of the options are;



  • Control conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol.


  • Eat a low-fat, low-salt diet.


  • Stay physically active.


  • Maintain a healthy body weight.


  • Reduce and manage stress.






As the coronary artery disease or coronary heart disease is an unpredictable disease (i.e. a person can not identify the disease in early stages) but by living with a good lifestyle a person can maintain the condition. Healthy eating and regular exercise also help in maintaining a good body health.


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