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Coronary artery disease - symptoms and causes

Coronary artery disease is common heart disease. In it, the main blood vessels supplying the heart (coronary arteries) have difficulty supplying the heart muscle with adequate blood, oxygen, and nutrients. 

Coronary artery disease is usually caused by cholesterol-containing deposits (plaques) in the heart's arteries and inflammation.

Coronary artery disease - symptoms and causes

Signs and symptoms of coronary artery disease occur when the heart does not get enough oxygen-rich blood. 

If you have coronary artery disease, reduced blood flow to the heart can cause chest pain (angina) and shortness of breath. Complete blockage of blood flow can cause a heart attack.

Coronary artery disease often takes several decades for a patient to feel it. Symptoms can go unnoticed until a major blockage causes problems or a heart attack. Following a heart-healthy lifestyle can help prevent coronary artery disease.

Coronary artery disease is also called coronary heart disease.

What is the definition of coronary artery disease? 

Stephen Kubicki, MD, talks about the risk factors, symptoms, and treatment of coronary artery disease. 

Learn about the benefits of lifestyle changes and their role in reducing your risk factors.

Symptoms

Symptoms may not be noticed at first, or they may appear only when the heart beats violently, such as during exercise. 

As the coronary arteries continue to narrow, the amount of blood going to the heart gradually decreases, and symptoms become more severe and more frequent.

Signs and symptoms of coronary artery disease can include:

Chest pain (angina). The patient may feel pressure or heaviness in the chest. Some patients say they feel as if someone is standing on their chest. 

This pain occurs in the middle or left side of the chest. Chest pain can be triggered by activity or strong emotions. 

The pain usually goes away within minutes after the triggering event stops. In some people, especially women, pain may be brief or sharp in the neck, arm, or back.

shortness of breath. You may feel like you can't catch your breath.

Fatigue. If the heart can't pump enough blood to meet your body's needs, you may usually feel tired.

heart attack; Complete blockage of the coronary artery causes a heart attack. Typical signs and symptoms of a heart attack include severe chest pain or pressure, pain in the shoulders or arms, shortness of breath, and sweating. 

Women may have fewer symptoms such as neck or jaw pain, nausea, and fatigue. Some heart attacks do not cause any noticeable signs or symptoms.

When do you visit the doctor?

If you think you're having a heart attack, immediately call 911 (within the United States) or your local emergency number. 

If you can't get to emergency medical services, have someone drive you to the nearest hospital. Do not drive to the hospital unless this is the last resort.

Some factors make you more likely to develop coronary artery disease, including smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, or a strong family history of heart disease. 

So please consult your doctor if there is a high chance of contracting this disease. You may need tests to check for narrowed arteries and coronary artery disease.

the reasons

Coronary artery disease begins when fat, cholesterol and other substances collect on the inner walls of the heart's arteries. 

This disease is called atherosclerosis. These collected materials are also known as plaques. Plaques can narrow the arteries and block blood flow. These plaques may also rupture, causing a blood clot.

Besides high cholesterol, coronary artery damage can result from one of the following:

Diabetes or insulin resistance

Hypertension

Not doing enough exercise (a sedentary lifestyle)

Smoking or using tobacco

risk factors

Coronary artery disease is a common disease. Cardiovascular health is affected by age, genetics, other health conditions, and lifestyle choices.

Risk factors that lead to coronary artery disease include:

the age. 

Age increases the risk of damage and narrowing of the arteries.

having sex. 

Men are generally more likely to develop coronary artery disease. However, the risk is increased for women after menopause (menopause).

Medical family history. 

Having a family history of heart disease also increases your risk of coronary artery disease. 

This possibility increases even more if a first-degree relative (a parent or sibling) developed heart disease at an early age. 

The risk is also highest if your father or brother developed heart disease before age 55, or if your mother or sister had it before age 65.

smoking. If you smoke, quit smoking. 

Smoking is harmful to heart health. And smokers are more likely to develop heart disease. The risk also increases with the inhalation of fumes during passive smoking.

Hypertension. 

Uncontrolled high blood pressure can cause atherosclerosis and stiffening of the arteries. Coronary arteries may also narrow, resulting in slow blood flow.

High cholesterol level. 

High levels of bad cholesterol in the blood can increase the risk of developing atherosclerosis. 

The bad cholesterol is called low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Not having enough good cholesterol - called high-density lipoprotein - leads to atherosclerosis.

diabetes mellitus; Diabetes increases the risk of coronary artery disease. Type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease also share some risk factors, such as obesity and high blood pressure.

weight ADHD or obesity. 

There is no doubt that excess body weight harms the health of the body as a whole. Where obesity can cause type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. 

Ask your doctor about a healthy weight for you.

Chronic kidney disease. 

Having long-term kidney disease increases your risk of coronary artery disease.

Not exercising enough. Physical activity is important for good health. Where the lack of exercise (a sedentary lifestyle) leads to coronary artery disease and some risk factors that lead to it.

Exposure to a lot of stress. 

Emotional stress can damage the arteries and exacerbate other risk factors for coronary artery disease.

Unhealthy diet. 

Excessive foods that contain large amounts of saturated fats, trans fats, salt, and sugar may increase your risk of coronary artery disease.

Alcohol abuse. 

Excessive drinking of alcohol may damage the heart muscle. It may also exacerbate other risk factors for coronary artery disease.

amount of sleep. 

Sleeping too long or too short increases the risk of heart disease.

The risk factors usually occur together. One may also lead to the emergence of the other.

When certain risk factors come together, they can increase your risk of coronary artery disease. For example, metabolic syndrome 

— a group of diseases that includes high blood pressure, high blood sugar, increased body fat around the waist, and high triglyceride levels 

— increases the risk of coronary artery disease.

Sometimes coronary artery disease occurs without any of the traditional risk factors present. Other potential risk factors for coronary artery disease may include:

Interrupted breathing during sleep (obstructive sleep apnea). 

This disease causes breathing to stop and return during sleep. It can cause a sudden drop in oxygen levels in the blood. And then the heart works harder. Blood pressure also rises.

Highly sensitive C-reactive protein. This protein appears in larger-than-normal amounts when there is inflammation somewhere in the body. High levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein are a risk factor for heart disease. 

It is also thought that with the narrowing of the coronary arteries, the level of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein in the blood increases.

High triglyceride levels. 

These fats are a type of fat (lipids) found in the blood. High levels may increase the risk of coronary artery disease, especially in women.

homocysteine; Homocysteine ​​is an amino acid that the body uses to make protein and build and maintain tissue. But high levels of homocysteine ​​increase the risk of coronary artery disease.

Preeclampsia preeclampsia. 

This pregnancy complication causes high blood pressure and an increased level of protein in the urine. It may increase the risk of heart disease at a later stage.

Other pregnancy complications. 

Diabetes and high blood pressure during pregnancy are also among the risk factors for coronary artery disease.

Certain autoimmune diseases. 

People with diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus (and other inflammatory diseases) have an increased risk of developing atherosclerosis.

Complications

Coronary artery disease leads to:

Chest pain (angina). 

When the coronary arteries are narrowed, the heart may not get enough blood when it needs it most, such as when exercising. This can cause chest pain (angina) or shortness of breath.

heart attack; A heart attack can occur when cholesterol plaques break down and cause a blood clot to form. 

The clot may stop blood flow. The lack of blood may cause damage to the heart muscle. The amount of damage depends in part on how quickly treatment is received.

heart failure; Narrowing of the heart's arteries or slowly rising blood pressure can make the heart weak or stiff, making it difficult to pump blood. Heart failure occurs when the heart does not pump blood as well as it should.

Irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia). Not getting enough blood to the heart can alter the heart's normal signals, resulting in an irregular heartbeat.

protection

Coronary artery disease can be prevented by following the same lifestyle habits that are used to treat it. 

A healthy lifestyle can also help keep your arteries strong and free of plaque. To improve heart health, follow these tips:

Quit smoking.

Control high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

Do exercise often.

Maintain a healthy weight.

Follow a diet low in salt and low in fat, rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Reducing and controlling stress.

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