Coronary Artery Disease: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

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In today’s fast-paced life, we often overlook our heart health, which plays a significant role in our body by filtering and playing. Such ignorance of heart health can lead to various heart diseases, and one common is Coronary artery disease, also known as ischemic disease.

In this condition, the arteries get blocked or narrow due to the accumulation of fat and plaque. This disturbs the blood flow in the arteries, causing a shortage of oxygen-rich blood supply to the heart. Thus, Coronary artery disease can be a serious heart health problem that can also lead to heart attacks in severe cases. So, let us learn more about Coronary artery disease by understanding its causes, symptoms, and treatment.

What Causes Coronary Artery Disease? Risk Factors Of Coronary Artery Disease

High Blood Pressure Is The Major Catalyst

High blood pressure or hypertension can be a significant factor in causing and progression of Coronary heart disease. High blood pressure means the flow of blood against the arterial walls; excessive blood pressure can affect arteries. 

Besides, high-pressure blood flow can damage the walls of arteries, and in response, the body starts depositing cholesterol, fat, or other substances for the healing process. During high blood pressure, high pressure is exerted on the arteries to deliver pure blood to the body, and due to the same, the heart has to work faster, resulting in Coronary artery disease. 

High Blood Pressure

Unhealthy Eating Habit Leads To Coronary Artery Disease

Another reason for Coronary artery disease is unhealthy eating habits. Consuming foods with high oil content, fats, and sugar can lead to heart problems. Besides, excessive consumption of refined carbs, saturated fat, salt, and soda can cause serious risks to the heart.

You Cannot Rule Out The Potential Of Excessive Weight 

Excessive weight can lead to the collection of fat and increased cholesterol in the blood. The fat around the arteries and the high amount of cholesterol in the blood can develop plaque inside or outside the artery’s walls, narrowing or blocking them completely.

Symptoms Of Coronary Artery Disease

Experiencing Heavy Perspiration Without Any Physical Activity

Excessive sweating without any hardcore physical work can be a sign of Coronary artery disease. This is because when our arteries are blocked or narrowed, the heart works hard to force the blood through the arteries. In response, the body sweats more to cool down to the temperature. Further, night sweats in women can also be symptoms of heart problems, though sometimes it is mistaken for menopause.

Feeling Of Heart Beat Fluctuation And Unbearable Pain In Chest

Arteries are the blood vessels that carry pure blood and distribute them into the entire body. On the off chance that there is a blockage due to the accumulation of cholesterol around arteries, it can also cause uneven heartbeat and chest pain.

When the plaque build-up narrows the arteries, the heart may throb unevenly in order to maintain the blood flow and pressure. This uneven beating of the heart is known as an arrhythmia, which can also be a symptom of Coronary artery disease.

In addition to uneven heartbeat, there can be mild to severe chest pain, which can also signal that an individual is suffering from Coronary artery disease.

It Gets Hard To Inhale And Exhale Air

Most of the time, the difficulty in breathing is due to problems in the lungs. However, it can also be a symptom of Coronary artery disease; the plaque build-up disturbs the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart. This makes the heart weaker and, at the same time, deprived of oxygen. Eventually, this will lead to difficulty in breathing. 

You Feel Pain In Neck Or Left Arm

Yes, pain in the neck or left arm can also be a sign that the heart is suffering from some kind of problem. The narrowing of arteries due to the accumulation of plaque can cause stress on muscles that are near the heart. Thus, this stress can cause pain in the left arm and neck. Besides, sometimes the muscle can also get numb due to the pressure and stress.

Burning Sensation In Chest Or Upper Adobmen

This symptom is especially found in women who might have Coronary artery disease. Apart from this, the burning sensation in the chest or upper abdomen can be a sign of not only blockage of the main arteries but also of small ones that directly supply blood to the heart. This condition is called small vessel disease or coronary microvascular disease.

Treatments Of Coronary Artery Disease

Ensure Good And Healthy Weight

Excessive fat around the heart and on the body can lead to many heart problems along with coronary artery disease. Thus, Maintenance of a healthy weight is helpful in treating Coronary artery disease. Exercising daily for at least 30 to 40 minutes can help burn excessive fat around the heart and on the body. 

Practice Stress Management Techniques

Practicing stress management techniques can be a crucial step in maintaining the health of the heart. This is because chronic stress has proven to be associated with many types of cardiovascular disease. Ensuring peace of mind and relaxation can be effective in controlling high blood pressure, which can be caused by the narrowing of arteries in the condition of Coronary artery disease. 

Furthermore, reducing stress lowers inflammation in arteries and promotes good cholesterol in the body. Thus, practicing some stress management techniques such as meditation, yoga, and deep breathing can be helpful.

Surgery Options

If Coronary artery disease has reached its severe condition where it’s fully blocking the arteries or has ruptured the artery, then surgery is the option for treating it. There are two main types of surgery options for Coronary artery disease, which are Angioplasty and Coronary artery bypass grafting.

In angioplasty, the narrowed or blocked arteries can be cleared without the need to open the chest of the patient. In this procedure, the surgeon puts in a thin, flexible tube with a balloon through the blood vessels. After the tube reaches the blocked artery, it inflates the balloon, which stretches the artery open to let the blood flow smoothly.

Coming to Coronary artery bypass grafting, surgeons use blood vessels from other parts of the body to make a bypass around the blocked artery. This procedure requires serious surgery to open the chest, and the patient needs to be under observation by doctors for 5 days.

Treatments Of Coronary Artery Disease

Final Result

Not paying attention to the health of your heart can lead to Coronary artery disease and many other heart problems. The lack of an unhealthy diet and physical inactivity are some of the risk factors for Coronary artery disease. So, before it reaches severe conditions, it is better to control it before.

References:

  1. American Heart Association. Multiple pages (https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/consumer-healthcare/what-is-cardiovascular-disease/coronary-artery-disease). Last reviewed 7/31/2015. Accessed 10/13/2023.
  2. National Library of Medicine (U.S.). Coronary Artery Disease (https://medlineplus.gov/coronaryarterydisease.html). Last updated 11/1/2016. Accessed 10/13/2023.
  3. Shahjehan RD, Bhutta BS. Coronary Artery Disease (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK564304/). 2023 Feb 9. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Accessed 10/13/2023.

Dr. David G Kiely is a distinguished Medical Reviewer and former General Medicine Consultant with a wealth of experience in the field. Dr. Kiely's notable career as a General Medicine Consultant highlights his significant contributions to the medical field.

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